Caring for Houseplants

No, they're not just pieces of furniture

It would be nice to think that once potted and placed in a suitable spot, plants would happily get on with growing and living in their own humble way. But unfortunately this isnt the case. Indoor plants need lots of regular care and attention from their owners, be it through watering, re-potting or merely keeping them in the right conditions. But dont despair, the life of a plant owner isnt all drudge and hard work - follow the guidelines below and your life, and that of your plants, will be stress-free!

Light and Temperature
Plants need light, although the amount varies between varieties. Flowering houseplants, or those with colorful foliage (such as African Violet, Freesia, Cyclamen and Gerbera) thrive well in places where there is lots of light. In contrast, Birds Nest Fern and Devils Ivy prefer shady corners. Keeping your plants in the right temperature is also important. Again, preferences for temperature vary between plants, so check their individual requirements. In general, during the winter months keep plants away from warm heaters or fires.

Water is, of course, one of the essential requirements needed for plants. Knowing exactly how much water to give can be a problem and many people often over-water. The main point to remember when watering is to ensure you give the plant a thorough soaking - a good guideline is to stop when you see water draining through the pot and into the saucer. If any water remains in the saucer after half an hour, then empty and allow the pot to drain. To avoid over-watering, dont water too frequently if the soil in the pot is still damp, then dont add more!

Containers and Potting
Ensure that the containers your plants are in are the right size. Dont leave large plants squashed up in small pots if they outgrow their original pots, transfer them to new, bigger ones. Repotting such as this is best carried out in either early Fall or Spring.

General Maintenance
Deadheading your plants allows new growth to occur, so remember to check and remove any dead areas. The foliage on plants can pick up the natural house dust, so giving the leaves a quick wipe occasionally with a damp cloth can help get rid of the dust and brighten up the plant.