Connection to the natural world is crucial more than ever and in a fast paced fragile world we live in today. It is good to be mindful of nature and connecting ourselves to it helps us in so many ways. With that in mind, let's hear from the Botanical Boys about how we should look after our plants!
The best watering routine is to observe and get to know your plants on a personal level. Don’t get too wrapped up into a standard weekly watering habit because everyone’s home is different in terms of temperature and light levels, all of which affect the watering of your plants. So instead water only when they need it. How, well, use your finger and pop it into the soil until an inch deep if it’s dry then it’ll need a drink. The leaves of most house plants will wilt or look a bit dry on the edges if they have been left for slightly too long without a drink when the soil is too dry. So to keep things simple, once a week pop your index finger into the soil to check for dryness until you get to know those plants on a personal level.
Another top tip for watering indoor plants. Like most people, we buy plants inside plastic pots that have drain holes at the bottom. We take them home and pop them inside a more decorative pot. That pot has no holes in order to avoid dripping water on your carpet! When you first buy a houseplant avoid watering it whilst inside it’s decorative pot until you get used to its right level of watering. Most people tell us they kill their plants with too much love and most of the time it’s to do with overwatering. How, well at the base of the decorative pot there is no drain holes so the water builds up like a reservoir. The result of the build up causes root rot and the plant will eventually die. To avoid: take out the plant with its original plastic pot and water over a sink until the water drains away and then return it to your lovely decorative pot. Your plant will love you more and more! A plant like the Spathiphyllum (peace lily) needs constant water and it is very dramatic by telling its owner it is thirsty by dropping its stems and after a good soaking it stands up again in a few hours later. Such drama!
Most people struggle getting the right level of light. But on average, most houseplants need a good level of natural light but not always direct Sun. For cactus plants will need direct Sunny window positions, due to their natural habitat conditions of dry soil.
For most other tropical plants need bright light from indirect Sunlight. Plants like the Monstera (Cheese Plant) loves a light room and will grow quickly compared to a darker room it will grow more slowly. This plant comes from tropical countries and grows up the trunks of trees so it’s used to indirect but fairly light conditions but no direct Sun. Most house plants will not survive well in dark spots so get those curtains open!
3. SOIL MANAGEMENT
Has your soil in your pot ever looked really flat, hard and crusty around the edges? Well if you’re soil feels hard to the touch when you water it the water takes a long time to soak in! If this is the case, then grab yourself a chopstick and poke a few holes into the soil. What your doing is the job of worms in nature. By aerating the soil also helps condition it and sends water more easily to the roots. Poke holes every few weeks. Every season from March, replace an inch or two of the top layer of soil from your pot plants with fresh potting mix or if it’s a cactus or succulent plant use Cactus soil, to help add fresh nutrients and keeping soil fresh looking too. Remember Cactus and succulents only require water once a month and do not fall under the same watering routines as to most common house plants requirements.
Having plants around your home improves your wellbeing. Simply looking at greenery or a beautiful arrangement of natural flowering plants immediately impacts our mood. As well as aesthetically impacting our homes and mood it also has a big impact on the local environment by improving air quality. So love your plants and they will love you back big time! Win win for all.