27 Jan Caring for Indoor Plants
There are just a few simple rules to help keep your indoor plants healthy within your home or office.
It might sound funny but most indoor plants are killed by over-watering rather than under-watering. There is a tendency to love your indoor plants to death by either watering too frequently or by leaving collection trays/saucers of water below them. Most indoor plants will prefer you to let their potting mix dry between waterings, rather than being kept constantly moist.
Some indoor plants with sensitive foliage or flowers (eg. African Violets, Begonias) resent water on their flowers and foliage so water either directly into their pots or stand them in water in a bucket till their potting mix has re-hydrated
When it comes to exact lighting requirements it will depend on the plant variety. Some plant varieties do well in low-light situations, even without any natural light at all (See Top Indoor Plants) Your best guide will be the horticulturist at your local garden centre who will be able to steer you towards the best plant for your particular position.
Avoid placing your indoor plant up against glass windows and doors. The temperature fluctuates greatly in these positions from very cold over-night, to roasting hot during the heat of day.
When it comes to feeding indoor plants the motto is ‘a little often’. To achieve this a controlled release fertiliser such as Osmocote can be ideal as it will provide constant nutrients over several months. If you are looking to promote flowering you may look to a flower promoting liquid fertiliser such as Phostrogen, or Thrive Flower & Fruit. Try to avoid any fish emulsions and other organic-based fertilisers due to their tendency to smell – not an admirable trait in indoor plants!
Like most items in your home your indoor plants will collect dust. A periodical wipe over of the leaves will keep this under control. Alternatively you can put them out on rainy days to both water them and wash-off their foliage. Be sure to bring them in before the weather clears as direct sunlight will quickly burn them!