Don’t know where to start when it comes to choosing healthy and beautiful houseplants?
You might have this notion that you’re not cut out with growing plants because of your ugly experience with plants in the past. Well, the truth is that some plants are harder to care for and require lots of attention than others and can be more challenging to care for such plants.
If you want to enhance your home with healthy and attractive plants and still stick to plants that are low maintenance, here is what you need to know. In this article, I will walk you through everything you need to know to care for your indoor plants to help you grow and nurture various houseplants successfully, I promise.
Today, I will share with you the following:
- How to shop for houseplants
- Caring for houseplants
- Potting soil for houseplants
- Best houseplants with low maintenance
How to shop for houseplants?
A garden centre is often the best place to buy indoor plants: plants are provided with excellent growing conditions, and are usually well-looked after by their knowledgeable staff.
The care tag attached to plants also give reasonably information on required light, water, temperature, fertilizer, and growth rate or patterns.
Whereas, in ordinary shops or stores, the quality of plants sold vary greatly. In some cases, the plant might start to show signs of neglect few weeks after you must have brought them home.
What to check when buying houseplants?
Where should I position my houseplants?
Indoor plants can complement your chosen decor to create a different style of effects in your living rooms.
If you want to get the best from your plants it is essential to know the amount of light your plants need before deciding the best spot to position them.
Note: The care tag attached to plants at the store will give you some information on required light.
You can display your plants’ places with bright lights on windowsill, verandas, and balconies. You can as well display them in the bathtub, kitchen and bedroom provided they get adequate light.
Caring for houseplants
The state of leaves can determine if your plant is getting the right amount of light or not. Dark green leaves show your plant is not getting sufficient light.
Yellowish green to red leaves show your plant is getting too much light. Bright green leaves show your plant is getting sufficient light.
Houseplants flourish best when placed in bright light, shaded from direct sunlight. You can position them on windowsill, verandas or balconies where they get few hours of morning.
A rise and fall in the amount of day and night temperature is essential for houseplants like orchids to bloom. Sit your plant wshere they can get a steady level of warm temperature of about 65°F to 75°F during the day with a drop in the night temperature to about 55°F to 60°F all year round.
Over-watering is the cause of death of most houseplants. When watering, ensure pots have holes for effective drainage; give them a good soak when watering rather than little at a time.
Water when compost or potting soil is loose and feels dry. In some plants, short period of dryness improves foliage effects, foliage coloration and growth pattern like the hens and chick plants.
If your plant is sitting in a tray, discard excess water after about 20 minutes and if no tray nothing much to worry about just water well.
Apply liquid fertilizer at half strength once every month during the active growth period (follow feeding instructions on how to apply). Some plants like snake plants or sansevieria need no feeding if the potting soil is good enough.
Potting soil for houseplants
Choose a good quality potting mix that is well-draining. You can choose either loam-based compost or peat-based compost.
How to prepare a loam-based compost?
Use loam as the main ingredient. Add little coarse sand or perlite and peat to improve the soil structure, then work in organic compost or fertilizer to supplement the nutrients in the loam.
How to prepare a peat based compost?
Use peat as the main ingredient. Add a little coarse sand or perlite, then work-in organic compost or fertilizer to supplement the nutrients in the peat.
Loam based compost Vs. Peat based compost
Loam-based compost has weight, and good for re-potting large plants, and provides stability to pot.
While peat-based compost is light, pleasant to handle, but requires careful watering to avoid overwatering.
Note: More watering and feeding is necessary for peat compost than loam compost. However, both composts are good for potting indoor plants. It all depends on what’s best suited for you.
Your plant will only be as good as the compost or potting mix they grow in.
How to pot houseplants?
Whether you are potting or repotting your plant, prepare a new pot that is one size larger than the original pot. Cover the drainage with pieces of bark or styrofoam for good drainage. To remove the plant easily from its original pot, invert the pot and tap the rim on a hard surface.
Once the plant is out, look at the root ball. If the roots are densely bound in a pattern, having the shape of the pot, break up the pattern to loosen the roots and trim off dead or damaged roots with a sterilized sharp knife or scissors.
Put a little amount of potting mix inside the new pot to about an inch or two inches high, and slightly firm with your fingers. Set the plant so that the root-ball sits properly and erect, then work in compost around the sides, turning the pots and forcing the compost down.
Once done, gently firm the compost with your fingers. Leave about 2 inches of space between the compost level and the rim of the pot to accommodate watering and future feeding or topdressing.
How to repot houseplants?
Never be too much in a hurry to transplant houseplant. Repot to a larger pot, when you see plenty of roots shooting out from the base of the pot, or when the pot is packed with a mass of roots so that little soil is visible.
These signs mentioned above will tell you it’s time to repot your plants.
Note: Established plants can be left for 2 years while topdressing with the fresh mixture every 4 to 6 months.
What to do after potting your plants?
After potting, water lightly without completely soaking the soil, move the newly potted plant to a partially shaded area.
Allow settling for one day, then reposition to a good spot where they can get adequate light before you resume moderate watering.
You might have observed in the past that some of your plants are dying after repotting. You need to know that some plants have delicate roots.
As a beginner, you have to ensure that the roots are not disturbed during the potting or repotting process to avoid your plant suffering or dying. If you follow the above guide on how to pot houseplants I don’t think you have to worry about your plants dying.More indoor gardening tips to play with as you watch the below video.
Houseplants with low maintenance
Curious to enhance your home with some of the best indoor plants with low maintenance? The following are top 10 indoor plants with low maintenance in no order of priority:
Benefits of having houseplants
Healthy, flourishing houseplants don’t just create a decorative effect in our homes (bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, cubicles and balconies) -amazingly, plants can offer strong health benefits as well and make us feel good.
Studies have shown that indoor plants keep us healthier and happier, offering both psychological and physical health benefits.