Plants, both of Indoor and Outdoor variety, are lovely and aesthetically pleasing additions to any household. Apart from making a household look good, plants have tons of additional benefits which make it worth your while to bring a piece of nature to your house. Plants are generally easy to take care of and will thrive when provided with due care and treatment and just like any other life form will wither and die if neglected. Whether you're unsure of how to care for your plants or just want to make sure you've been doing it right, here are 5 tips on how to care for your green friends.
1) Give your plants plenty of light.
One of the major concerns while caring for your plants is to make sure they receive the appropriate amount of light. Even the sturdiest of Indoor plants will require a certain amount of light to survive. While keeping plants on your side table may look good, but if it is too far away from a source of natural light like a window, your plant may not last very long. As a general rule, Plants can be divided into three categories when it comes to sunlight requirement, namely: Full sunlight, Partial Sunlight and Shade.
Plants that need 'Full Sunlight' should be kept in an area that receives a minimum of 4-6 hours of direct light in a day.
Plants that need 'Partial Sunlight' should be placed in an area that gets 2-3 hours of direct light in a day.
Plants that need 'Shade' should be placed in an area that receives 1 hour of direct light.
So look up the sunlight requirements of your plants and move them to a location better suited to their needs.
2) Water your plants regularly and appropriately.
The specific amount of water required by a plant will vary from one plant to another. Getting the proper balance of water for houseplants can be a bit tricky. Too much water and the root of the plant will start rotting due to poor drainage while too little water will dry out the plant entirely. Plants like Croton and all the varieties of Palm like to be wet all the time while others like Peace Lily, Cactus' and Succulents only need watering only once in a couple of weeks. Most plants will thrive when watered 2-3 times a week. When watering your plants keep in mind the following:
Before watering any plant check the soil for dryness. Stick your finger in the soil up to your knuckle to see how wet it is. If your finger comes back dry, you need to water your plant, if it is wet even slightly then hold of watering your plant for a day or two.
Treat your Indoor plants to a deep watering session once a month. Place them in the sink and let the water run through them. Make sure your plant pot has enough holes to let the soil drain out excess water in order to prevent water clogging. Deep watering your plant ensures that salts do not build up on the surface of the soil while harmful bacteria and insects are washed away from the roots.
Always use warm water or water at normal temperature for your plants. Coldwater can shock the roots and cause damage to the plant.
3) Fertilize your plants every few weeks to keep them healthy.
Fertilizers are akin to food for plants supplying them with essential nutrients to ensure proper growth. It is particularly important to fertilize indoor plants every 2-3 weeks because unlike outdoor plants there is no organic matter being added to the plant naturally. Most fertilizers come with a 3 number series which refer to the amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium contained in the fertilizer. As the requirement varies from one plant to another, it is recommended starting with a middle ground fertilizer such as a 10-10-10 fertilizer, which contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in equal quantity.
4) Clean Dust off your plants.
Indoor plants will gather a thin layer of dust on them over a period of time. This not only takes away the plant's natural beauty but also clogs the pores on the leaves thus hindering the growth of the plant. Hence it is important to clean off the dust of your plant on a regular basis.
5) Keep your plants away from Air conditioners and Heaters.
Most plants tend to thrive in a Humid atmosphere. As moisture levels inside of houses tend to be lower than moisture levels outdoor, it is common for house plants to dry up due to lack of humidity. Although regular watering of plants tends to elevate this problem somewhat, keeping your plants near Air conditioners and Heaters can cause your plants to dry up quickly. To solve this problem move your plants away from the air path of your A/C and Heater. Additionally, you can also incorporate a humidifier in your household to add moisture to the air.