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Plant Palooza Plant Care: Home

Welcome to Plant Care!


USM Library staff and faculty donate young plants for students to take back to their dorm, apartment, or house. These are usually very easy to care for indoor plants, such as, pothos, spider, snake, aloe, or cactus.

The Basics of Plant Care


Plant being quarantinedWhen you bring your plant back to your home, you may want to spray water, rubbing alcohol, or neem on the leaves to remove any potential pests.

Try to keep the new plant away from your other plants for 2-3 weeks, ideally in another room, so that if your new plant has pests or a disease they won't spread.


Photo Credit: USM Libraries


Light allows plants to photosynthesize and grow! Most foliage and jungle plants do best in bright, indirect light while more drought-tolerant, desert plants need full sunlight.

“Bright light” or “full sun” means there is no barrier between the plant and the sun.

“Medium light” or “bright, indirect light” is light that’s been diffused (sheer curtains) between the plant and the light source (a sunny window). Anything partially obstructing the path between your plant and the light source creates this medium light.

“Low light” means no direct sunlight will reach your plant.


Image Credit: We the Wild: Plant Care


Water pitcher, misters, and plantWhile it would be convenient to just water your plants once a week and be done, but this can cause under- and over-watering for plants.

The best way to water your plants is to check and see if they need to be watered! Most plants do well if you let the top of the soil dry out slightly before watering, usually around the top 1 inch should be dry, For cactus and other succulents, it's usually 2 inches. Also, be sure that the pot has drainage holes, to avoid root rot.

Photo Credit: U Maine Extension Service


You can use any common houseplant fertilizer. The Kansas State Research and Extension Communities recommends using fertilizer at half strength every 3-4 weeks from April through October. They recommend no fertilizer from November through March, during the months with low light.


Plant in pot with salt creating white on pot

Photo Credit: U Maine Extension Service



Adrian Higgins, Garden Columnist for The Washington Post
Repotting a houseplant

Common at Plant Palooza

snake plant in a pot


Cactus in water growing roots

Cactus growing roots

Cactus in pot


spider plant in pot


pothos growing roots in glass with water

Pothos growing roots

Pothos plant in a brown pot


Pilea Plant


Be a Pothos Hero!

Short video about Pothos care!
University of Vermont Extension Service