One of the best ways to spruce up your interiors is to keep a few indoor plants at strategic places. This could range from the entry to your home, to a nice corner, against a pillar, on the window sill, in the balcony, or even in the washroom.
When it comes to choosing an ideal indoor plant, you will be spoilt for choice. Make a trip to your neighbourhood nursery and you will be amazed to see the numerous varieties of money plants, palms, bonsais, syngoniums, spider plants, aglaonemas, jades, and ferns that are available.
Merely buying a nice-looking plant and repotting it into a fancy ceramic pot is not enough. It is important that your plants look healthy and grow well, while indoors.
Keep them insect free
Pay attention to the basic needs – water, air and some sunlight. Above all, keep them insect free. Take care of any pest problems immediately. Pests such as aphids, mealybugs or spider mites are especially aggressive towards indoor plants.
So, each time you put them out for some fresh air and sunlight, check thoroughly before bringing them inside. If they show signs of pests or disease, treat the problem outdoors itself. Else, the pests travel indoors along with the infected plant and, in turn, infect other indoor plants.
When potting, always use sterile soil. This kind significantly reduces the possibility of plants getting infected by pests, insects or some plant diseases.
An added tip is to use neem oil or boiled neem water when spraying your indoor plants. Neem is very effective when it comes to pest control. It works well on a wide range of pests like aphids, mites, whiteflies, flea beetles and earwigs. In fact, most gardeners mix neem oil with water to rid their plants of bugs.
Remember, healthy plants are able to ward off pests and disease much better than weak ones.
Proper placement is important
Your indoor plants cannot be kept just anywhere. It is best to avoid areas that are near heat or air conditioning ducts, near the television, between curtains or surrounded by furniture. It could get claustrophobic for them.
It would help to follow some basic vastu tips. Plants that need full sun can be kept near a south facing window. Meanwhile, those that do well in partial shade can be kept near east or west facing windows. Remember that north facing windows receive little sunshine. Therefore, avoid keeping any plants in such an area.
Make sure your plants receive sufficient light. Choose only those plants that will thrive on your home’s lighting levels.
Get rid of dust and dirt on your plants
Make it a habit to wash the leaves of your indoor plants frequently. Dust on plants not only looks untidy, but it also clogs the pores of the plant leaves. This makes it difficult for the plant to breathe.
Moreover, dust decreases the amount of absorbed light. Consequently, the plant’s ability to photosynthesise is compromised. Dust and dirt also attract pests, mites and insects.
To keep the leaves clean, you can wash or wipe large-leaved houseplants with a wet and soft cloth or use a neem spray. For plants with smaller leaves, you could use a hand sprayer and drench them with water.
Air conditioning can make a room very dry. Mist your plants with a spray bottle regularly in order to provide extra humidity.
Never ever use a feather duster to clean your plants. These dusters are germ carriers and insects can easily transfer tiny insects or eggs from one plant to another.
Indoor plants also need to be manured regularly to maintain healthy growth. Use a good, well-balanced fertiliser that can be added while watering.
Keep the above simple and effective tips in mind and enjoy healthy greenery inside your homes too.