It's amazing how a humble plant in a pot can really add some extra energy, focus and colour to a room. Picking the right plant is as important as picking the right pot. adding another decision to be made, terracotta, glass, ceramic, coloured, neutral, modern, traditional, recycled the list goes on! But once the plant and pot have been nicely paired there is another challenge. How do I keep it alive!? Here are some things to think about when looking after your houseplants.
Light levels - plants can be a bit fussy with light levels, some don't like to be placed in direct sunlight while others will thrive in it. Flowering plants for example, as a general rule of thumb, need a small amount of direct sunlight, leafy dark green plants need very little whereas cacti and succulents love to be situated in lots of light.
Food - like us, plants need food only plants get theirs from the soil. If your plant has pale leaves, slow growth and the lower leaves are dropping off it may need a feed. There are many house plant fertilisers available, orchids for example have feeds specific for them which will help pep them up and make them look more robust and healthy in a matter of weeks. It might be worth considering a feed if you plants are looking a little lethargic.
Location - it's important to place the plants away from areas which fluctuate in temperature quite frequently, by a radiator for example or by a frosty window. Many plants aren't happy chappies with swings in temperature. Don't move your plants around too much they can be slow to acclimatise and don't like to reacquaint themselves with a new location too often.
Humidity- although it keeps us nice and toasty over the winter, it can dry the air out and reduce the humidity in the house. It might be worth misting some plants, ferns on particular like misting (see our lovely little plant misters on our website). Bathrooms are a great place to provide more humidity for plants. Grouping plants together also helps increase humidity.
Watering - this is one of the most common causes of houseplants dying.
Over watering or under watering can damage the plant's roots preventing the plant from functioning properly.
If mould starts to form on the surface of the soil its been overwatered.
Water the plant before the soil becomes cracked or lighter in colour.
Empty any standing water out that your plant may be sitting in.
Stick your finger into the soil to gauge if its damp or not, this is a good indication as to whether you need to water your plant.
Signs of dehydration include slow growth and brown and dried leaf edges and lower leaves becoming yellow and curled.
Remember to keep the soil moist not wet!
Use water that is at room temperature to water your plants, too hot and it can cause shock and damage the plant and too cold it can cause dormancy in the plant.
Cacti need a period of dry soil so be careful about overwatering.
We hope these few pointers have given you a few things to think about when caring for your houseplants! For lots more plant inspiration, tips and ideas pop in and see us and our lovely plants and pots in our workshop www.podandpip.co.uk