Many of us have felt that fake plants were our only option because we seemed to have the “touch of death” when caring for plants. So, here are some indoor plants or gardening tip that will make you feel like a natural born gardener;
1. Plants will “reach” toward a light source, so rotate your plant occasionally to promote straight growth.
2. Pay attention to the lighting requirements for your indoor plants. If your plant isn’t getting enough light it will appear “thin and leggy” looking. You can alleviate this problem by only buying plants appropriate for the light already in your home, or by providing an additional light source (artificial lighting). Buying plants that need medium to low light are a “safe bet” for most homes. Indoor plants can be placed outside during the warm summer months.
3. Use room temperature water when watering your indoor plants. Soak thoroughly but make sure plants aren’t allowed to sit in water as this can make the roots to rot, proper drainage will alleviate this. Different plants have different watering needs.
4. Give your plants a bath! Plants need to be hosed down to rid them of dirt, dust, and grime. Your plants only need it occasionally. Place your plant in your kitchen sink or bathtub and use the spray attachment to gently rinse it off. Use lukewarm water and allow your plant to air dry before returning it to its regular location.
5. Plants improve the quality of household air but remember plants can suffer if kept in air that is always smoky, stagnate or overly dry. Open the windows and allowing fresh air to come into the house at least several times a week.
6. As with humans, most house plants do well in a daytime temperature range of 65-75 and ten degrees lower at night. Pay attention to your plant, if it isn’t looking well a change in temperature might be all it needs to get back on the right track.
7. Keep the care tag for each plant you buy. This way you will remember the name of the plant and what type of individual care it needs to stay healthy.
8. Your indoor plants need to be “fed” often because vital nutrients are flushed out of the soil each time you water. You can opt to use a slow release fertilizer that is added to the soil or you can use a liquid fertilizer that is added in small amounts when you water your plant. Don’t fertilize in winter, instead, fertilize regularly during growing and flowering stages. (March-October)
If you find it hard to remember when you last fertilized, write yourself a quick reminder on your calendar for when to do it next. Your plants will tell you if you are fertilizing too much by having burned or dried leaves, fertilize less frequently if you notice this.
9. When growing plants indoors in containers, do not use soil from the garden as it does not yield good results. Outdoor soil can contain insects, weeds, and disease-causing organisms that can actually harm other healthy plants already living indoors. Additionally, outdoor soils become compacted when put into small containers. This will lead to problems with the plant’s roots and might also impede drainage.
10. We all need room to grow and plants do too! When you notice that roots are coming out of the drainage hole or seem thick and/ or matted, it is time to re-pot your plant.
When picking a container/pot for your house plants, make sure it will drain properly, many pots are sold without drainage holes! If you find one, then you need to drill a hole in the bottom of the container. Otherwise your plant will almost certainly die. Without a drainage hole, water collects in the pot and causes damage to the roots. If this isn’t an option you can double pot your plant.