How To Care For Your Indoor Plants
Backyard & Garden Design Ideas|Issue #18.1
Many an enthusiastic plant lover has brought home a new leafy friend, only to have it swiftly meet an unfortunate end. It doesn’t have to be this way!
Angie Thomas
SUNLIGHT

Most indoor plants love growing in a brightly lit room, away from direct sunlight. Plants growing in a position with less than their ideal level of light tend to develop yellow leaves and weak spindly growth. Direct sunlight can, however, burn some tender indoor plants. Adjust the position of your plants around the house and within rooms to give them their preferred amount of sunlight.

TYPES OF POTS

There’s such a fabulous range of attractive pots to choose from, including earthy terracotta, colourful ceramic, cost-effective plastic and lightweight fibreglass. To ensure good drainage, the pot should have adequate holes. Many decorative pots don’t have drainage holes and drilling into them can lead to the pots cracking and breaking. Instead, you can sit a plain plastic pot (which has drainage holes) inside the pretty pot. Just make sure that water doesn’t pool at the base of the decorative pot, as this can lead to unhealthy growth and root rot.

Self-watering pots are a great idea for indoor plants, particularly if your watering regime is less than ideal.

MOISTURE AND WATERING

It’s important to become familiar with the amount of moisture your indoor plants need. Unlike sunlight, there is no one level of watering that will suit all indoor plants. Some plants, such as maidenhair ferns, need to be kept consistently moist and others, like mother-in-law’s tongue, like it on the dry side. The easiest way to check moisture levels in potted plants is by gently digging your finger around in the top few centimetres of potting mix.

There are a few tricks to correctly watering your interior foliage. A small watering can with a narrow spout allows you to direct water down to the base of the plant, rather than over the leaves, which can then splash out onto furniture and carpets.

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