Sunday, 20 October 2013

Tips for Looking After Your Houseplants

Whether you have them as a complement to your garden or simply enjoy having them in your home as an alternative, houseplants bring joy to many people around the world. However, they have a different set of demands to those that grow outside, but these are generally easy to deal with.
Source: flickr.com

Where to Grow Them
You know that garden plants grow best when they are given plenty of sunlight, and houseplants are the same. Therefore, it is best to grow them close to a window, or at least a part of the room where they are going to enjoy lots of sunlight. Plants tend to prefer being in sheltered locations, so if you do have them near the window, ensure you aren’t going to have it open too much or are exposing your plants to too much of a breeze if they are.
Ultimately, where you place your plants will be dependent on the plant itself. Some need more sunlight when they are flowering, while others need very little light in comparison to others. It is definitely worth researching plants before buying. If you want to buy plants but you live in a reasonably dark house, choosing one that needs lots of sunlight probably isn’t the best idea.
What about looking after them?
Watering
This is important to get right, as the majority of houseplants dies because they are given too much water. The best way to look after your plants’ watering needs is to ensure the soil or compost is moist when you water it, but then wait until it is almost completely dry before watering again. If your houseplants need water before this point, you will be able to tell.
If you are going on holiday, then most plants can survive for two weeks without water, although depending on how much they rely on sunlight you might need to place some of them strategically around the home. Just remember to provide a good watering before you go and as soon as you return!
Feeding
Water is usually enough for plants to thrive indoors. However, when you buy them, ask at the garden centre whether a monthly helping of plant feed or a particular type of compost is known to be effective for boosting growth.
Pruning and Pests
If there are any leaves on your houseplant that are dying, remove them at the earliest opportunity, as they still might be taking water and nutrients from the soil, both of which can be used far more effectively by others. If any parts of your plant are sharp or difficult to remove, your regular garden secateurs are fine to use.
You might think the houseplants benefit of being safe from pests, but this isn’t always the case. Keep an eye on your houseplants by looking at whether they look good. If they are looking sorry for themselves but they are well fed and watered, check for bugs and white ‘fluff’ around your plants. Bugs can be brushed away by hand, while the white fluff could be meal bugs or aphids, and should be sprayed with an organic pesticide to kill them off.
Author Bio: Jane loves her home interior, and brightened it up at the start of summer 2013 by bringing in a number of large houseplants. Her husband also gets involved around the home, and wants to buy sliding wardrobe doors for the bedroom early in the New Year.

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