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What’s the Cost to Maintain Houseplants: What to Expect

Houseplants can be a great addition to any home. They come in many shapes and sizes and are easy to maintain; however, a cost is attached to doing so.

The cost to maintain houseplants can vary depending on the species, size, watering, and fertilizing requirements. Inherently, some plants are more expensive than others and can require special equipment such as grow lights, humidifiers amended soil mixes that increase the cost of maintenance.

For example, a cactus is more costly than a succulent. It costs between $6 to $150 for the maintenance of houseplants.

However, there is no one-size-fits-all answer regarding the cost of maintaining houseplants because each plant has different water, light, temperature, humidity, and soil type requirements. 

This article will give an average cost of maintaining houseplants based on the necessities which are required to have any houseplant growing as healthy as possible.

What Does it Take to Maintain Houseplants?

The Cost to Maintain Houseplants

Houseplants are a great way to bring life and color into your home. They help filter the air and add humidity. They give the area an outdoorsy feel and are also good for the environment. 

Houseplants make a room look more lively, especially if you have a lot of furniture that is made from dark colors. However, they require some care to keep them looking their best.

You can choose many houseplants, and each has its own needs for water, light, and nutrients.

Some plants are easier to maintain than others, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before purchasing a plant for your home. Knowing how much water, light, and fertilizer they need is essential.

Therefore, for your plants to stay healthy and happy, you must take care of them properly. 

The following are some tips for maintaining houseplants:

Feed houseplants regularly.
Check the potting soil and make sure it is moist but not wet.
Pruning dead leaves or branches occasionally.
Water the plant thoroughly, but don’t over-water.
Fertilize with a diluted liquid fertilizer every few weeks. Use it on occasions whenever required.
Spray the leaves with water once a week to keep them from getting dusty.
Use a soft brush to remove any dust or debris on the leaves and stems.

Follow this routine and your houseplants are good to go.

Normal Houseplant Care Routines

Watering hanging plants

If you want your houseplant to survive for a long time and rejuvenate the energy in your home, it is essential to take care of them diligently. 

Hence, it becomes imperative to know about different factors that influence the lifelong growth of houseplants. 

Take care of the pointers listed below; you will never miss following the normal houseplant care routine.

Lighting

Lighting for plants

The first step in caring for a houseplant is determining how much light it needs. Avoid direct sunlight as it can burn the leaves. Normal house plants thrive in a room with indirect sunlight or artificial light.

There are three categories of lighting: low-light, medium-light, and high-light. Some plants need over one type of lighting. 

For example, if you have a plant that requires low light during the day but high light at night, you will need two different fixtures with different bulbs.

Plants need at least 16 hours per day, but most people give them 24 hours per day because they don’t want to worry about turning their lights off and on again.

Watering

Watering-Plants

The next step to maintaining your houseplant is to water the plant properly by letting the soil dry out before adding water again. 

You don’t want to over-water your plants or let them dry out completely because this will cause them not to grow properly or die altogether.

The soil should be moist at all times but not wet or soggy. The best way to test this is by sticking your finger into the soil to see if it feels damp. 

If it does not feel sticky, water your plant until the soil feels moist again.

Note: Some plants need at least 1 inch of water each week. 

If your plants are in containers that hold over 3 gallons, they’ll need about 2 inches per week. Give them an inch of water every time you notice a small bit of soil on top or the bottom of the pot.

Fertilizing

fish food as fertilizer

Fertilizer is a type of soil amendment that provides nutrients to plants. It typically contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Fertilizer helps plants grow by providing them with the nutrients they need to live.

Nitrogen Nutrient
Phosphorous
Potassium

It is vital for houseplants to be fertilized, as it will help them grow and stay healthy. When fertilizing houseplants, the best practices are to use a high-quality fertilizer or compost once every two weeks during the warmer months and once every four weeks during the cooler months.

Pruning

Pruning is cutting off the dead or dying parts of the plant. It is important to prune plants because it helps them grow healthier and more robust.

Pruning is a crucial part of the care routine for plants. It helps maintain the shape of the plant and also helps to control its size. Pruning also helps to promote new growth on plants that are not flowering or fruiting, which can help them live longer.

Sometimes, you may need to do more than prune a plant. You may need to repot it or root-prune it, depending on what type of plant you have and what its needs are.

Repotting

Repotting a new plant

You should repot your plant every year to ensure that it thrives.

The plant’s roots will grow out of the pot and need more space to grow. Repotting is a simple process that you can do with household items and potting soil.

The soil in a pot may become compacted over time, and this can lead to a plant’s roots becoming constricted. To avoid this, the owner of the plant needs to repot it.

Soil should be replaced with fresh soil every year or two. This will help the plant thrive and prevent diseases from forming in the soil.

Cleaning

Cleaning plant leaves

Houseplants help by providing quality air and making your space feel more spacious. However, the plants need some care to stay healthy and look good.

You should clean the plant leaves with a damp cloth or sponge. This will remove any dirt or dust accumulated on the leaves over time. 

After cleaning, you can use a spray bottle of water to mist the leaves of your houseplant. This will help keep them moist and healthy.

When you’re a plant parent, it’s crucial to ensure that your plants receive adequate care. 

The above factors play a significant role in maintaining houseplants’ normal routine maintenance, so they are healthy and survive for the most prolonged period.

Low Maintenance Houseplants

Following are the low-maintenance plants that you can choose from: 

  • Peace Lily Plant
  • Swiss-Cheese Plant
  • Cactus Plant
  • Jade Plant
  • Lucky Bamboo Plant
  • Dracaena Warneckii Plant
  • Philodendron Brasil Plant
  • Snake Plant
  • Money Tree Plant
  • ZZ Plant
  • Spider plant
  • Cast iron plant 
  • Aloe Vera Plant

High Maintenance Houseplants

Following are the high-maintenance plants that you can choose from: 

  • Peacock Plant
  • Maidenhair Fern Plant
  • Fiddle Leaf Figs Care Plant
  • Bonsai Tree
  • Norfolk Pine Island Plant
  • Boston Fern Plant
  • Croton Plant
  • Poinsettia Plant
  • Florist Hydrangea Plant
  • Gardenia Plant

Things Required for Maintaining Houseplants

So, now you are aware of the factors influencing the lifelong growth of plants, here is what you need to know about the requirements of maintaining the houseplants, including some of the best things among many and their cost.

Average Cost of Fertilizer

Miracle-Gro 1001233 Water Soluble

Fertilizer is a substance used to provide nutrients for plants. It is made from natural materials or synthetic substances.

Fertilizers have three primary purposes: 

  • They act as a source of essential plant nutrients.
  • They improve the soil structure and water retention capacities.
  • They control the growth of weeds and other organisms in the soil that may compete with the garden plants.

There are two types of fertilizers: organic and inorganic. Organic fertilizers are derived from animal or green matter, such as blood meal, bone meal, cottonseed meal, fish emulsion, manure tea (compost), seaweed extract (kelp), and various plant products like alfalfa meal.

Inorganic fertilizers are chemical compounds like ammonium nitrate or potassium chloride.

The table below presents the popular fertilizers along with their costs that you can choose to buy.

FertilizersCost
Dyna-Gro Liquid Grow Plant Food 7-9-5$21
FoxFarm FX14620 Happy Frog All-Purpose Fertilizer, 4 lb Bag Nutrients$19
Purived Liquid Fertilizer for Indoor Plants$32
Soul Amino-Aide, Liquid Fertilizer for Hydroponics and Soil, 3-1-1$38

Average Cost of Potting Soil

Succulent and Cactus Potting Soil Mix

Potting soil is a mix of various components like sand, peat moss, and compost used to plant and grow plants in containers. It provides nutrients for the plants, holds moisture, and provides some protection from wind. 

There are many types of potting soil for houseplants. They are not all the same; some may be better than others.

The table below presents the widespread potting soil and the costs you can choose to buy.

Potting SoilsCost
SUNGRO HORTICULTURE Black Gold 1302040 8-Quart All Organic Potting Soil 2 Pack$25
FoxFarm Ocean Forest FX14000 -1.5 Cubic Foot Organic Potting Soil$27
Phalaenopsis Monterey Dark Imperial Orchid Potting Mix by rePotme (Junior Bag)$31
Burpee Premium Organic Potting Mix, 8 Quarts – 2 Pack$24

Watering Cans

MyLifeUNIT Plastic Watering Can green

A watering can is a container to carry and pour water over plants. There are different watering cans, such as the hand-held type and the type with wheels.

A watering can with a spout is used to water plants. The type of material that the watering can is made of will depend on the preferences and needs of the gardener. It is usually made of metal, plastic, or ceramic. 

The table below presents the popular watering cans along with their costs that you can choose to buy.

Watering CansCost
Bangerz Sunz Gray Elephant Novelty Plastic$12
DR.UANG 1L/34oz Detachable Long Spout Watering Can$13
Burgon & Ball 1.7L/50oz Long Reach Indoor Watering Can$54
NOBONDO 4L/1gal Sprinkler Head Watering Can$22

Humidifiers

geniani portable humidifier

A humidifier is a device that increases the humidity of the air. It does this by adding moisture to the air and increasing its water content. 

There are many humidifiers, but they all have one thing in common: they increase the humidity level in a room or building.

Humidifiers come in many shapes and sizes, but they all do the same thing. They increase humidity levels. There are some specific types of humidifiers for certain purposes. 

For example, there are humidifiers that cool and dehumidify as well as those that increase humidity levels. 

Different humidifier models also have automatic shut-off when water runs out, adjustable mist output, or nightlight function.

The table below presents the popular humidifiers along with their costs that you can choose to buy.

HumidifiersCost
Elechomes 6.5-Liter Top-Fill Humidifier$90
LEVOIT Humidifiers Large Room Cool Mist Vaporizer$40
Honeywell HCM350 Germ-Free Cool Mist Humidifier$80
AIRCARE MA Whole-House Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier$150

Grow Lights

grow light

The grow lights for houseplants are an essential tool for any indoor gardener. They provide the light that is necessary for plants to grow under artificial light sources. 

Many lights are available, each with its benefits and drawbacks, but the most common bulb type is fluorescent.

The table below presents the popular grow lights along with their costs that you can choose to buy.

Grow LightsCost
VIVOSUN 6500K 2FT T5 HO Fluorescent Grow Light$81
EZORKAS 9 Dimmable Levels Grow Light$20
LED Grow Light Fixture$46
Mindful Design Wood Finish LED$28

Plant Pots

repotting Syngonium (Arrowhead Plant)

Plant pots are containers that hold the soil and roots of a plant. They come in many shapes, sizes, and materials. Plant pots are usually used to grow plants indoors or outdoors.

A wide variety of plant pots are available on the market, depending on their size and shape. They are specifically designed for plants. They are usually made from clay, plastic, or other materials.

The table below presents the popular plant pots along with their costs that you can choose to buy.

Plant PotsCost
Lechuza Classico Self-Watering Indoor Planter$49
Umbra Trigg$30
Cole & Mason Indoor Self-Watering Herb Garden Planter$25
Fox & Fern Fiberstone Plant Pot$50

The Takeaway

The cost of maintaining houseplants may vary depending on the plant type, how much time you want to spend taking care of them, and how often they need watering. 

For example, if you water your plants daily, they will need more frequent repotting and fertilizing, increasing your costs significantly.

On average, it takes about $23 per plant. And you can expect the cost anywhere between $6 to $150. But it depends upon the type and size of the houseplant you are growing.

So, choose the best houseplant to maximize your satisfaction at the minimum maintenance cost possible.