Houseplants are proving to be very popular at the moment. Lockdown has encouraged swathes of new plant lovers and lots of first-timer growers to invest in houseplants and it’s easy to see why. There are so many benefits to growing houseplants, they bring greenery and life into the house, and they can make you feel good – giving off oxygen.
Our friends at Pots & Trowels have created a useful video based on the growth in interest of houseplants over the last few months. Martin Fish talks through tips and advice to keep your houseplants happy, plus he explores some of the houseplants dos and don’ts to ensure the longevity of your plants.
Even if you’ve grown houseplants for years, it can be easy to forget them as you dash out of the house for your summer holiday. To find out more about the best way to look after your plants, read on or watch the video below.
Where to start with houseplants
Buying smaller houseplants can be a great place to start. Apart from them being slightly cheaper, you can also nurture them from a small plant into a large specimen, or even multiple plants. It’s very satisfying to watch them thrive.
Ferns can be a wonderful houseplant to get you started. Most of these type of foliage plants originate from tropical rain forests, meaning they like shade and humid temperatures – which is why they make great house plants!
The secret is to ensure you don’t store your plants somewhere too bright. Although they do need light, they can’t cope with too much. Look for a light position, such as a windowsill, just not south facing. It would be too hot and the light would be too intense.
How do you look after houseplants?
Whilst looking after houseplants can seem overwhelming at first, the main thing to remember is they just need water and they need feed. All you need to do is provide both in the right proportions.
It’s important to feed your plants on a regular basis. Little and often is best. There are all sorts of fertilisers you can use; these are usually added to water. Once a fortnight is frequent enough to feed your houseplants. You can also buy a diluted liquid feeder that can be pushed down into the compost, and it will drip into the soil over a few weeks. This can be useful if you are heading on a longer holiday away from the home. Feed your houseplants from March through to the end of September and they will look good all through winter.
If you’ve found the tips of your plant have gone brown, it could be because the environment is too warm and too dry. Occasionally misting your houseplants can help to keep them humid, clean, and healthy.
Watering houseplants can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Simply remember that you need to keep the compost moist, but not soaking. Don’t over water! If the compost gets too wet, you can rot the roots of your plant. It’s good to almost let your plants dry up before you water them, less water is better than too much water. Feel the compost first, if it’s dry – water. If not, leave it for a few days.
With smaller plants, grow them on saucers or on a tray with gravel in the base. Then water them from above with a watering can as it can help prevent over-watering.
How much water is too much water?
If you are struggling with watering – as lots of people do – it might be worth considering a self-watering pot, such as the Darlac Waterme Pot. It comes as a two-part kit; you’ll find an outer pot and an inner pot.
The inner pot has slits in the base where water can escape. This inner pot rests within the outer pot to ensure the plant roots aren’t sitting in water. The best part about this pot is that on the front you’ll see a water indicator. When you fill your pot with water, the indicator will turn blue and you’ll know your plant has enough water.
These pots are a great solution if you are going away for a few days, as it will water the plant gradually and most importantly ensure those roots aren’t sitting in water.
When should you repot your houseplants?
A good time to repot your house plant is when they are growing (often in the summer), as it will encourage even more growth.
- When re-potting, the first stage is to pull the plant from its existing pot. You’ll see all the roots of the plant.
- You can pull away some of these roots, with part of the plant attached, and then pot these up into smaller pots. Eventually they will grow and clump out into a specimen plant.
- The next stage of re-potting is to get a pot slightly bigger than your original pot.
- Then, add a layer of compost to the base of your new pot before adding the plant.
- Make sure the plant has been watered before you plant it.
- After the plant is in place, carefully fill the rest of the pot with compost. It’s important there are no air pockets, so firm down the compost as you go, ensuring the compost is about an inch below the top of the pot.
- Finally, give your plant a good drink.
- Re-potting in summer will mean your plant will grow over the warmer months and it will create a strong root system ready for winter.
Have fun with re-potting your plants and watch them grow! You can purchase plants and seeds from our wonderful friends – Mr Fothergill’s. Why not try some new houseplants and add some colour and life to your home?
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