Perhaps you’ve seen more plants on your social feed lately and feel curious about the sudden rise in ‘pottering’ around and plant care. As more time is spent indoors due to the pandemic, a greater number of Australians and people around the globe have taken to purchasing indoor (and outdoor) plants to care for. Greening our homes has been shown to have numerous benefits for our wellbeing, from calming effects to boosting productivity.
If you plan on hopping on the plant train, but are unsure where to begin, then it’s best to go back to plant care basics. There are many ultra low-maintenance varieties available on the market like succulents, but those who want to care for a broader range of plants will definitely need to master the essentials.
Being a plant parent is fun and easy but does require your attentiveness and discipline on care. Whether you intend to keep a simple pot plant on your desk or want to decorate your apartment with a wide array of greenery, learning how to care for them before buying plants near you is a mus. Here are some of the easiest and best plant care tips you can follow to keep your plant babies healthy and happy.
1. Feel the Soil
Have you ever been unsure of when your plant might need watering again? It can be confusing to remember if it’s two days or six. To make things simple, touch the soil to feel if it’s dry or moist. A good rule of thumb is to water a potted plant if it has an inch or so of dried soil. If the soil is moist, then don’t water the plant to prevent it from drowning. Yellow, dry, or shrivelled leaves are also sure signs that your plant is thirsty and could use a little more water than usual.
2. Understand Your Plant’s Watering Needs
Adding a little extra water to your plant to ensure that it doesn’t dry up is actually more dangerous for its health than underwatering it. Plants that are deprived of water can recover much faster than those that have been given too much water. Overwatered plants are a little trickier to rescue, often requiring repotting to remove overwatered soil and unhealthy roots before transferring it to a new pot with fresh soil. So be mindful not to kill your plant with overkindness.
3. Water Deeply and Less Frequently
Watering a plant deeply ensures that the roots at the very bottom of the pot drink up the water for your plant to get the nutrients it needs. By lightly watering a plant frequently, only the top roots are exposed to moisture, preventing your plant from taking in the fuel it needs for survival. However, this can also be a risk for overwatering. A good rule to follow is to observe when the soil is no longer absorbing water, which indicates that it is fully saturated. Stop watering at that point to avoid drowning your plant.
4. When in Doubt, Skip the Fertilizer
When buying plants online, you may be tempted to shop for fertiliser too. After all, who wouldn’t want to have a complete set of nutrients to ensure the plant grows as strong and as quickly as it can? It’s important to remember that not all houseplants require fertilisation or only infrequently. It is usually only needed for plants that are struggling to grow. If you’re unsure whether your plant should be receiving a good dose of fertiliser, then it’s best to err on the safe side and avoid it altogether. You may run the risk of killing your plant with too much fertilisation otherwise.
5. Bigger isn't always Better
Although it can be more aesthetically pleasing to have one or two big plants placed in different parts of your home, it’s usually better to start off with smaller plants that can acclimate to their new home. Smaller plants also have larger roots to top growth ratios while larger plants grow more slowly due to their roots catching up to the top growth.
6. Place Each Plant in an Appropriate Spot
Before buying a plant, make sure it will have a good spot in your house with the right mix of light and a comfy temperature and research the conditions it thrives in on the plant description. Plants that can stay in one position and get used to their surroundings are more likely to thrive, especially with the right amount of light available.
7. Humidity Is Generally Good for Plants
Plants love moisture, and not just from the water they get from you. They often need water from the air, so maintaining the right air quality is essential to keep your plant baby healthy. There are many humidifiers available on the market today, so you may want to consider purchasing one for your plants.
8. What to do about Yellow or Wilting Leaves
Yellow or wilting leaves are a sure sign that your plant needs more nutrition, and it may require more than just water. However, they can also be a sign of overwatering. Feel the soil, and if you’re sure that the water content isn’t the issue, try fertilizing. Getting the right fertiliser will help rejuvenate your plant and restore it to its former condition with green, fresh-looking leaves.
Becoming a plant parent is an exciting new adventure – watching it change shape, colour or form over time and adding a calm feeling to a space. From knowing how much to water your plant to how frequently and where to put it, understanding plant care basics will help you keep your plants alive and thriving. Whether you intend to keep one little succulent or decorate your house with ferns and peace lilies, plant care is an essential skill that every plant owner should cultivate.
Are you looking for plant shops near you? You can order online at Sunshine Coast Plants to get your plant of choice delivered straight from the nursery to your home. To buy plants online for the Sunshine Coast, South East Queensland and NSW areas, shop with us today!
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