Houseplants are a wonderful way to decorate your home with nature. They can bring a room to life, and with a little bit of attention and care you can enjoy the process of watching them grow and bloom. Aesthetics aside, they are also good for your wellbeing. They can boost your mood, reduce stress and improve concentration. Research carried out by NASA showed that houseplants can remove up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hours!
One of the great things about having houseplants at home is that you can involve children in many different ways, including:
This is a list of popular houseplants that you might consider having in your home:
Open windows near your houseplants to enable them to breath in fresh air. Plants consume carbon dioxide from the air in order to grow, and release oxygen as a return favour to you.
Store rainwater where possible to feed to your houseplants. To do this you can use something as simple as a bucket or some pots, or if you'd really like to commit you could purchase a rain barrel. Who knew there would be an upside to the UK's unpredictable rain?
Remove any dead or dying leaves/branches to allow fresh new growth to arrive in its place.
Rather than keep to a schedule of watering, we recommend monitoring the soil and deciding for yourself when it is dry and needs more water. You can feel the soil with your fingers, or feel the weight of it as wet soil is heavier than dry soil. Or you can buy a moisture meter if you prefer.
Of course, any sign that the plant isn't healthy is another indicator that the plant is not receiving the right amount of water, whether it is too much or too little.
If you notice that roots are developing on top of your soil, or underneath through the drainage holes, it might be time to repot.
Plants require sunlight to turn it into energy, so getting the right amount is important. Your instinct might be to put it in the windowsill where it will receive plenty, but this isn't always the best option as the sunlight coming through glass directly onto plants can harm many plants that aren't able to cope with this amount of heat.
Quite simply, choose a pot that matches the size of your plant. A pot too large can cause issues due to excess moisture. If your plant grows beyond the size of the pot, it may be time to move it into a larger one.
Drainage holes allow excess moisture a route out of the pot, reducing the likelihood of overwatering and allowing more air to make its way into the soil.
This one might have you scratching your head, but dust can stop leaves from taking as much air and sunlight as they need. You can use a damp cloth, a paintbrush etc depending on the size of your plant.
If you have pets, it is worth knowing that some houseplants are worth avoiding. For instance the golden pothos is known to be toxic to cats and dogs. You should be able to find out this information with a quick bit of online research.
Although there are some general principles for indoor gardening, every type of plant requires a unique type of care. For instance some plants require much less water, and where some plants thrive in a nice hot windowsill, others will struggle. A short amount of online research will help you get to know your plant so that you can take the best care of it.
One of the difficulties with growing plants indoors is there can be a large range of temperatures, light, humidity, draughts and moisture. This means you may have to do some 'trial and error' to see which spot in your home is best suited to which plant.