Maintaining Indoor Plants

With downsizing and high-density living a trend that is here to stay, there’s an increasing market for indoor plants; despite garden sizes shrinking, many of us still like to have some greenery in and around our homes, as plants not only enhance ambience and promote calm, but they also produce oxygen (critical for our survival).  Plants are an essential part of any home, and if well maintained boost aesthetic appeal and can really give a room a ‘lift’.

Indoor plants are a great addition to any property of any size, but some struggle to maintain them and keep them flourishing, despite their best efforts.  There’s a huge amount of advice ‘out there’, but not all of it is helpful, as there are also many widely held myths that may be impacting on the health of your plants.  Let us examine a few of these.

Myth 1: A strict watering schedule is best.

Plants do not grow to a schedule, they are organic living beings, so aren’t going to conform to deadlines.  Check the soil, not the date, before watering indoor plants.

Myth 2: A bigger pot promotes growth.

Not necessarily.  Plants should be repotted one pot size up at a time.  For a medium to large well-established plant that has well and truly outgrown its pot, then you can almost double the size; but when in doubt its better to be on the safe and small side.

Myth 3: New plants should be repotted ASAP.

Do not just repot for the sake of it; look for signs the plant is ready first. Getting settled in a new environment can be a stressful time for plants, and repotting may add an extra layer of stress.  Let your new plant acclimatise to its new environment first.

Tip:  To check if your plant is ready for a repot, gently tip the plant on its side and see if roots have started growing out of the drainage holes, if so and the pot is stiff – the plant is ready for an upgrade.

Myth 4: Misting leaves is just as good as watering.

No, you need to get the roots wet, misting leaves might momentarily look nice but it is not going to keep your plants alive.

Myth 5: The more the merrier when it comes to fertiliser.

No.  You can burn or kill your plants by overdoing it.  Stick to the dosage directions.