Brick and Mortar Creative | HOW TO INDOOR PLANTS BLOG
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HOW TO INDOOR PLANTS BLOG

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‘HOW TO’ KEEP YOUR HOUSE PLANTS HAPPY

HOUSE PLANTS 101 BY EMMA NORTHEY

 

First lets look at the basics of what plants crave (plants are people too) –
Light, Water, Air  (and a bit of Food.)
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Light: Position your plants no further than two meters away from natural light. Light is fundamental for plant growth and happiness (they convert light into food).  Larger plants and trees usually like more light as do variegated, coloured foliage plants and large leaf plants. It’s helpful to imagine your tropical/sub tropical house plants in their natural habitat of a forest or a jungle … in their natural setting trees will be receiving lots of light, whilst climbers are searching for light, and smaller plants have dappled indirect light.
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Water & Air: As a general rule you should water your plants when the soil begins to dry out. Which means either the top of the soil is dry (the top 10cm is dry for a 20-40cm pot and top 5cm for a 10-15cm pot), or check the bottom drainage holes to see if they’re dry. I find my house plants need watering about every 6 to 10 days in warm weather and less in winter. Take the plant outside undercover or use the bath to thoroughly rinse the soil through, with cool water (not freezing or hot water.) Sub tropical and tropical plants benefit from regular misting between watering to increase humidity and to keep the foliage clean. Plants respire/breathe though the leaves, stems and roots, so keep them free of dust!
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Food: Fertiliser can be beneficial during Spring, Summer and Autumn to maintain lush growth, and I like to apply a slow release fertiliser stick with the occasional foliage feed to keep everyone happy.
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Common issues include brown leaves or yellow leaves which indicates incorrect watering. Either your plant is too wet or dries out too much, Or maybe it is too dark, perhaps there is a heater /cooler blowing on it?
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Common Bugs – Mealy bug is a white fluffy insect that slowly sucks the plant’s stem or leaves. Scale looks like small shiny lumps, brownish colour that are usually stuck to the stem which they suck on. You should squash these and wash them off the foliage – however the insects are often buried in the soil and are difficult to remove so may need an eco chemical treatment. While you’re treating them, make sure you isolate the plant so it does not spread.
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Favourite house plants: I love the following house plants as they are resilient and easy to grow…ZZ Gem, Sansevieria Snake Plants, Chlorophytum Spider plants, Draceana sp, Philodendron sp, Pothos Devils Ivy, Agave and Peperomia sp.