Just like a fur baby, a houseplant baby needs some extra TLC on occasion to keep them looking and feeling tip top. As well as regular water, growing the best indoor plants means adding slow-release and liquid fertiliser to make sure they have the nutrients they need to grow into the urban jungle of your dreams.
Here are 6 easy peasy hacks for growing the best indoor plants all year round and some tools of the trade to add to your indoor garden toolbox.
1.Add slow-release fertiliser twice a year
Every 6 months your plants will need a slow-release fertiliser (those tiny little balls you see in the soil) sprinkled around the top of the soil to provide the controlled release nutrients it needs to thrive. We use Troforte CRF Pots and Plants on all our Green Assembly plants and reckon it is the Beyonce of the fertiliser world (seriously this stuff is da bomb diggity).
Handy tip: when you buy your plant from Green Assembly or any other plant store, there is enough slow-release fertiliser to last the plant 6 months, so you are off the hook for a while. Yip yip.
Grab our $10 indoor garden sized fertiliser kit here.
2. Encourage growth and health with regular liquid fertiliser in spring & summer
Spring and summer are when your plant is doing most of its growing, so now is the time to give it that extra go go gadget fish or seaweed based liquid fertiliser to get the best indoor plants you possibly can (DO NOT SNIFF. I REPEAT, DO NOT SNIFF THE FISH FERTILISER!).
One of the best and most popular is Seasol which needs to be diluted with water (1 teaspoon to 1 litre of water) and poured over your plants on watering day about once a month in the warmer months.
Handy tip: adding more Seasol than is recommended will burn your plants so don’t be tempted to up the dosage in the hope of making them grow faster!
3. Don’t buy industrial size tubs of fertiliser
For some reason, even though you only need the tiniest amount of fertilisers for each plant, the guys making these stinky goods are only selling them in giant tubs more suitable to feeding the plants in a national park. We’re talking a lifetime’s worth of fish stink here!
So, being the thoughtful crew that we are here at Green Assembly, we thought we would help a brother (or sister) out and create an indoor garden sized pack of slow-release and liquid fertiliser. Each of our “Grow Get ‘Em” packs contain a 35ml tub of the smelly stuff, 100g of our fave Troforte slow-release nutrient balls and an instruction card on how to get the best indoor plants going around. This pack will last you a good couple of years but won’t require its own storage unit. You can grab these packs as an add-on with any plant purchase.
4. Wipe away dust and nasties
The best indoor plants are the ones with clean leaves. Once a month it’s a good idea to give the leaves of your plant a wipe with a damp cloth to get rid of any dust build up that will eventually block his pores and suffocate him (sounds dramatic but it’s legit). Regularly doing the top and bottom of leaves will also wipe away any nasty-pasty bugs that can destroy the plant and keep leaves looking lush and glossy.
5. Put your unused wooden chopsticks to good use and aerate the soil
You know the ones, they arrive alongside that handy little fish shaped tub full of soy sauce with your order of sushi, but we know you never use them cos eating sushi with chopsticks is haaard! So, slip them in your bag and take them home to add to your plant toolbox!
Literally, all you need to do is snap those puppies in half and poke them into the soil all around the plant (avoiding the middle of the plant so as not to damage it). Doing this simple task every couple of months will aerate the soil and reinvigorate the roots.
6. Shower with your plants
Things just got real kinky! Just kidding, you don’t have to get in the shower with them, unless you like that kind of thing (you little minx you). Every few months simply pop them in the shower and turn the cold tap on for a few minutes until they are completely soaked through (you can do this instead of wiping the leaves and instead of its normal watering).
If your shower doubles as a bath, stick the plug in, let the shower run for 10 and then let the plant soak for an hour or so. This step gives your plants’ soil a good flush to remove toxins, cleanse the root system and ensures that the soil is still absorbing water. You will find that it won’t be needing another drink for longer than normal, so be sure to wait until the soil dries out a couple of inches before your next regular water.
Handy tip: some plants like cactus, succulents and peperomia require much less water and actually enjoy being dry so this amount of water can come as a shock. We recommend only giving these plants the shower treatment every six months and skipping the soaking altogether.
Image credit: Nadia Designs
Want the best indoor plants AND the best accessories? How about a watering can so you don’t need to put fish emulsion in your drinking glass? We’ve rounded up our fave luxe to less picks for you here.
Watering can luxe to less
Luxe | Haws $115.00
Mid-range | Zakkia $59.00
Less | Kmart $10.00
Main image credit: Christina Kayser Onsgaard via Turbulences Deco
Want even more plant care tips? Check out the Top 10 Tips For Growing Indoor Plants.