Indoor plant care basics
Most house plant problems occur because they are accidently overlooked and neglected by the owner. This can easily be avoided with a little care and attention.
Initial plant care
Indoor plants are popular these days and are often given as gifts over the Christmas and New Year holiday period. This new indoor plant is often is often placed in a corner of the room to provide a leafy green or brightly coloured flowery feature. These plants are often left there or perhaps forgotten about, often only receiving an occasional dose of water to keep it growing.
Watering Indoor Plants
Under-watering of plants can be a major problem, if these plants are not watered for long periods of time especially in environments where there is no set routine for watering. Watering can become spasmodic which will affect the health and growth rate of the indoor plant. A regular watering programme is advisable. Wilting leaves is one of the first signs that a plant is under stress from lack of water. This is followed by shrivelling and browning of foliage. All indoor plants, even succulents, need occasional watering. Large leafy green plants such as yuccas and fatsias are thirsty and dry out quickly so be sure to check the original instructions on the plant for advice on watering.
Over watering of indoor plants is very common and can be more damaging to potted plants and more difficult to correct. Plants do not like to stand in water, nor for their roots to be soaking wet. Plants suffering from over watering will have limp, dull leaves and those leaves are often drained of colour. Plants which have been overwatered will often look, to the untrained eye that they are suffering from lack of water !
When watering house plants, water directly into the compost and avoid watering onto the plant itself. If possible, drain the plant after watering so that any excess water can drain away. If not, water the plant slowly so that the saucer beneath doesn't become full of water - or worse, stay full of water. Few plants thrive in water-logged conditions and roots can easily rot.
General House Plant Care
Pick off dead flowers as well as decaying or dead foliage promptly, to discourage spread of mould or other disease on the house plant.
Like any ornament or stationary object in a house, dust can gather on a houseplant and this not only affects the look of a plant, but also impacts on its health. Leaves fail to 'breathe' properly and plants become vulnerable to pests and diseases. To alleviate this, regularly wipe foliage on both sides with a damp cloth to remove dust particles, and improve the look of the leaves as well.
Dry atmosphere from central heating affects the health and vigour of houseplants, so regular misting with a water spray is vital. Humidifying the room atmosphere by leaving open bowls of water near radiators is helpful to houseplants as well as humans.
Fluctuating temperatures from warm rooms in the day followed by cold nights can damage plants. Windowsill plants are those at most risk so make sure that the plant is on the inside of curtain or blind and not between the curtain and window; no plants like to sit in a draught.
Does a house plant require light?
Ensure you place your indoor plant in an area with adequate natural light. Most plants need light to thrive and will struggle if placed in a dark corner of the room. However, a plant that does not like direct light, but is left on a sunny windowsill, will suffer too. To some degree, all houseplants need light in order to thrive but some relish direct light whilst others prefer to be in good, but indirect, light. Knowing what the plant's light requirements are is a necessity and occasionally rotating the plant will keep growth healthy and even on all sides as well as helping to prevent the yellowing of foliage.
Feeding an indoor plant
Foliage house plants and those budding up or in flower, such as orchids will need regular feeding. Storing an appropriate houseplant feed by the watering can will act as a reminder to do this. The Baby Bio family has been designed specifically for this so explore the range to find the feed that suits your need.