It’s wonderful to be surrounded by a bit of greenery. While not everybody has the luxury of a house garden, we can always bring in a bit of green into the smallest of living spaces with small flower pots or even cacti. Once we decide to grow plants at home, it’s important to learn some simple “house plant care tips” to make sure our plants remain healthy and beautiful.
Firstly, it’s important to decide on the kind of plants we are going to grow at home. Some of the most common house plants include cacti, Madagascar Dragon Tree, Spider Plant, Begonia and Fern. Some basic points to be considered while tending to “house plants” is the right amount of light, water, humidity and feeding.
Right amount of light
The right amount of light required for house plants really depends of the type of plant. Usually flowering plants like begonias and orchids require bright lights, while other foliage like cacti or ferns can survive on artificial lighting. To grow house plants under artificial lighting, it is important to know that like the sun, artificial lighting also has a range of different colors, similar to a rainbow. While purple and light blue are two colors used by plants for general foliage, red and orange are used for flowering.
Naturally, any area in the house which gets a lot of sunlight is great for growing plants. Some sure shot ways of knowing that your plant is not getting sufficient light are shedding of leaves, delayed blooming of flowering plants and new leaves growing out smaller in size. Similarly, some tell tale signs of house plants being exposed to too much light are brown, scorched or falling leaves.
Right amount of water and humidity
The right amount of water varies from species to species. Plants with thick, broad leaves need more water while those with scant leaves, like a cactus, can survive on minimal water. Of course, other factors like the plant’s natural habitat and the amount of atmospheric moisture it is exposed to also determine the amount of water it needs. It is important to make sure not to over water your plants.
In case you accidentally over water your house plant, try soaking it up with paper towels. Alternatively, you can also tip over your plant to one side to allow the excess water to flow out of the pot.
All plants need humidity in varying degrees. Different rooms in the house have different humidity levels. The room which is warmest or has the most heating will naturally need more moisture. If your plant is placed in an overheated room, then an easy way to increase humidity is to place a bowl of water near the heater or radiator. The water evaporates from the heat to transform into moisture in the air. Another way to deal with the issue of humidity is to brush the leaves of your plants with warm water. This will also work as a great cleaner and help house plants stay healthy.
The main nutrients include nitrogen for plant growth and curing discoloration, phosphates for roots, and potash for growth of flowers. The frequency of the feed depends on plant’s condition. Generally, one feed every month or fortnight should be fine. A popular method of feeding is to mix the fertilizer with the compost in the pot. Another easy method is liquid feed where soluble powders are mixed in the water for smoother distribution of nutrients.