Very few can resist a living room adorned with well-tended houseplants. They beautify the environment by adding a touch of nature in the room. Indoor plants also purify the air and add color to bland space making it hospitable. It underscores your efforts towards making your home a beautiful place to live in.
There is a wide variety of houseplants you can choose from, and each of them varies concerning care requirements. Each plant you pick will demand a certain amount of attention and care to thrive. This means that the amount of sunlight, humidity, fertilizer, watering, and trimming is different for each.
However, one thing is shared among all of them, and it is the fact that a certain amount of effort is necessary to keep them looking healthy, luscious and radiant.
What you should know First about Houseplants
One thing you should keep in mind is that houseplants are also plants that once grew in the wild. They are adapted for particular environments, and so the best care you can provide for them is the one that almost replicates their natural habitat.
Always chose a houseplant that does well in your particular area. In other words, your choice of a plant should fit for the area in which you live. If your area is typically cold then having certain indoor plants whose natural environment is hot, and dry, will make your days be characterized by a significant amount of head scratching trying to figure out what you are doing wrong.
Don’t go for a houseplant that is beyond your expertise. As a matter of fact, some plants are needy while others are not so much. Don’t go for the needy types if you are just a novice or the office-busy type. For example, ferns are some of the best indoor plants that add a particular appeal to your home. However, they have a reputation for being fussy and demanding.
Check the demands of each plant and weigh your ability to take care of them. You will agree that it’s incredibly embarrassing to have a plant dry out – it will shine a bad light on you, uncaring and disorganized maybe?
Choosing the right Houseplants
Among the various houseplants, you can choose from including the air purifying varieties. Some studies indicate certain plants filter a significant amount of household pollutants. The weeping fig and rubber plant belong to this category.
Other beneficial varieties include the beautiful peace lilies, African Violets and Persian Violets that have the capability to filter toxins such as benzene. These types have both the filtering capability and fragrance – your guests will be in love with your living room. Chrysanthemum is also perfect for this air purifying role.
If you are the kind of person that loves indoor plants but don’t have the time to look after them, then you can choose the low maintenance varieties – those that are pretty easy to keep alive. For example, Philodendrons can persevere low lighting and infrequent watering. Ponytail palms are another hardy variety that will also add a particular kind of appeal to your living room.
- Watering: this may seem like the most natural thing to do, but nothing can be further from the truth. Actually, watering is responsible for killing more plants than any other factor. As a rule of the thumb, plants that are luscious and have more foliage require more water than other species. The succulents are some of the hardest to kill, but they cannot take overwatering.The kind of material you use to pot the plants also plays a considerable role in determining the watering frequency. Clay pots will require more watering than the plastic ones for obvious reasons. And the bigger the container, the more, the more water it may need. Basically, you should make sure to feel for moistness in the soil before anything.
- Propagation: some plants are quite easy to propagate while others are not so much. Some types like strawberry begonia send out runners at the end, and it’s simple to root them. Others send out new shoots that you can pot, and the climbing varieties form roots where the stem comes into contact with the soil.
- Cleaning: in order to keep your plants looking great and free of diseases, it is essential to clean them from time to time. Cut any dry ends and leaves and nip the bud now and then to make it more voluminous and bushy.Remember that dead parts and yellowing leaves can easily attract pests and diseases – definitely, that is not what you want.Dust the leaves often so that they can function well – they breathe better, and take in light well. You can also clean them with a gentle spray for a beautiful looking foliage.
- Repotting: various factors will inform you when it is time to repot. For example, when the roots start to circle the container or when you see them getting off the drainage holes at the bottom, then it is time they move houses.You can move the plant to a slightly larger pot that will accommodate the new size. If you want to use the same pot, then you can trim the overgrown roots, wash the pot and put in a new medium or soil. Don’t also forget to clean the roots to stimulate new growth.This is usually the best time to start other new plants in different pots by dividing the stems. Summer and spring are the best times of the year for repotting.
- Feeding: even though each houseplant has its own fertilizer needs, the most common requirement is to fertilize at least once a week. During the winter months, reduce the frequency to less than once a month. Resist the temptation to overfeed the plants as that may lead to choking.Keep in mind that there are different varieties of fertilizer, but the best for indoor plants is the balanced one – the one with an equal measure of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium in the mix.
- Lighting: this care factor varies across different houseplants with some requiring more light than the others. For example, succulents are entirely in love with more bright rooms.Others like Zee Zee can handle low to bright lights pretty well – they are the hardy type, aren’t they? Yukka is a bit proud and requires a partially shaded light so that it can show its green colors pretty well. Always remember that all plants require light so that they can thrive. Also keep in mind that at times you may need to consider a growth light if you’re gardening indoors.