Tips for healthy house plants

At BBC Gardeners’ World Live, we caught up with house plant expert Joe Bagley for his top tips on how to home happy house plants.

Plus, we’ve put together some house plant guidance from our friends at BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine to help you get the most out of your plants.


Getting the right amount of water for your plants can be crucial to their care. Be careful to not overwater your plants, as if the compost is too wet, the roots won’t be able to absorb oxygen. Make sure to check the label on your plant to find out how much to water it. If you’re not sure, try waiting for the leaves to wilt before you water – this is usually easy to remedy, while damaging the roots is not.


It’s important to feed your house plants over time as the nutrients in the soil begin to deplete. You can use liquid feed diluted in water, but be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle. Most house plants don’t need feeding more than once every one to three months.

Remove dead leaves

Cut off dead and brown leaves to avoid pests and diseases. Cut just above a leaf point of tug the leaves off gently.


Dusting your house plant helps with your plant’s ability to photosynthesise. Rub leaves with a damp cloth, but be careful to support them to prevent any tearing.

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Frequently mist the leaves of house plants to increase the humidity around them. You can also arrange potted house plants together to raise humidity.

Getting rid of house plant flies

If you’ve seen small black flies around your house plants, these might be fungus gnats, also known as sciarid flies. While they’re fairly harmless, they can be a nuisance. Water less – wait for the soil to dry out before watering again.

Use gravel mulch, grit or glass pebbles to make a layer on top of the soil to prevent the flies from laying their eggs.

Browse the gallery

At BBC Gardeners’ World Live 2022, to celebrate the BBC’s 100th anniversary, the Floral Marquee featured some fantastic floral displays inspired by popular BBC programmes. Did you see Joe Bagley and Samantha Theakstone’s Top of the Pops! inspired House of Plants? Check out the gallery below…