So, you’re hooked on indoor plants and instead of paying rent or putting petrol in your car, you’re spending all your dollies on any and all the plants you can get your hands on.
Hold up tiger! If you’re new to indoor plants, you may want to brush up on some key plant care tips so that you don’t end up completely overwhelmed by all their varying needs.
Here are our top 10 essential indoor plant care tips you need to know before filling your home or office with new plant babies.
1. Choose the right indoor plants for your space
We all want an Insta-worthy Fiddle Leaf Fig the size of a small giraffe, but if you live in a dungeon apartment with zero natural light, you’re going to have to give up your fiddle dream… sorry.
Different plants need varying amounts of light in order to survive and hopefully thrive. Not giving it the light it needs will mean a slow, sad death and your hard earned cash wasted. Instead, find indoor plants that are suited to your space and buy loads of them! Except if you really are in a dungeon apartment… then you’re basically stuffed.
After a super low maintenance plant? This cute peperomia is available here.
2. If you’re watering several times a week, you’re watering too much
Yep, you read right! In fact, under watering would be better than over watering! Too much water can lead to root-rot, soil fungus and a quick death for your plant. Ditch ‘watering Wednesdays’ and only water when your plant needs it.
Try this: Use your fingers and feel if the soil is wet at least 2 inches below the surface. If it is, you can add water—a normal water glass full will do, unless it’s a very large or very teeny pot. If your soil is wet at the surface, you can hold off. We call this method the ‘2-inch trick’.
How cool are these Monstera Deliciosa? If they are one of your faves too, you can order a large one to be delivered here.
3. Watch and observe
Just like you would a new puppy, watch to see how happy your plant pup is in its new space and try to anticipate its needs. Is it drying out really quickly? Maybe it’s too hot and dry in the room. Are its leaves getting scorched from direct sun when he really only needs filtered light?
You will know when you find the right spot and the right plant care methods, cos it will reward you with fresh lush green foliage.
4. Buy from a reliable source
Not all plant suppliers are created equal. Boutique plant stores like Green Assembly are passionate about indoor plants and we luuurve talking about them and sharing our plant care tips. We hand-select all our plants from local nurseries and we take care to ensure they are in tip-top condition when they arrive at your door.
Buying a crazy expensive rare plant on Gumtree may seem like a genius plan, but we have heard many a sad tale of these ‘plants’ turning out to be nothing more than a cutting that hasn’t even grown roots! The same thing goes for supermarkets, they may be cheap but remember you often get what you pay for, so carefully check the plant to ensure it is healthy and thriving.
Always wanted a gorgeous string of pearls for your window sill? We have ’em right here for you.
5. Be realistic about how green your thumb is
Don’t get us wrong, we firmly believe that you can turn a black thumb green! What we mean is, do you go away a lot? Do you often forget to shower? Are you the unfortunate soul living in that dungeon apartment?
If you like the idea of having an urban jungle in your home or office but know deep down that you simply do not have the time or patience to maintain the plant care of individual plant, perhaps stick to a lone snake plant for now and work your way up.
6. A word on drainage holes (hint: you need one)
The reason Green Assembly points out on our product pages that our pots have drainage holes (a hole in the bottom of the ceramic pot), is quite simply because it is so damn hard to maintain good plant care of a potted plant with no hole!
I won’t bore you with the details of what happens, just promise us that even if you do buy a $10 Kmart pot (how is that even possible?!) with no hole that you WILL NOT pot your indoor plant into it. Keep him in the plastic container and make sure to empty any excess water. It gives us anxiety just thinking about it.
You can pick yourself up a small succulent in this sexy blush pink pot here.
7. Repotting is not as scary as it sounds
You want your plant to grow to be as tall as you, but you have kept it in its original plastic pot for the last 70 years. Not gonna happen toots. But we promise it’s really not that hard. The long and the short of it is really just to squeeze the plastic pot on all sides (yes, we know that a round pot does not have sides, work with us!), splay your fingers around the base of the plant (to catch it) and turn the pot upside down. Voila, it’s out! Now place it into the new pot that is only a few inches larger and cover with fresh potting mix then give it a good drink.
8. Some indoor plants love humidity
Misting plants that have originated from tropical areas (think Monsteras, ferns and orchids) in between watering with distilled or filtered water will help create a more humid microclimate. Grouping these types of plants together or adding a humidifier will also help create more of that natural humid air. Plus, they are great for humans.
9. Don’t be moving too much
You know how plants in the ‘wild’ don’t move around…? They get a bit stressy when they are moved too much so don’t be shuffling him from one end of the room to the other every other day, K? You can rotate them on the spot so that all leaves get an equal amount of light though. That they can cope with.
10. Plant food (fertiliser)
We like to err on the side of caution when it comes to fertiliser. Most are designed for gardens and can be too strong for potted plants so water them down a touch more than what the instructions say for liquid fertiliser. Liquid fertiliser can be given every month in the summer and slow release fertiliser can be applied twice per year at the most (keep in mind, your plant will have enough slow release fertiliser for another 6 months when you buy it). Pick up our handy indoor garden sized fertiliser pack here.