Growing indoor plants not only brings you peace and serenity, they add a touch of style to your home as well as help to keep the air clean.
We keep pots of herbs (rosemary, chives, parsley, and basil) in our kitchen, seedlings in the basement, snake plant in our bedroom, dwarf citrus in the study room, and ferns in the bathroom.
Today, there are tons of houseplants to choose from. These plants bring color and life to our home but the biggest challenge is how to keep them healthy. Below are the conditions indoor plants need to grow healthy.
The Right Soil
Plants differ incredibly in their need for soil. For instance, succulents, rosemary, and cactus need a ground that is drained and this translates to 1/3rd of sand. Also, seedlings like moisture-retentive, soilless blend and they should be grown in light.
Plants such as African violets and ferns should be grown in places that are rich in humus and this is achieved by adding manure such as shredded husk or leaf mold.
If you want to achieve better potting mix, then you need to have perlite, vermiculite, and peat. The goodness of these soilless mixes is that they will absorb moisture and capable of resisting compaction. This soilless blend dries out very fast.
For edible plants like rosemary and chives, only use organic fertilizers.
Raising happy plants is not something that is easy because there are some factors to be considered and one of them is humidity. Most plants need humidity 50% or higher. Some can still survive below that range, but when the air is drier than that, they will be unable to absorb water.
You can mist your plants for an hour or so early in the mornings. Another option is to cluster the plants together since they will release moisture vapor into the air, hence humidifying themselves.
Before you apply any fertilizer, ensure you do the watering. Most enclosed plants need standard 10-10-10 formulations. Bio-stimulant, fish emulsion, or liquid seaweed is another great organic amendment supplement.
Be careful with the PH level because different plants need different PH level. Drench the soil periodically with clean water to avoid accumulation of fertilizer salts.
Don’t ever overwater your plants because they’ll die; however, when the weather is sunny and warm, your plants will need frequent watering.
Don’t water when it is cool and cloudy—only water the plants when the dirt is dry. During watering, ensure that the water reaches the root.
Avoid chemically softened water because they contain salts which are not the best for your plants. Use rainwater or install demineralizing attachments to the hard water to filter out lime and chlorine.
All plants don’t require the same amount of light. Knowing the light requirement for your plants will enable you to keep happy interior plants. Adequate light is an important factor to think about as plants need light to produce their food and survive. In fact, when there is adequate lighting, plants tend to thrive better.
Here are a few general guidelines to follow when it comes to adequate lighting.
Move all of your plants close to the window during the winter months. This will make up for the decrease in light by being indoors. You can also increase hours of light exposure, like 8 hours of dark and 16 hours of light. Remember that some plants like snake plant do not require much light.
Indoor plants will do well if they receive 12 to 16 hours of light per day. Now, if you want those plants to bloom especially during the short days of winter, then you can supplement them with lighting. Incandescent lamps or special plant-growth lamps are the best choices.
Serious hobbyists can use high-intensity lamps like high-pressure sodium lamps since they help prevent the plants from growing overly long.
If you have plants like snake plant that thrives best in diffused light, then it would be best to place them 6 feet to 8 feet away from your south-facing window. In such location, they will get 25% of the light that they would have gotten if they were placed in front of the south-facing window, which is sunny.
Plants have a resting period each year. For instance, some flowering plants need a period of dormancy. In order to stimulate the plants’ resting period, you need to reduce the amount of watering and fertilizer. Do this during the later fall and early winter.