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Indoor Plant Care

November 15th, 2012 · No Comments

Growing houseplants or indoor plants is one of the most rewarding tasks that one can undertake as a hobby. Apart from creating a pleasant and warm environment in a house, indoor plants can give us more supply of fresh air by cutting down the level of indoor air pollution. When placed beside a window or on a table, houseplants can add both elegance and natural look to the house. But growing houseplants command a lot of care and attention. Most of these plants are native to tropical regions thus,, they prefer a humid environment and indirect sunlight. However, there are exceptions, as for example, succulent plants require a dry climate to grow, while gardenia thrives on bright sunlight. It is imperative to have knowledge of the specific needs of different plants, and creating an environment that is comparable to their natural habitat.

Maintenance of Indoor Plants

Plant care starts with choosing a place that can provide the ideal environment for their growth. Providing the right amount of water and light, and maintaining the appropriate level of temperature and humidity are some of the key factors that can determine the growth of houseplants.

Light is one of the most essential growth factors for any plant. As most of the indoor plants are native to tropical areas, they thrive well under indirect sunlight. Thus, it would be better to put such plants near the window with sheer curtains, so that they can receive enough filtered sunlight. But, if placed much further away from the window, it is likely that the plant will not receive sufficient amount of sunlight. Nevertheless, you can resort to artificial light for plants placed in dark rooms. However, for plants like gardenia, you have to decide a place that receives bright sunlight. If you observe growth only in one direction, then be sure to rotate the position of the plant at regular intervals. This would promote uniform growth of the plant.

One of the most common mistakes in indoor gardening is the tendency to over water the houseplants, for the purpose of promoting rapid growth. But, this often causes the roots to rot. At the same time, under watering can also cause the leaves to turn yellow and fall. The better way is to examine first the soil before watering the houseplants. If the soil is still damp, then wait for another day or two, till the topsoil dries out. But, if the soil is dry, then water the plant adequately. It is better to use well-drained soil mixture, so that the soil does not hold too much water.

If the soil is heavy, then you can add sand and perlite to it to make a good soil mixture. Otherwise, you can make a soil mixture by joining two parts of organic matter like, peat moss with one part of each perlite and sand to grow indoor plants. Also, ensure that the containers or pots you are suing have suitable drainage system or drainage hole at the base, so that the excess water flows out of the pot. For watering the plants, you can use rainwater or tap water. If you want to use tap water, then let the water sit for the whole night. Otherwise, chlorine present in tap water can prove harmful to your houseplants.

Maintaining the appropriate level of humidity is also important. Tropical plants generally need a high level of humidity, as compared to other houseplants. Place the plants close to each other, so that they can make use of the water or moisture evaporating from each other. You can also moisten the leaves of the plants at regular intervals, to provide them with adequate moisture.

Air Temperature
The ideal range of temperature for growing houseplants is 60 to 75 degree Fahrenheit. The majority of the indoor plants can stand slight fluctuations in temperature. Excessive fluctuations in temperature can however, slow down the growth of the plants. Therefore, it is essential to protect them from cold drafts, as well as from too much heat. They should never be placed near any kind of warm appliance. Most of the houseplants by and large prefer a night temperature that is slightly lower than the day temperature.

Apart from these, one should also prune the plants from time to time to get rid of the diseased and damaged branches and leaves and retain the desired shape. It is also necessary to realize that each plant is unique and, for this reason, has a different set of requirements. So, before growing any indoor plant, it is important that a study is undertaken first in order to know the specific needs of that plant in order for it to thrive.



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