There are many plants that have specific watering requirements and specific lighting requirements, but one of the more overlooked plant maintenance requirements is humidity! If your home is too dry, there are a multitude of houseplants that can succumb to issues like wilting, drying, or drooping without proper humidity.

Most of the houseplants we love come from more tropical climates with higher humidity–not really conducive to the Connecticut climate. Thankfully, humidity is an easy fix! Simply use a humidifier near the plants to help keep their leaves healthy. If you don’t have a humidifier, you can mist the leaves about 2-3 times a week (4-5 in the winter). Here are some of our favorite High Humidity Plants:


Peace Lillies

Venus Fly-Traps



Fiddle Leaf Fig


We are always seeing new houseplants at the glass house, and we would love to help you pick out the perfect companion plant for your home, office, or dorm!

Water is one of the most essential needs that plants require for survival. That being said, it is also the source of nightmares for beginner houseplant enthusiasts. Does my plant need more water yet? What is the difference between moist and wet soil? Is my house too dry? Before you know it, you’re making another trip to Home Depot or Lowes to replace your third pothos. But instead of seeking out watering tips from the store that specializes in home improvement, come by Van Wilgen’s, we’ll teach you everything you need to know when it comes to watering your precious plants.

Plants are Living Things

One important rule of thumb when it comes to watering a plant is that it isn’t just a decorative fixture. Plants are living organisms, and they often act just like we do. When we get thirsty or hungry, we need to eat and drink, and the same goes for plants. I might need to drink more water per day than another person my age; that same logic can apply to plants.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy, one size fits all method when it comes to watering. Some plants will want to be kept in consistently moist soil, while others need to dry out in between watering.

One thing to consider is a plant’s native environment. Does it come from tropical rainforest or a dry desert? This may help clue you into how you should water your plant. As you learn about what your plant likes best, keep an eye on it, monitor it for signs of stress, and adjust as needed.

What Water Should I Use?

When watering you might not think twice about what you’re giving your plants. Water is water, right? Not necessarily. Some plants are sensitive to chemicals and minerals that are found in tap or well water. This is especially true for spider plants, dracaenas, and fiddle leaf figs. But really, all houseplants can benefit from the use of filtered, distilled, or rainwater. A charcoal or drinking water filter can also help make water safer for sensitive plants.

Calcium or other minerals can also create water spots on the leaves, which is why it’s best to water as close to the soil as you can. A watering can with a long, thin spout really comes in handy to avoid getting the foliage wet. Of course, if you have large, broad leaves that are prone to collecting dirt and dust (which can actually block sunlight), you may want to occasionally wipe them down with a damp cloth.

Another thing you should be mindful of is the temperature of the water you’re giving your plants. Keep the water at room temperature, since cold or hot water can actually shock the plant. For this reason, you should also avoid watering orchids or other plants with ice cubes. We wouldn’t want to sit in an ice bath, plants don’t either.

How Often Should I Water?

When it comes to planning waterings, plants can be finicky. Some plants prefer to be completely dry, while others want to retain a consistent level of moisture; it is all about learning your specific plant’s needs.

Moisture meters can be helpful to determine moisture levels in small pots, however, they don’t work quite as accurately in large pots and containers. Here at Van Wilgen’s, we have a little trick we like to use, instead.

If you own a wooden dowel or a wooden spoon, insert the handle into the soil, close to the roots. if the wooden dowel shows signs of moisture, you should hold off on watering. Do this every day until you can tell the soil has dried out. The number of days that have passed since you last watered is how frequently you should be watering.

You’ll want to do this process in the summer, and then again in the winter to see if your plants watering needs have changed, as the air may be drier, or your plant may go dormant in the wintertime. Similarly, if you move your plant or change something in the room, you may want to measure and adjust as needed. There are a lot of factors that can affect the amount of water your plant needs. For example, a plant receiving direct sunlight will dry out more quickly than one in low light, and the smaller the container, the more quickly the soil will dry out and vice versa.

How Much Water Should I Use?

Because plants have different water requirements, it really depends on the watering trends you’ve noticed. In most cases, we recommend watering evenly with a divided stream until water begins to drain out the bottom of your pot. If you don’t water long enough to allow this to happen, the deeper roots will never receive adequate water, leading to plant illness and dehydration.

Some plants like Calathea require higher levels of moisture that can be harder to maintain through traditional watering methods. In these instances, placing the pot in a pebble tray with water will allow the plant to absorb as much moisture as it needs.

Is my Plant too Dry?

In most circumstances, underwatering a plant is easier to deal with than overwatering. Plants can continue to bounce back through minor periods of drought, however, if you notice these signs, your plant is probably pretty thirsty:

The simple solution to this is to water your plant thoroughly and allow the roots to take in that hydration. If you continue to underwater over time, the roots can begin to dry and will no longer be able to absorb moisture.

Is my Plant too Wet?

When it comes to over-watering, plants have a more difficult time bouncing back to a state of proper health. the reason this can be a more serious issue for plants is that too much moisture can cause drowning and rot, which can lead to numerous health issues:

All of these issues can be life-threatening to a plant, so it is important to ensure you aren’t over-watering, and that your plants have proper drainage. Purchasing pots with holes is always a go-to solution, however, if you can’t, you can always drill holes into the bottom of your pot. You can also put smaller pots inside of larger pots to add height and make sure your plant isn’t getting too close to the moisture at the bottom.

So, what should you do if you’ve overwatered? If the issue is relatively minor, you can simply wait for the soil to dry out before watering again. If the problem is more severe, remove the plant from its container and place it on something absorbent to soak up excess water. If necessary, you can remove some of the soil from around the roots so you can re-pot in new soil. At this time, you should trim back any stems, foliage, or roots that have started to rot. Since root rot is caused by a fungus, you’ll want to clean your clippers in between cuts to prevent it from spreading. You should also treat your plant with a spray-on fungicide before repotting. Avoid fertilizing at this point as it can cause further damage to the roots. You’ll want to wait a week or two before resuming your routine plant care. Unfortunately, even by following these steps, depending on the severity of overwatering, the plant may not survive if it’s too stressed, which is why good drainage is so important.

Maintaining Humidity

One important fact to remember is that many of the houseplants we love come from areas that are far more tropical than Connecticut. A lot of these plants love moisture and humidity, and the harsh winter air can often lead to the drying of leaves and ultimately diminished health of the plant. To maintain optimal humidity, a humidifier near the plant can be life-saving. If you cant afford a humidifier, mist the leaves several times a week (about 2-3, or more in the winter) to ensure the plant is well humidified.

Breakdown by Plant:

Water Approximately Every 3-5 Days

These plants like to be watered all the way through until you see water coming from the bottom of the pot.

Water Approximately Every 5-7 Days

These plants also like to be watered all the way through, until you see water coming from the bottom of the pot.

Water Approximately Every 7-10 Days

These plants generally require less water, so you don’t need to water all the way through.

Water Approximately Every 14-21 Days

These plants also generally require less water, so you don’t need to water all the way through.

When in doubt, talk to us! If you’re having an issue with a plant or are looking for some plant care pointers, we’re always here to help spread our VanWisdom!

Most people will plant a single houseplant in a pot, but if you really want to up your houseplant game, you should consider combining multiple plants into a single container. Not only does this add depth and visual interest to your containers, but it’s also a really great option if you don’t have a lot of space for containers but enjoy collecting different houseplants. The key is to combine companion houseplants that suit one another.

Choose Like-Minded Plants

As you may have guessed from reading our previous articles, the key is to choose plants with similar light, water, and soil needs. For instance, you wouldn’t want to pair a cactus with a peace lily since you would quickly kill at least one plant while taking care of the other. Something like a cactus and a succulent on the other hand will be right at home with one another.

To get you started, here are a few of our favorite houseplants that they can be paired with. Keep in mind that some plants can tolerate a fairly broad range of conditions, so you may occasionally find plants paired with others that aren’t in the same category as below. When in doubt, just ask us!

Water About Every 3-5 Days – Low Light

Water Every 5-7 Days – Bright Light

Water Every 7-10 Days – Bright Indirect Light

Water Every 14-21 Days – Bright Light

Creative Containers

So, once you have an idea of which plants can be potted together, how do you choose an arrangement? This is where you have an opportunity to have some fun and get creative.

If you’re unsure of where to start, we always recommend the tried and true “thriller, filler, and spiller” method. Start by choosing a plant with some drama and height (thriller), add in a mid-height companion plant (filler), and then complete the arrangement with a hanging plant that will spill over the side of your container rather than grow upright (spiller). This method works well to give the appearance of a really full arrangement. Just keep in mind the size of your container when choosing the size of your houseplants. You don’t want to have too much excess space or squeeze plants into a container that’s too small. You’ll also want to think about the mature size and shape of the plants you’re choosing. For example, pothos will trail down the side of the pot over time, but it may not start out that way when you first purchase it.

Another way to plan your arrangements is to consider plant color. Choose contrasting colors (those that are opposite one another on a color wheel) for added drama or choose analogous colors (those next to one another) for more of a cohesive look. Be sure to factor in the color of your container when planning everything out. There are no hard fast rules here, so play around until you find a combination that you personally like.

Still not quite sure of what plants to choose? You can also consider choosing different varieties of the same plant for your containers. Something like a snake plant or dracaena has a wide range of options that can look stunning when planted together. If you’re still stuck, but want to try a mixed container, just pay us a visit. We’re always here to help!


Whether you own a home, rent an apartment, or just want to add something decorative to your office or dorm, houseplants can be the perfect accent piece. But let’s face it, not all of us are decorators or have an eye for interior design! One thing that I found makes decorating a little easier is separating plants based on which room you are trying to decorate.

Many people like to welcome plants into their living room and bedroom–two rooms that can have a diverse array of lighting environments. It is important for houseplant health that they receive proper sunlight, so you wouldn’t want to place a Snake Plant by a south-facing window where it will receive too much bright direct light.

Houseplants also have different requirements when it comes to temperature and humidity, so it is important to not stress the plant out with certain issues like window drafts, excess humidity, or dry air. Calathea, for example, is a sensitive plant when it comes to humidity and temperature, it will thrive in environments like bathrooms and kitchens (or truly any room with a humidifier) but might suffer if placed in an entryway near outside doors.

Plants are particular about where they are placed, but most houseplants are hearty and can tolerate a range of environments, like the Chinese Evergreen. If you need assistance in finding the perfect plants for your space, our Houseplant Specialists will assist you every step of the way!

We hope to see you soon!


As plant lovers and gardeners, we are no strangers to putting a ton of TLC into our plants, whether it’s through pruning, watering, or fertilizing. But for as much as we give our plants, the same could be said in return!

When it comes to houseplants, there are some surprising benefits that we might overlook. Of course, the largest draw for owning indoor plants is an aesthetic one, who doesn’t love to decorate? Aside from brightening up your home, however, houseplants have been known to aid in the following:

1. They Improve Air Quality

There are many different species of houseplants that are known to be excellent air-purifiers, capable of scrubbing the air of harmful household toxins that can come from cleaning supplies and cigarettes. Houseplants also are great at producing fresh oxygen within the home and are capable of humidifying the air, making them ideal for those dry winter months.

2. Lower Stress Levels

Houseplants are capable of promoting brain activity that is known to reduce both physical and psychological stress. Tending to houseplants and their upkeep has been shown to reduce heart rate and blood pressure.

3. Can be Therapeutic and Meditative

Similar to how plants reduce stress, they can also minimize symptoms of certain mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Just as we care for pets to reduce the impact of mental illness, taking care of plants can also promote a stronger sense of positive mental health.

4. Boost of Productivity

In certain studies, houseplants have been shown to contribute to an increase in work ethic, studying, and other types of productivity. When people are less stressed, they are able to focus on tasks and projects easier, making houseplants like Snake Plants and Orchids perfect for office spaces and dorm rooms.


With so many benefits, it isn’t hard to see why houseplants are such a must for homeowners and renters. If you are looking for a mood booster, stop by our heated greenhouse; we will be more than happy to help match you with the perfect houseplant for your needs!

Houseplants are not only gorgeous to look at, but they provide several health-improving qualities to our homes, as well! Many houseplants have been shown to remove toxic chemicals from our air and produce refreshing oxygen and humidity inside our homes. Here is a list of several houseplants to help you breathe easy this Winter!

Snake Plants

Flamingo Flower

Chinese Evergreen





We hope to see you soon!


With the holiday season behind us, you might be looking at the empty spot where your Christmas Tree once stood, wondering, “What can I put here?” Nothing quite livens up an empty room like a decorative floor plant! With so many varieties to choose from, we wanted to show you a couple of our post-holiday favorites:


Fiddle Leaf Fig


Snake Plants






We hope to see you soon!