I've had a few requests to share my tips for raising house plants. At this very moment I have 31 plants in my house. 28 of which are thriving. (One I really need to throw out, the other is a totally dead airplant, and the third I am not sure if it's going to make a comeback or not.) I have killed a lot of plants in the past but so far things are going pretty well in this new space.
Just like everything else I blog about ever, I am not an expert in raising indoor plants. But this is what I have learned that has worked for me.
Provide proper drainage. Your pot with soil in it must have drainage holes to prevent over-watering and root rotting. No matter how cute your planting vessel is, it's not worth using unless there are holes in the bottom.
I love terracotta pots because they are super cheap, look good and have a drainage hole. I repot store bought plants right into them.
But I also have some cute baskets and pots (two shown above) that I would like to use for plants that don't have drainage. In these cases, I just add the plants in their store-bought container (which should have come with drainage holes) directly into the cute vessel. Now the water can get out & the pot looks cute.
Don't repot into something bigger too soon. Surely there is a scientific reason for why taking a small plant and putting it into a huge pot doesn't work, but I don't know it. All I know is that if I move a new plant into something too big before it's started to overgrow it's space it usually dies. I have kept some plants in their original vessel for over two years before re-potting. The good news is that once I actually do repot after two years, they usually thrive in the extra space. As a side note here - I have had MUCH greater success keeping my larger plants alive than my small ones. I think they are heartier and can take more trial and error than the little guys. Keep this in mind if you are just starting your collection.
Do your research & read their instructions. This is a great article about what sort of house plants can stand neglect. When we first moved here, I found this article and wrote down all the plants and then carried it in my wallet. When you buy a plant, it usually comes with a little card that tells you it's water and light preference. It might not be the exact recipe for your plant, but read it and use it as a helpful guideline! I recently ordered a handful of airplants from etsy and they came with a care card that instructed me to give them a bath once a week for about ten minutes and then allow them to dry upside down so all the water gets out of the center and doesn't cause rot. I assume the etsy seller is more of an expert than me, so I am following her advice and so far, so good.
Follow their cues. I have found that my plants usually tell me when they need water by getting droopy and sad looking. Usually I feel their soil after I notice and it's dry, dry, dry. So in goes some water, usually directly from my current water glass and never measured out. The good thing about drainage holes is the extra water can run out if need be (keep an eye on it though - it's not good to allow your plants to sit in standing water for too long). I keep an eye on the plant for the next day or so to be sure it was enough to perk it up and usually we're good to go.
When in doubt, don't water. Perhaps a dumb tip, but I am pretty sure I have killed more indoor plants from OVER-watering than under-watering. Don't just set a schedule for yourself and water everything once a week. That might be too much. If you notice that the leaves on your plant are turning yellow this might mean you are over-watering.
Trim away the dead. Your totally healthy plant is still going to have some dead bits. Leaves will go through the full life-cycle. I love watching the new growth spiral up and the leaves open and then I love trimming off the dead leaves as they go. Trimming away the dead (anything that is brown or dried up) will provide more room for the new stuff to flourish. I have noticed about a week after I give my bigger plants a good trim there is usually tons of new growth.
Prepare to lose a few. It's part of the game. (At least for me.) Yes, it's sad when your plant dies - it's money down the drain, but indoor plants last longer and are much cheaper than fresh flowers. Don't worry too much if your plant dies. Instead, replace it with a different variety and see if you have better luck with something new.
Don't give up. When I got home from a week away in March, my favorite big plant was looking AWFUL. The house had been super warm while I was gone and obviously, no one had watered it. Every single leaf was laying down completely and many were dead. I immediately dumped a cup of water into the center and hoped for the best. The next morning the leaves were halfway up. I dumped in another water glass and left it alone. A few days later I trimmed away the dead and today, about a month later, it looks like what you see above. Plants are RAD like that.