How to keep your indoor plants healthy?
In Spring there is an exciting phenomenon occurring in our little Newtown shop… many customers don’t see the budding new growth on our plants, the shop literally starts growing like a scene out of Jumanji.
These are some important steps that one must take to ensure that your Indoor Plants are happy and thriving and giving you lots of new growth in the warmer spring and summer months:
The most significant factor in terms of Indoor Plant selection is the location in which you are planning to place your plant. And more so, the amount of natural light throughout the day that this location will receive. Have you considered your bearings? In particular, where North is?
Over the harsh summer months, we have to be mindful of the sun exposure our plants are receiving. Much like human skin, our plants also can perish and burn in positions with high sun exposure. Due to the sun moving from its position during Winter, many indoor plants parents overlook this and consequently have unhappy, dry, burnt plants. Yes plants require some light to aid the photosynthesis process, however many of your favourites have differing requirements.
“It is important to purchase the right plant for the location, rather than trying to find the right location for a plant!”
A good example is the light requirements of the Fiddle Leaf fig vs. the Maiden Hair fern. Both species thrive on humidity, however the Fiddle Leaf fig prefers an abundance of filtered natural light throughout the day, where as the maiden hair fern enjoys minimal natural light.
When you have purchased your new plant, you need to think of it much like a ‘teenage child.’ Plants are hardy, but they need to be fed and watered in order to grow. Its logic, but you would be surprised at how many customers have completely overlooked this necessary part of plant parenting.
Indoor plants have a limited soil supply in which they can absorb their nutrients, once this food source has run out… the plant will show signs of reduced growth and occasionally changes in leave colouring dependant on species and soil type…. They become ‘hangry!’ Vigorous growers such as the Rubber Plant are hungry plants!
There are many ‘plant food’ concoctions that people swear by from coffee grounds to the water you use to boil vegetables (cooled of course), to ‘Worm Juice’ to Banana peels. We simply recommend either a slow release fertiliser that is suitable for Indoor Plants, or we stock a power feed product, The Plant Runner Indoor Plant liquid feed.
Remember… there is no such thing as Obesity in the plant world! Feed, feed, feed and they will grow, grow, grow!
Marginally increase the frequency in which you water your plants, in Victoria we have hot and dry summers. Indoor plants commonly originate from tropical regions, where the temperature is hot, but the heightened humidity allows the plants to continue to remain hydrated through the moisture in the air. Much like humans, the dry summer weather can dry out a plants ‘skin’ resulting in a dehydrated plant. Tip: use a mist spray bottle as an excellent tool to increase the ‘humidity’ in the air around your plant allowing its leaves to absorb the water.
Incorrect watering is potentially the most common cause of poor plant health, we absolutely love our Mr Kitly Self Watering Pot range which is not only fantastic for plants that require more frequent watering such our Fern Species, but also our species more inclined to experience root rot such as the String of Pearls. For many of us, there is something to be said for being able to physically ‘see’ how much water your plant is consuming.
As a child, do you recall that feeling when you had grown out of your school shoes? Your toes squashed into the ends of your shoes?
Now that you are feeding your plant, and ensuring it is hydrated… have you considered that perhaps it might be growing too big for its pot? The final key component of plant parenting, is ‘re-potting’, and this concept strikes fear into many of our customers who are not self-proclaimed ‘green thumbs!’
Firstly, ensure that you select a new pot that has growing room. A pot that is 2cm in diameter more than the current pot… is probably not a wise option… unless you are happy to repot again in 3-6 months! Look for a pot that is at least 1/3 wider than your existing one.
Ensure you use a premium quality potting mix that is specifically suited to Indoor/potted plants, the key is in the quality of the soil. We stock small bags of a ‘Pot Power’ soil mix which we also use in all our plant fit outs.
By caring for your plants, they will care for you in return by purifying the air and boosting your mental health.
Bring the outdoors, indoors… don’t overthink it!