If you're new to indoor plant parenthood or just need a refresher on keeping your indoor plants happy read on.
All plants need three basic things to survive. These are light, water and nutrition and/or soil.
Don't believe those claims on social media about plants that can survive in zero light. It's just not possible!
All plants need some light to photosynthesize. This is the process in which green plants use sunlight to synthesize the necessary nutrients from carbon dioxide and water. However, indoor plants are usually much more adaptable to the lower light conditions in our modern homes, hence why they've become popular indoor plants.
As the seasons change so do the light levels of our home and with the suns changing orientation don't forget to adjust your plants position. It may take a little trial and error as you work out what's right for your plant and home in the first few seasons.
How much light is right?
As a general rule, full sun is where your plant gets about 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. Indoor plants that will love this environment are hardy cacti and most succulents.
However, the majority of indoor plants will be happier with bright indirect light, where the room is bright enough to read easily without the need for additional lights. Here in Melbourne any area near an easterly or westerly window would be great for the more leafy indoor plants such as Hoya (wax plants), Begonias, Peperomias and Fiddle-leaf figs.
If you have a westerly window just remember the afternoon sun is far more harsh and hot than the morning sun so plants here will need to be further back from the window.
Other plants that prefer less intense light are the Chinese money plant, Chinese evergreens, Monstera, Rubber plants, Syngoniums, Philodendron and Peace lilies. These plants will happily thrive with indirect light or being closer to the middle of the room.
Some plants that will happily adjust to the even lower light conditions often found in bathrooms and, let's face it, even some modern apartments in general, these days. For darker rooms such as these the Cast-iron plant, Zanzibar gems, Philodendronand Peace lillies will usually do well.
Easily one of the best ways to kill your indoor plant is to get the watering wrong. Too much and they will drown, too little and they will shrivel and die. But it's no all doom and gloom, of course! Watering will totally depend on the type of plant and where it is your house.
But, what to look for when you're just starting out and learning about your plants watering needs?
Common signs your plant needs water:
1) Wilted leaves & crispy brown leaves
2) Dry soil
3) Leaves dropping
As a general rule tropical house plants like their soil to be kept moist during spring and summer. During the colder months they enjoy having a little more dryness as they won't be using as much water. However, be careful not to let them dry out with the winter heating. Our houses often have drier air in winter and you will need to compensate the less frequent watering with regular misting. Any good mister will suffice but why settle for ugly when you can have one of our Haws misterswith classic good looks pretty enough to leave on display.
Common signs your killing your plants with kindness and over watering:
1) Wilted leaves that are soft or mushy - especially if the soil feels wet to the touch
2) Stems that are wrinkled and bendy/mushy
3) New & old leaves fall at the same time
Lastly, but certainly not the least is soil or potting mix. While there are definitely a multitude of soil formulas out there most indoor plants will fall into needing one of these three:
1) Moisture retentive & rich in organic matter (Begonias & Ferns)
2) Sandy & quick draining (Cacti & Succulents)
3) Moist but quick draining ( Monstera, Philodendrons & Calathea)
Did you know we re-pot all our plants? We ensure your plant gift will be in perfect condition because we match each of them to a soil mix that's right for them. Making them easier to maintain and easier to enjoy.
Finally, if you find that your indoor plant is looking a little lack-lustre and you're fairly certain you've mastered all or most of the above why not look at what fertiliser you're using. We use, love and stock Munash Organics foliage sprayand soil food because they are all-natural and organic (did you know you could actually eat them?! Not that we recommend that of course!) Better still they are made right here in Victoria from naturally occurring minerals and seaweed.