Houseplants can have huge benefits for health and wellbeing as well as help to create elegant focal points for the home. Adding a few plants to the bedroom décor, for example, can maintain the air quality and give you a more relaxing sleep.
Looking after plants in the home, however, can be challenging if you do not care for them in the right way. There are common mistakes that many people make and avoiding them makes a big difference to the health, look and happiness of your houseplants.
These few simple tips should help keep leaves green and shiny and flowers blooming all through the year.
Don’t Water Too Much
This is the biggest mistake that plant owners make – they think that soil needs to be kept damp all the time to prevent things from drying out. Different plants require different amounts of water, and the general rule is that those with thicker leaves need less.
Plants like cacti require very little watering. More delicate plants like the peace lily, for example, will probably want a little water every week. With both, less is more should be your mantra. It’s better to add too little water than too much. Another rule of thumb is to water from below rather than directly into the soil, something that can damage the roots if you overdo it.
Spraying the leaves every so often is also a good idea, particularly for more delicate plants – it helps prevent browning and keeps the main body of the plant in good condition.
Sunlight is Important
Plants can look great in the window but if they are exposed to direct sunlight many start to wilt, and the leaves quickly turn brown. For species apart from succulents, always position away from the harsh rays of the sun and offer a little bit of shade.
Checking for Healthy Roots
If your plant is growing well, at some point it will need repotting. This usually needs to be done once the roots have filled the pot itself and require more room. Failing to do so can mean the root system becomes damaged or can’t draw up enough water or nutrients. Check the roots every so often, cut away dead tips and put in a slightly larger pot if you feel that it needs it.
Houseplants are Individuals
A little knowledge can go a long way. If you like lots of different plants in your home, doing a bit of research online about how to care for them can make a big difference.
For example, some delicate plants don’t like to be in areas where there are draughts, or the room gets too cold during winter. Others like cacti and succulents are hardier and need little in the way of maintenance. Also, look at how often you should ‘feed’ your plants with something more than water to keep them healthy.
Moving Your Plants
While some people are sceptical, suddenly changing the environment and moving your plant can affect its health. Avoid moving your pots around the home too much and when you do, give your plant time to acclimatise.
People often think that their houseplant disasters are down to the fact that they don’t have green fingers. The truth is that anyone can care for plants if they follow these simple tips and carry out regular maintenance.