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EDWARDSVILLE - Are your houseplants withering in the winter? Andy Klos with Joe’s Market Basket has some tips to keep your plants perky all year long.

Klos noted that “the houseplant industry has really taken off” following the COVID-19 pandemic, with more people purchasing houseplants to keep inside their homes. But many novice gardeners are still developing their green thumb, so he has advice to make caring for your houseplants easier.

“I want to say right or wrong, a lot of people want to, we always say, give too much love to their houseplants. Houseplants don’t need your daily attention,” Klos said. “You can still talk to them every day, but maybe just let them do their thing.”

This is the most common issue Klos sees. He encourages people to start with less “finicky” houseplants, like peace lilies or snake plants, and to do some research before they choose which plant to bring home.

Every plant has different watering and shade requirements, so it helps to know where you want to place the plant in your home so you can decide whether to get a plant that requires more sunlight, more shade, or a combination of both.

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“Obviously, we have a great staff here who can help pick out the right houseplant for the right spot in your house. But really, sunny spots do matter. Some houseplants like a little bit more darker corners, some need the full sun,” he explained. “Knowing your spot and what kind of sun you get is very important in choosing a houseplant.”

When a plant is in your home, it’s likely that the plant will collect some dust. While this is completely normal, Klos tells people to make sure they keep their plants dust-free. Dust disrupts the amount of sunlight that a plant can receive, and it can also affect the oxygen that your plant produces.

“Think of a houseplant like an air filter you put in your furnace,” Klos said. “That’s exactly what a houseplant is doing. It’s filtering your air. So when that dust appears on the leaves, you need to wipe that off so it can keep the dust out of the air and also help its growth. So it’s very important to keep those leaves wiped down.”

You can keep your plant dust-free by gently wiping off the leaves with a wet cloth or Leaf Shine, a product that Joe’s Market Basket sells for this exact reason.

Klos has other tips for making sure your plants are up to par. At Joe’s Market Basket, they often do the “finger test,” where you dip a finger into the soil of your plant to check if it needs to be watered. If the first few inches of soil are dry, it’s time to water. Klos also recommends smaller pots for houseplants because they tend to do better with tighter roots, and he noted that pruning should be done carefully. You should never cut the “leader branch,” which is the middle branch that keeps the plant growing vertically.

You can find more advice for houseplants online, or you can always stop by Joe’s Market Basket to get help from one of their staff members. The store is in the process of bringing in their spring plants, but Klos said there are still plenty of great plants at the store that you can keep in your home all year long.

“Even though it’s cold and not very nice outside, there’s still plenty you can do inside your homes before spring,” he added. “This is a great time to start.”

For more information or to see Joe’s Market Basket’s full array of plants, visit

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