Houseplant FAQs: Your Top Questions Answered

Houseplant FAQs: Your Top Questions Answered

The Green Grower Answers Your Questions!

Why Should I Choose Houseplants?

They don’t answer back! They don’t wake you up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet. They don’t raid your fridge. They don’t ‘eat you out of house and home!’ They won’t embarrass you in front of your family and friends. They don’t need to be spayed, neutered or micro-chipped...

They can beautify an indoor or outdoor space. They can contribute to your well-being, boost your mood and reduce your stress levels. They can provide oxygen and filter the air you breathe.

Some have proven medicinal benefits. They have become an exciting and interesting design trend, transforming an ‘ordinary house’ into a real ‘living home.’ They are interesting talking or discussion points. They can encourage you to read and research more about them.

They can make you and others more aware of our environment. You can join a club to learn more and to socialise with like-minded people.

What are the most important things for a Houseplant?

LSMN (Light, Soil, Moisture, Nutrients) Ideally, filtered (non-direct natural) sunlight, provides an appropriate temperature range. Good soil quality that drains well yet maintains nutritional value. Adequate watering, misting of the leaves and suitable humidity. Beneficial nutritional and regular feeding (usually in liquid form)

What must I remember when re-potting my Houseplants?

 It’s often a good idea to water your plant a few days before re-potting. This is best done in Spring or early Summer, choose a slightly larger pot and partially fill it with fresh well-drained soil mixed with a diluted fertiliser.

Gently lift the plant to be re-potted out of its old pot being careful not to damage its roots, although in some cases a ‘bound’ root ball will need to be disentangled a little. Place it in its new pot and fill to near the top with the remainder of the prepared soil mix.

A chopstick or similar tool can be used to press the soil down and ensure that all the vital parts of the plant are adequately covered. Water well after this to help it recover.

Can leaf colour be a guide to any problems?

Yes! Keep an eye on your plants and you will get to see and remedy any problems before they can get too serious. These are generally easily detected by a change in leaf colour and the overall look of the leaf or plant.

Leaves should be bright in colour with any pattern remaining clear and distinct all year round. The sudden appearance of yellow leaves generally means over-watering or that the drainage holes in your container are not sufficient to allow the water to drain away, so the roots are starting to rot sitting in too much water. Both can and must be rectified immediately.

Yellowing leaves could also indicate a bacterial or fungal disease, so you will need to use an appropriate insecticidal or fungal spray.  Brown leaves can indicate too little or even too much watering. If the leaves are dry and crispy, clearly your plant needs more nutrients and regular watering.

Cut any discoloured leaves off to retain as much of the healthier green leaves as possible and any further ‘browning’ of leaves will be more obvious. The reason may also be a lack of adequate humidity, especially when heat pumps are used.

Light misting of leaves will help as well as removing or minimising the source of lack of humidity (heatpumps). The rule of thumb is to test the dryness or otherwise of the soil to a depth of about 5-10 cm.

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