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Fool proof house plants and tips for a vibrant home

Are you looking to brighten your home with some indoor plants? Plants clean the air we breathe, and some will say they even help with stress relief and bring a sense of calmness into our home. Let’s face it, not everyone is blessed with green fingers. Any plant parent knows the stress of keeping these babies happy and alive. Any shortfall of enough natural light, under or over watering, or not enough plant food can send your plants into a downward spiral of browning leaves, wilting flowers, and rotting or drying roots. Here are some fool proof, robust and beautiful house plants that are pretty hard to kill.

Rubber Tree

As the name states, this plant will grow into a beautiful tall tree if potted in a large enough container. The brilliantly smooth leaves offer a gloss of elegance to your home and come in a variety of shades. They need medium to high light and are easy enough to water – wait until the soil is dry before watering.

Peace Lily

The Peace Lily is a popular house plant which is very forgiving in the case of over-watering. Its elegantly long leaves and beautiful white flowers make for a very pretty house plant. This is a great plant for low lit areas where there are few windows. It thrives in low humidity so keep away from the bathroom. NB: Peace Lilies are toxic to cats and dogs, rather opt for something else if you have pets in your home.

Snake Plant

Also known as Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, the Snake Plant is tall and sharp. This is most probably the easiest house plant to care for. It can grow in any light, bright or darker, and doesn’t need much watering. Try to keep the soil relatively dry.

Fiddle-Leaf Fig Tree

The Fiddle-Leaf Fig Tree has become popular in modern homes today. They are part of the Ficus family and present large, beautiful leaves. It can grow up to your ceiling and into a ginormous tree if given the space by being moved into the garden. Let the soil dry before watering again and place in a medium to bright light spot in your home.

Peperomia

This range of plants is perfect for small tables and little accents in the home. They come in an array of different colours ranging from dark green to a watermelon colour. They need low light and to be watered only when the soil is dry.

Other easy to care for indoor plants include the Shamrock Plant, Aloe Plant, Spider Plant, Jade Plant and more. Visit your local plant nursery and they will advise you on the best options for your home specifically.

The importance of fertilizer

Vital nutrients leach out of the soil each time the plants are watered in their pots. During the warmer months, fertilize once a month or when the plants are flowering and flourishing. You can fertilize every other month during winter. Organic fertilizers are best and can be bought from any plant nursery.

Tips

  • If your plant is dropping its lower leaves, not growing or the leaves are paling, you may need to fertilize more.
  • If the edges of the leaves are browning, you may be over watering, or it may just need more light.
  • Over fertilizing may be worse than not fertilizing. If you are unsure, take your plant or photographs to your local nursery for advice on its condition.

Bonus tip

For happy, thriving plants and a great pick-me-up if they need extra care, dilute 5ml Bio-Strath in ±1 litre of water and feed your plants with this once a month. Bio-Strath contains 61 nutrients essential to all living things, not just your family.

Repotting

As your plants grow, so should their pots too. It helps them flourish and gives room for deeper roots which allows for more growth in the stems and leaves too. Always repot into a pot that has holes for drainage. Gradually increase the size of the pot as the plant grows. Placing a small plant into a giant pot may cause root rot as the water may sit in the soil for weeks unused by the plant. Be careful not to damage the roots when repotting and don’t make the soil too compact, rather gently pat it until firm and leave enough depth for watering. Water thoroughly once repotted.

Give your plants some TLC

Have you ever heard the theory that plants grow better in surroundings filled with classical music? Our opinion is that they just need to be cared for, as any living thing does. Plants enjoy humidity, so if you live in a dry environment mist them with a spray bottle at least once a week. When leaves are dusty, wipe them with a damp cloth. Don’t forget to trim older browning leaves and dying flowers so that the plant puts all its energy into making new shoots.

References:

  1. TODAY.com. 2021. 15 houseplants that won't die on you.
  2. Planet Natural. 2021. How to Care for Indoor Plants (Houseplants) | Planet Natural.
  3. Wonder. 2021. Indoor plants: Care tips for flourishing foliage and flowers.