6 Outdated Plant Care Tips to Ditch

Hey there, fellow plant lovers! It’s time to shake things up and give those outdated plant care tips the boot.

As a passionate houseplant enthusiast who’s been around the block a few times, I’ve learned a thing or two (or six!) about what really works for our leafy friends.

So buckle up, grab your watering can, and get ready to ditch those old ways that are as cringe-worthy as an ’80s fashion faux pas.

We’re about to embark on an adventure to flip the script and embrace the latest techniques that will make your plants thrive like never before. Are you with me?

Let’s dive in and kiss those old plant care tips goodbye!

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If someone rotates their plants weakly, repots them every spring, or even throws them away at the first sign of a yellow leaf, it’s probably time for them to rethink these outdated plant care tips.

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They need to discover the latest techniques to help their plants thrive. The age-old wisdom in the house plant community seems to be to repot plants every year to refresh the soil and give them a new lease on life.

While it is true that over time, house plant soil can become tired and the beneficial microorganisms may no longer be present, instead of going through the hassle of repotting every spring, they can simply top dress their plants with compost.

This avoids the mess and gives the plants the nutrients they need for the growing season.

Compost is like gold for plants.

It’s rich in organic matter and microorganisms that slowly release nutrients into the soil. By top dressing the plants with compost, the organic matter decomposes over time, providing a steady supply of nutrients.

The process involves removing the top couple of inches of soil and replacing it with ready-made compost from a local garden center.

This is much easier than repotting.

Another outdated care tip in the house plant community is the belief that keeping plants in pots without drainage holes will result in their death.

While it is true that beginners may want to start with plastic nursery pots to reduce the risk of water pooling and root rot, it is entirely possible for plants to thrive in pretty porcelain pots without drainage holes.

As long as one avoids overwatering, by using a moisture meter to gauge when to water, plants can flourish in decorative pots.

Many plants, including large calathea grass and Monstera deliciosa, can be successfully grown in pots without drainage holes.

The key is not to water them too much.

One common practice in house plant care is to rotate plants on a weekly basis to ensure even growth and aesthetic appeal.

However, many plants actually look better when left to grow and face in one direction. For example, the Monstera deliciosa has distinct front and back ends.

The back is where the aerial roots are located, while the front faces the light. Rotating the plant too often can result in leaves facing upside down, creating an awkward appearance.

Leaving climbing plants, such as Monstera paps and Philodendron, to grow in one direction can create a more appealing look. This is why many experts, like Sydney Plant Guy, have plants with leaves that all face one direction.

Yellowing leaves are often a cause of stress for plant owners. However, yellowing leaves are usually a natural part of a plant’s life cycle, not a sign of disease.

Plants shed yellow leaves to conserve energy and nutrients and replace them with fresh, healthy leaves. This process, called leaf senescence, is normal.

It’s important to assess if the yellowing leaf is occurring naturally due to aging or if it’s a widespread issue that requires further investigation.

For example, if the lowest leaf on a fiddle-leaf fig turns yellow and eventually falls off, it is part of the aging process. However, if yellowing occurs higher up and affects multiple leaves, it may indicate an issue that needs attention.

Another misconception is that plants like ZZ plants, snake plants, pothos, and cast iron plants can thrive in low light conditions.

While they may tolerate low light, they will not truly thrive. All plants need good light to photosynthesize and grow. Even plants labeled as low light tolerant should be given as much light as possible.

Keeping plants several meters away from windows in a dark room will result in a depressed-looking plant. The difference in light between their natural habitat and a dark room is significant.

Fertilizing plants is important, especially during the spring and summer growing seasons.

However, if someone forgets to fertilize their plants for a few months, it won’t cause them to immediately wither and die. Light is actually more crucial for healthy growth.

Fertilizer is like adding fuel to a fire that is already burning. It enhances growth but is not the primary factor.

If someone forgets to feed their plants for a while, it is not the end of the world. Eventually, the plants may need to be fed to avoid stunted growth and nutrient deficiencies, but it won’t cause immediate harm.

Terracotta pots are often advised to be soaked for at least 30 minutes before planting to help condition them and prevent them from drying out too quickly. However, this theory is not entirely convincing.


Q: Is it necessary to repot plants every year?
A: No, it is not necessary to repot plants every year. Instead of repotting, you can top dress them with compost to provide nutrients.

Q: Can plants thrive in pots without drainage holes?
A: Yes, plants can thrive in pots without drainage holes as long as they are not overwatered. It is important to monitor the moisture levels and use a moisture meter to avoid excessive watering.

Q: Should I rotate my plants on a weekly basis?
A: Not necessarily. Some plants, like Monstera deliciosa, actually look better when left to grow and face in one direction. The need for rotation depends on the specific plant species.

Q: Why do plants develop yellow leaves?
A: Yellowing leaves are typically a natural part of a plant’s life cycle. They shed old leaves to conserve energy and replace them with fresh, healthy ones.

Q: Can plants thrive in low light conditions?
A: While some plants may tolerate low light, they will not truly thrive. All plants need good light for photosynthesis and healthy growth.

Q: Is fertilizing plants essential for their growth?
A: While fertilizing plants is beneficial, especially during the active growing seasons, it is not necessary for immediate survival. Light is the primary factor for healthy growth, and fertilizer enhances growth but is not vital.

Q: Do terracotta pots need to be soaked before planting?
A: There is a belief that soaking terracotta pots before planting helps condition them and prevent quick drying. However, this theory is not fully supported and may not be necessary.


I’m just a plant lover from Central Florida with a passion for sharing knowledgeable facts about all things plants.

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