Keeping Your Plants Alive. A Simple Guide #211:49:00
Hello and welcome back.
Today is a continuation from yesterday's post on keeping your indoor plants alive and entails the remainder of information for you all to help make sense of that fancy flowchart that I created.
If you missed yesterdays post then please do toddle off and catch up here...
Here is the flowchart for you again to refer to. Have you pinned it yet?
You now have the water, lighting and pests under control but still after a couple of weeks you can see that your plant is still not responding too well. It now might be the time to assess your plants feeding regime which brings us to the fourth and one of the most important steps of the flowchart.
Like us humans, plants also need to eat. Overtime as the plants grow and as we water them, nutrients are leached from the soil and these eventually need to be replaced. How much to feed your plants will vary at differing times of the year as well as the type of plant that you have.
A good time to fertilise plants throughout the year is throughout the warmer months when you can see shoots are actively growing. The slower growing you plant, the less fertiliser it will need.
Indoor plants are also less likely grow as prolifically as they would in their natural outdoor environments, so they are less likely to absorb large amounts of fertiliser. A good theory to follow with plant food is that less is more
Small doses of liquid feed like Seasol for example at half strength every 3-4 weeks would be an appropriate feeding regime. Many products will suffice and depending on where you might look up this information a product will be recommended. Slow release fertilisers are also a good option and always use less then whats recommended on the packet.
The next part of the flowchart is to take a look at the soil condition in your pot.
As I mentioned earlier, watering your plant leaches the soil of nutrients and whilst fertilisers will aid in this, over time the best thing for your plant will eventually be to re-pot it and replace the soil.
Most plants outgrow their pots within a year or two, so it might also be a good idea to either swap to a larger pot or split your plant and change the soil to a good quality potting mix.
The best part of splitting your plant up, is that you can repot them up and give them away to all of your other indoor plant loving friends and family.
Also too, pests and disease can also hide and accumulate in bad soil, so replacing this can also aid in the health of your plant.
This is a very easy and enjoyable gardening task to undertake outside in the sunshine and the kids will love helping too.
Last but not least and the final part of the flowchart, is to assess and have a look around at the surrounding environment. This includes and is not limited to the humidity in the room, temperature variations as well as dust.
As the weather here begins to cool quite significantly, the heater now is on for most of the day and my plant in the window pictured below which sits near a vent is probably not in the most ideal position. However it has been in this spot for two years now so I know its ok as it is growing well. I have noticed some of the leaves going a bit brown of late, which is probably a tiny bit of shock from the sudden temperature change.
My indoor plant collection. Nothing fancy.
A chain of hearts and some succulents, one of which is growing
prolifically from cuttings in the vase of water and which I will be replanting very soon.
To combat this, Ive actually just been checking the moisture in the pot more frequently and am finding that the soil is drying out a lot quicker than usual. This means I just have to water a bit more and for now it seems to be working. If not, ill have to move it. Easy fix. Hopefully that will be the case for you, or it might be that your plant may need to be moved too. Plants dont like being overly close to heaters or air conditioners.
If the opposite is the culprit for your plants sudden ill health, it may just need to be moved to a lighter, warmer spot beside a window in the house for the cooler months of the year.
Indoor plants do like a little bit of humidity, just as they do in their natural environment. To imitate this, especially if you have the heater on inside alot, rather than dry the plant out you could simply put a few pebbles in the bottom of the dish so that the pot is not sitting in any water. As the water evaporates it creates a bit more moisture in the air around the plant. You can also use a spray bottle and mist the leaves and around the plant every couple of days.
Like all ornaments, furniture and mantles displayed in a home, they all collect dust and plants are no exception. To combat the dust you need to regularly clean the leaves of your plants. A simple wipe with a clean, wet cloth will suffice. An even easier method is to place them outside every so often when it rains. This way nature will do all the work for you. Just make sure you let all the water drain away before bringing them back inside. Cleaning the dust helps to aid in transpiration -unblock the plants breathing pores as well as ward of many pests and disease. It also make your plants look great and healthier too.
Too much love - watering and feeding in particular are main culprits for sick plants so just remember the tips from the top of the flow chart.
That is a wrap.
Hopefully you havent had to make it all the way to the bottom of the chart, but the information* has helped all the same. I love my plants inside and I think that having plants indoors overall is a fantastic way to provide clean air and bring that fresh hint of greenery into your own home.
Thanks for visiting today.
I would love to know what your favourite indoor plant is and what your tips are for caring for them.
*Note that this is not at all the be all and end all of plant care, nor is the flowchart a rigid or unchangeable process. If you need more advice; professional advice, then a local nursery would be the best place to start. As I have mentioned I am using a common sense approach here from my own knowledge as well as what I have researched.