Spending time outdoors with lush green plants and colourful flowers is always so pleasing and they enhance the beauty of outdoor spaces. Bringing plants indoors allows us to enjoy these experiences inside too.
There are so many good reasons to fill your indoor spaces with these green gems.
- Indoor plants add colour and vibrancy to our indoor spaces and can both beautify and freshen the environment. They help rid the air of volatile organic compounds, increase its relative humidity, reduce noise and can also cool the atmosphere inside.
- They can be used to screen unattractive areas in our living rooms, fill dark corners and add interest to shelves, table tops and window sills.
- Houseplants help to bring nature indoors and increase our sense of well being. They make a welcoming and comforting atmosphere; no wonder they are used in nursing homes, shops, malls and airports.
- It has been found that people are more productive when surrounded by plants, so they are increasingly being used to enhance offices, classrooms and colleges.
- Studies have shown that having plants around you helps the healing process by lowering blood pressure and heart rate. They have a soothing and calming effect.
There are a vast variety of plants to choose from all having their particular requirements of light and water, so you are sure to find some to fit your environment.
- Bright sunlit windows can be filled with cacti and succulents that love bright light.
- Those who love a humid atmosphere, such as ferns, pothos and philodendron will thrive in a well lit bathroom.
- Tall majestic palms enhance the corners of living rooms, with landscapes in containers and bonsai acting as beautiful focal points in your decor. Unfussy sansevieria and zz plants will just be happy anywhere, even in low lit areas.
- Herbs can be grown on your kitchen window; so handy for your cooking needs!
So how do we look after these marvels of nature?
If you take care of the following points then your plants will be happy and so will you!
Amount of Light:
Most indoor plants grow well in indirect light. Some like zz plant, sansevieria, pothos and philodendron will tolerate low light conditions. If your house doesn’t have much light then fluorescent or LED grow lights can be used.
Most indoor plants thrive in temperatures comfortable to us.
Some plants such as air plants and ferns like a humid atmosphere so spraying them regularly with water will keep them happy.
All plants need good ventilation so that they have good air flow over their leaves. It is particularly important that water does not condense or stay on the leaves of plants such as air plants as this will cause the leaves to rot and die. If there is poor ventilation in the house then ensure that you invest in a fan to circulate the air.
Get to know your plants. Each type of plant has its own water requirement, but it is better to under water than over water. A good test is to insert your finger 2 inches into the soil and if it feels dry then water your plant. Some plants such as peace lily love a moist soil.
Select a pot size that is not more than a few inches in diameter larger than the root ball of your plant. Make sure the pot has a good drainage hole. This pot can be placed in a decorative outer pot without holes or on a saucer. If the plant likes humidity then pebbles can be added to the saucer and filled with water.
Soil and Fertilisation:
A good, well draining, porous soil is required. Make your own soil mix by combining equal parts of coco peat, compost (farm yard manure, vermicompost or leaf mould) and garden soil. Vermiculite or washed and sieved (to remove the fine sand) badarpur can be added to increase the porosity of the soil mix.
Fertilise your plant every month with a good organic fertiliser.
Many plants such as pothos, syngonium and peace lily can be grown in water too, so you can fill those empty bottles, containers and vases with these lovely plants and sit back and watch them grow!
One is good, but two is better! Have two of each plant. Keep one inside and the other outdoors. Then every few days swap them around, so that while you’re enjoying the benefits of one inside your home the other plant is enjoying the lovely outdoors. This way not only your plants will have the best of both worlds, but you will too!