We recommend going for a mixture of older and less mature plants to add variety to the plant collection that you are amassing. The advantage of this is that when your plants become pot bound and need repotting, you will only need to get the largest sized pots and can then use the pot for the next one ready to get into a new pot.
Where to place your indoor plants
Most Indoor plants come from warmer parts of the world; they love our homes as they emulate their natural habitats. However, it is possible that they won’t like certain parts of our home because of the amount of light, temperature, or the way they are watered. I have described some of the problems to be aware of or avoid.
Things to avoid
These are so tempting to fill with plants, yet there are many things to consider… Very few plants like bright direct sunshine that they are likely to receive there. They are likely to get their leaves scorched (look out for brown tips). The Aloe vera is the notable exception as it has fleshy leaves that store water, keeping the leaves cool.
If your room is bright, move your plant at least 1.5 metres from any south facing window. In north or east facing, a shade tolerant plant may be placed a little closer to the windows.
Like ourselves, plants don’t like draughts. Windowsills may have cool breezes that flow through cracked windows. If plants are shut behind closed curtains in the evening, when the temperature outside drops, they are often sitting in a cool pocket of air that forms behind the curtain. A draught can form here too.
Many plants do not like sitting in the sun, and getting scorched, by day and getting shocked by the change in temperature at night. By moving your plants towards the middle of the room and away from the window, they will thank you by thriving.
These are commonly placed under windows in our country. In the winter, when we rely on their heat, our plants can dry out very quickly. They also can scorch the leaves. It would be logical to think that the plant needs more water. However, many house plants go dormant when the days are shorter, and they don’t need too much watering.
The secret to success is to find a place in your room that is not too hot or two cold. If your plant is growing and thriving, it likes where you have placed it. If it is languishing, then try a different part of the room until it starts to thrive.
How often do I need to water my indoor plants?
A general rule is your plant will need more water (and feeding with plant food) during the warm growing season of Spring and Summer and less watering during the winter month when plants are often dormant.
The biggest problem lies in the fact that over watering and underwatering often display the same symptoms e.g., wilting leaves in some plants or brown tips in another.
Do a little research for your specific houseplant when you get it home or as soon as you notice that there is a problem… before it’s too late!
Try to get into a habit for regularly watering your plants. Think of a time that you can do it every week. Like after breakfast on a Saturday morning or as part of your Sunday evening routine. You may need to increase it during the summer to twice a week. If you cannot water the plants, e.g., when you are away for a weekend, make a contingency to ask someone else or do it before you go/when you return.
Do I need to mist my house plant?
All our top 10 air purifying plants that we chose are relatively easy to care for. Some of the plants that originate in the tropics will do better with a little additional love in the form of a misting with water every now and then.
The more exotic looking the plant, the more TLC is needed to keep them happy. Many of the plants that have come from the tropics, have come from the moist, humid rainforest environment. They may have travelled a long way and be harder to propagate. It will be rewarding learning to keeping your plant healthy and growing but potentially a more expensive mistake if you neglect their needs. If you need help, do a little research to find out the correct care plan. Generally, the rainforest floor is dry, and they hate sitting in soggy soil; the air is often highly saturated in water, so they like being misted with room temperature water. We don’t want our homes to be highly humid; they are sharing our space; we do not need to recreate their space and suffer in it!
Bathrooms and kitchens are more naturally humid; but it is equally practical to recreate the rain forest by gently spraying your plant to simulate the rainforest-like film of water that your plant enjoys having on its leaves.
Do I need to dust my indoor plants?
Without the benefit of rain to give plants a regular shower, indoor plants can become dusty over time. The dust builds up and blocks their pores, making it more difficult for them to absorb sunlight. Thus, starving them slowly.
In the summer months, they enjoy the warm rain in the garden, during the rest of the year, the larger leaves may be wiped down with a damp cloth and water and misted to replicate the cleansing power of a gentle drizzle.