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Updated on Jan 10, 2019. Posted on Feb 2, 2018

Can You Keep This Plant Alive?

Do you actually have a green thumb?

You've been given a plant. Its beautiful, it looks great on your bedside table. It makes everything so much more Instagrammable. The picture you posted of it immediately got, like, 23 likes. You love it and you name it Linda.

Mykeyruna / Getty Images

BUT – to keep Linda alive, you need to have sufficient knowledge about houseplants and plants in general. Take the quiz below, for Linda's sake.

  1. Do plants use oxygen?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Yes, plants do use oxygen from the atmosphere, but only when there is little or no light.

  2. What makes green plants green?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Chlorophyll is what makes green plants green.

  3. What does it mean if an indoor plant's leaves turn yellow?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    It could mean the plant is overwatered, underwatered, or has a disease.

    To find out which you have to consider your watering habits and carefully inspect the plant – but not all yellowing can be fixed simply by watering the plant more, and in some instances it can do more damage by inducing root rot.

  4. What is "peat"?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Peat is a compost that is very nutritious for plants.

    It's made of decaying vegetable matter.

  5. What is the process in which plants convert light, water, and carbon dioxide into food?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    The process is called photosynthesis.

  6. Why do indoor houseplants often dry out in the winter?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Because the central heating dries out the atmosphere!

    Most indoor plants are tropical plants that thrive in warm, humid conditions. Keep them happy during the winter with a humidifier and by misting them regularly.

  7. Why should you dust plants with large, flat leaves?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    You should dust plants so they can photosynthesise properly!

    The dust can interfere with how much light the plant is able to absorb.

  8. Can plants communicate?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Yes, they can!

    Plants can communicate with one another in a variety of ways, most notably through sending airborne signals to warn of danger. For example, that lovely smell of cut grass is actually a distress signal.

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