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A Helpful Trick to Provide More Air to Your Indoor Plants

Plants need air like we do. There is a respiration process through their leaves and even branches and stems, but so much action is going on beneath the soil! Aerating your indoor plants is important for the root health. No matter what type of container your indoor plant is in, the easiest way to aerate it involves a chop stick! (well, you can use a pencil, or even a small screwdriver, but I like to keep a couple of chopsticks near my windowsill loaded with plants.)

Take it, poke a few holes around different parts of the container. Don’t get too close to the base of the plant, or stems that are emerging, such as you might see on your Snake Plants. Don’t worry if you feel like you are going to hit a root straight on. Remember, in the container, roots might hit the edge of the container and they steer a different direction. In nature, roots might hit a rock, and veer off in a different direction. If you hit a root, there are plenty of others near by that will take over, and your poke with a chopstick won’t sever the root’s tip, anyway.

How deep should you go with each hole? I’d say “you’ll know” but that takes some experience to feel for yourself as you start doing this regularly. Generally, look at the size of the container, and go from there. About an inch deep, for a pot that’s 6” across. This also depends on the ways the plant is growing – is it one stem or a cluster? Give it a try, watch the results, and the only thing to consider is to avoid being right up against the stem(s).

These holes will loosen the soil, and make way not only for air to circulate but for water to enter deeper in those holes and reach the roots in different ways, creating different pathways as the holes close up.

How often do you need to do this? I recommend every few months, punctuating your indoor plant care such as dusting off the leaves, or in between cycles of plant foods you may be using.

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