Today is a horrid day here, the winds blowing and we've had some pretty heavy down pours, so it's the perfect day to do some inside gardening.
I've watered, dusted and fertilised all my indoor babies this morning, which takes me hours! Usually I put them outside and get out the hose to water and dust them (two birds, one stone), but it's far too windy to do that today, so over the kitchen sink it was.
I have quite the indoor plant collection, the ones in the picture are only about half the plants I own, not counting the plants I've got propagated 🙈. Believe it or not I used to be a houseplant serial killer, it wasn't until a friend started her collection that I thought I'd give them another go, I also done a lot of research into how to care for them.
Just like outside plants where everybody has a different growing climate and conditions, inside plants are the same, no two houses have the same warmth, humidity and light, so not one size fits all. You just need to find the right spot for the right plant and that's half your battle won!
I thought I'd share some tips I've learnt over the years, as they might help some of you 😊
- I don't plant my indoor plants directly into the pretty pot, I place the nursary pot it comes in inside a cover pot, that way I can water my plants and let the water drain completely. Most houseplants don't like sitting with 'wet feet', and are prone to root rot and potentially death if they're sitting in water for too long.
- I'm slowly changing my plants to clear pots. I can see when they need watered and what the root health is like. I was so suprised when I first watered them in the clear pots as what I would usually give them (without being able to see into the pot), was not near enough water!
- Many houseplants don't like direct sunlight, it burns their leaves but at the same time require lots of light to grow well, confusing I know! A little morning sun is OK, but harsh sunlight especially in summer is a no-no. Some variegated plants loose their variegation and 'revert' if they don't get enough light. It's all about finding that sweet spot.
- The majority of indoor plants do best in a potting mix that is more on the chunky side so the water drains well. I have always used Yates Cacti and Succulent mix, and Yates Orchid mix, mixed (about half and half).
- Dust your plants! Especially important in winter when there's not as much light, so the plant can photosynthesis easier. This is a big reason why I water my plants with the hose!
- Like outdoor plants, a good deep water is better than a shallow water (just make sure the water drains well!), so all the roots have a chance to take up water. Most plants also don't mind being on the drier side before watering, do the finger test or get to know the weight of your plant/pot to know when it's time to water again.
- Most plants hibernate during the cooler weather, so no need to fertilise then. But during spring and summer they will need fed, if using a liquid feed every month to six weeks I find is a good time frame.
- Believe it or not, most plants don't mind being a little root bound inside their pots! A pot that is too small is much better than one that's too big -again to eliminate the chances of over watering.
- A plants leaves tells a million stories, some plants will droop when they're thirsty, yellow when they need some nutrients and crisp up at the ends if they aren't getting the right humidity levels. It's important to check your plants often for bugs, like in the garden they can spread rapidly! If you do find some, isolate that plant from the rest for a few weeks and of course treat!
I hope some of my tips were helpful! I'm now off to check my outside babies 😊