Getting Started with Household Plants
If you’ve been thinking of bringing a little green to your life indoors, houseplants are an ideal way to brighten up just about any room in your home. Don’t forget to buy a nice pot for your plant too! And remember, keeping plants happy often comes down to intuition. Gardening is, after all, a combination of education and experience.
Shopping for plants
A large majority of houseplants originate from tropical or sub-tropical climates, and will thrive indoors with a little sunlight. Understanding their origins will provide a safe basis for acclimatising them to your home. Look for plants with strong leaves that are not turning yellow at the edges (unless they are meant to. Make sure the roots are not coming out of the container, which is sign that the plant has stayed in the pot for too long.
Keeping them happy
Every plant has different sunlight needs, but in general, the more sunlight a plant receives, the more water it will need. Keep an eye on how houseplants with lots of exposure of sunlight are doing regularly, especially when it gets hot. Keep plants away from draft spots, air conditioners and central heating systems. Too little sunlight can lead to plant leaves turning a pale yellow, a condition known as chlorosis. Yellowing can also be a sign of nutrient deficiency, pests, over or under watering, or a result of dusty leaves. Have a look at the vases and pots we have available here.
When replanting into a new container from the one the plant came in, it is best if the new pot allows water to drain out. Ideally, containers should be of a similar size as the one the plant was bought in, as this avoids using too much soil and overwatering later on. Material-wise, moisture-saving containers made of terracotta, resin, and fibreglass are a safe choice and can be easily matched to glazed saucers or bottom dishes. Plants that need dry roots such as succulents and herbs should be potted in self-draining containers, while plants that prefer wet roots, like ferns, will do better in closed pots.
Overwatering is the most common cause of plant death. There is no hard and fast rule about how much water a plant requires and how often, but one way to understand a plant’s needs is to find out about its origins. When watering, the best way is to do so until water leaks out from the bottom of the pot. For plants in self-draining containers, it is a good idea to check the saucer after a day to see if any water is left over to dispose. An easy way to find out whether a plant needs more water is to lift it: a drier plant will be lighter, whereas a wet one will be heavier. When going away, place plastic bottles filled with water upside down into the soil so water can slowly leak into the earth, or ask a good friend to help out with watering.
Wondering what plants are best for your home? Check out our list of perfect houseplants here.