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Healthy Houseplants - How to care for your indoor plants.

Posted on March 23 2017

Let’s be honest not since the 70’s have we seen such a demand for indoor plants.
Modern interiors with their clean, simple and often harsh lines can be softened with the beautiful, textural and sculptural appearance of plants. When a room is needing that little extra something a gorgeous plant will lift any space and make if feel fresh and add a great organic element to the space.

They’re good for you too - studies suggest that adding a few indoor plants to your home or office, filters out toxins from the air that are given off from carpet, furniture, paint, and fabrics. Indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air and just one plant per room can help purify the air. Feel better already don’t you?

Finding the perfect vessel for you plant can be a little tricky but does means a retail hit and we can help there. Depending on the style of your space anything goes - from softer natural baskets to the stronger lines and shapes of ceramic and concrete pots. Plants take on a different appearance depending on the vessel they are in so you may need to take your time to find the perfect one. If the plant is not too big take it with you and try it out in various shapes, sizes and colours to find the right fit for your new family member. Don’t forget to use hanging pots and plants, trailing and draping plants are stunning and the perfect way to add some green in spots where floor space is tight or you need to keep them away from little hands or chewing pets.

Hanging Donkey Tail

Would you be surprised to hear that the easiest way to kill plants is too much love? It’s usually our fear of killing a plant that causes overzealous watering which is in turn a death sentence for our green friends. During warmer periods most indoor plants will only need watering every 7 days, obviously if we’ve had extreme heat you will need to check them earlier. When the weather cools down you can usually extend the watering to almost every two to three weeks unless you have the heating turned right up in which case you will most likely need to water every 10 days or so.


Low Light:
One of the most challenging conditions we hear about is reduced sunlight and low lit rooms, however there are plants that can be grown successfully in those spaces.
• The ever popular Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum spp.) will grow well without much light, however requires more light to produce its pure white flower spaths. This plant wilts dramatically when it needs watering so it practically screams "I need water" at you but it’s best not to let it get to that stage too often.
• Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra spp.) this guy is super tough, the best bet for beginners or the ‘forgetful' types. Grow well in darker rooms with only occasional watering.
• Mother-in-law's Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata) an extremely hardy indoor plant, tolerates low light but don’t water too often in that environment. Allow to dry out between watering.
• Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura) gets its name from the fact that the leaves fold up at night. Prayer plant only grows 6-8 inches tall, so it's a good choice when you need a plant for a bathroom bench or in a bookshelf. Keep it away from direct sunlight.


Keep the Packaging
Buy a plant in a plastic pot that allows the plant to have some growing space. Keep the plant in the plastic pot as this allow you to slip them directly inside your permanent decorative vessel. You will then be able to move your plants around or take them outside for watering and air without lugging heavy pots. In cooler areas it’s also best to avoid planting directly into ceramic, terracotta or concrete pots as the plant will get cold in winter — keeping the plants in plastic pots keeps them insulated.


What we’ve learnt in our store along the way:

  • Dust - indoor plants accumulate dust on their foliage. A super easy solution is to put them outside in the rain for a wash occasionally. Plants love it!
  • Watering – to check if your plant needs to be watered simply push your finger into the soil and if the soil feels dry, water the plant and if it feels moist, don't. Remember if the tips of leaves are browning, chances are you’re over watering.
  • Set a routine – choose the same day every week when you have a leisurely morning and take plants outside to a filtered light position, never direct sunlight. Water the plants, soaking soil until water runs freely from the drainage holes, leave them outside for a while to get a good burst of great light, awesome fresh air and additionally allow the water enough time to drain. We generally leave them outside under cover for several hours but remember - no direct sunlight!
  • Be careful when placing plants too close to windows as harsh sunlight can burn leaves. 

Images belong to Established for Design, please do not copy or use the images without permission.

1 comment

  • Luci: March 24, 2017

    Great tips Anna!!!! Hopefully Paddy and I can manage to keep ours alive now….

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