Tips to help you care for your indoor plants
We are experts in caring for our botanical babies, and ensure that they are healthy, fresh and well cared for, prior to sending to their new homes.
We pick varieties that are simple to take care of, so that they are great for gifting - most of our plants are suitable even for beginners!
However, there are just a few key factors to consider when selecting and positioning your plants, to keep them looking as beautiful as they day they arrive with you...
How to care for your new friends:
+ Positioning +
Most houseplants prefer a well-lit spot, away from direct heat, free from draughts, with fairly high humidity.
Some plants however, have more specific needs. For instance- plants which flower, and those with variegated foliage, need more light than plants with green foliage only. Ferns like a darker position (think about where they grow outside!).
Cacti and succulents like bright windowsills, but please avoid putting them on a south-facing windowsill in the Summer- where they could scorch. Our own succulents have thrived best in a well lit room in a sunny spot, and away from draughts.
+ Humidity +
Tropical plants - such as Bromeliads and Calathea - enjoy a daily mist with a hand-held spray, as do Orchids and Ferns. Grouping plants together on a tray of damp gravel will also help keep them moist.
+ Watering +
- Many houseplants can be killed by overwatering. A good rule of thumb would be to aim to keep the compost moist, waiting until it has almost dried out before watering again. Test how damp the compost is by pushing your finger into it.
- Water from above and put saucers under plants to allow excess water to drain away.
- Generally speaking, your house plants will need more watering during the spring and summer seasons. Most plants have growing seasons in these months, and then are more dormant in winter.
- Tap water is fine for most houseplants, but some specialist plants, such as orchids or air plants plants are in need of more purity. Even these species will survive with tap water only, its just about how well you would like them to thrive.
- You will not need to water your cacti or succulent plants more often than every couple of weeks. They contain water and are used to desert conditions. When you do water them, please ensure that they are not left with 'wet feet' - especially in the case of succulents - as this can cause rot. The water must be free to drain away, and the soil needs to dry out thoroughly in between watering.
- Many plants will grow without plant food, but flowering plants can get very hungry, and they will do best if you give them a weekly dose of liquid feed.
- If moving plants into bigger pots, it can help to add a few granules of slow-release fertiliser to the compost, but do please remember to follow the manufacturer's guidelines, to avoid overfeeding.
- Pinch off dying flowers with your thumb and forefinger, and remove any damaged or yellowing leaves as you notice them.
- For air plants, remove any brown tips by snipping the ends away in a diagonal. You can also snip away any roots that grow out. Air plants only use their roots to anchor onto things and do not need them for survival.
- For miniature trees and other plants with branches, you can remove wayward areas with secateurs if you wish.
Dust can quickly build up on leaves. As well as not looking their best when covered in a layer of dust, this prevents plants from growing properly. Please clean dusty leaves with a piece of cotton wool dipped in water.
+ Houseplant pests +
- If one of your house plants is lacking in vigour, do check for tufts of white fluff. This is either mealy bug or woolly aphid. These are pests that suck the sap of houseplants. You can just remove them with an organic soft soap spray. If you choose to leave them on there, please expect them to spread to other nearby plants!
- Tiny limpet-like bugs on stems or leaves of plants can be rubbed off manually with a piece of cotton wool. These are a sign of sap-sucking scale insect.
- Fine webbing at the tips of plants, and a yellow speckling on a plants leaves, is a symptom of red spider mites. These tiny creatures thrive in a warm, dry atmosphere - cut off the affected parts of the plant and mist around the plant to prevent another outbreak.
- Most houseplants can survive being left for a couple of weeks with some preparation. Water the pots of all leafy house plants thoroughly before you leave.
- In the summer - plants that are in large containers or pots will be fine left in a shady room.
- Plants contained in smaller pots, plants that are very potbound, and plants that enjoy humidity will fare better if placed in the bath, lined with an old towel which has been soaked in water. (Please note that if your bath is in direct sunlight, then you will need to shade the window.
- Cacti and Succulents will be fine while you are away, provided you do not leave them in the window where they could scorch. Please move them into a sunny spot, with plenty of indirect light and away from draughts.
Now that you have found us, we would like to help you take care of your new green friends! We run a weekly plant clinic at our pitch in Fisherton Warehouse, and we even have a Facebook group where you can ask others for help or advice. Find us and join us here.
Alternatively - why not take advantage of our care & maintenance services... If you need a hand taking care of your plant friends.
Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or would like to hire us.