Botanical | Caring for your house plants…

Confession. I used to be really green fingered, but these past few years my ability of keeping plants alive has dwindled.  I think lack of time and focus has led to some of my favourite house plants dying.  I’m not happy about it.

Not only is it an expensive exercise, buying house plants and then replacing them once they die.  But it also makes me upset that I’ve let them die.  So in an attempt to be a better gardener, I’ve set out some guidelines on how to look after house plants better….

Summer is notoriously a difficult time to keep house plants alive.  The heat, direct sunlight, lack of water or over watering – going on holiday and leaving them – these can all add to plants shrivelling and dying.

So if you are interested in being a better plant Mama, then read on…

research

When buying your houseplant, do a little bit of research.  I have the brilliant House of Plants book by RoCo – who have cleverly set out ways to care for house plants. Whether it is a leafy fig or an air plant – the book is packed full of tips.  If you can’t get your hand on a good book, then search the internet for tips.

Location

Chose a plant species that fits your space.  Not only think about the size of plant, but consider if your room is north facing and dark or south facing and bright.  Choose the right plant for the right place.

Simple care

  1. Keep your plant in one place. I.e. don’t keep moving it around the house to suit your decorating style.  Plants can become quite sensitive to light changes.  Once you’ve found a spot it likes, leave it.
  2. Rotate the plant every now and then, so that it grows evenly and doesn’t get ‘leggy’ reaching for the sun.
  3. Prune dead leaves to allow the plant to regrow healthy leaves.
  4. Invest in a plant mister, to keep your plants moist & healthy between watering.  Most house plants are from the tropics where there is a natural high humidity.  Misty helps to replicate this.
  5. Make sure your pot has good drainage, so to avoid soggy roots which could lead to rot. I like pots that have a little tray to catch the excess water.  See my pot selection below.
  6. Feed your plant once a month with a liquid feed.  Compost has a limited food lifespan, so unless you want to continually pot them on into a bigger pot, then add some feed to your watering schedule will see them glossy and happy.

Problem Solving

  • Pay attention – browning of the leaves or a droopy stems – are all signs your plant needs a little care and attention. For me one of my most common problems is over watering.  Or one of us has watered a plant, and then Dan or I waters it again.
  • Repotting – if your plant looks like its outgrowing its pot, think about transplanting it to a bigger one.   It need not be a difficult thing to do.  Just hold you plant upside down by the base of the stem, gently remove the pot. then tease the roots away from the ball to loosen the roots so it can take root and spread out in the new pot. Put fresh compost into the large pot, pop your plant in, firm it in well. Then water.

Plants give a home a natural, lived in appeal.  It prevents the space from becoming too stale and freshens air quality.  Plus plants can bring out our nurturing side, there is nothing like talking or singing to plants – yes I am bonkers!

Take a look at my Plant Life Pinterest Board for inspiration on ways to add greenery to your home.  Why not purchase a beautiful planter or pot, take a walk to your local plant shop or garden centre and really get creative with your home.


Shop for your house plants:


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Images:  Via Ferm Living.

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