When it comes to home décor, plants provide a unique touch to your surroundings. Besides enhancing the elegance of interiors, they deliver a sense of positivity and unparalleled joy. However, it’s also true that a struggling houseplant leaves a dent on ambience and, at the same time, makes you feel down.
So, how do you keep your indoor plants healthy and full of life? There is no fixed formula to ensure optimal plant care. However, you can surely avoid five of the most common mistakes that may impact the health of your plants. Let’s look at them.
If at all there is a survey of most common gardening mistakes, overwatering may hold the top place in survey results. Indoor plants often meet their fate owing to excess love showered upon them in the form of overwatering. Overwatering can lead to root rot, where roots are unable to get enough oxygen and eventually die. To avoid this problem, make sure you understand the watering requirement of each plant. For example, while plants like fern need humidity all the time, a succulent wants minimal watering.
Also, the pot should have a hole at the bottom. With nowhere to go, water will accumulate and roots will sit in it all the time. If you can’t make a hole, like in the case of a terrarium, prepare a bed of pebbles or gravels to store excess water drained through the soil mix.
Using Wrong Soil
One of the most critical considerations is using the right potting mix. If you only use soil in your planter, it may lead to the same result as above – the soil turning into clay overtime, choking the roots, leaving them devoid of oxygen. You may want to add to the soil the right proportion of compost/manure and cocopeat and even coarse sand to make it a well-draining potting mix. It is common for both indoor and outdoor plants. So, the next time you visit your local nursery to get soil for your green friends at home, make sure it has the ingredients conducive for them.
Of course, a plant lover would love plants everywhere around – be it the living room, bedroom or kitchen. But remember, it should be about the plant and not you. Place your indoor plants where their needs are met, even when you have a vast space elsewhere in the house. For example, a philodendron may fall victim to scorching heat if placed near the south window in summer. Similarly, a cactus may not appreciate it much if it has been accommodated in the bathroom. Decide the place first, and then bring the plant home.
Moving Them Around Frequently
Plants don’t like travelling, literally. They like to stay at one place and acclimatise themselves accordingly. A lot many plants, such as ficus, become stressed with frequent moments and their health takes a hit. If you are changing the location of your plant around the house frequently to modify interior décor, you may start to see ill results on your plants in the future. However, if the movement is required due to the change in seasons to allow the right levels of light and humidity, it is fine.
Like watering humidity, plants have varying lighting needs as well. The sun outside can burn your indoor plants like ZZ, and your jade plant will not take long to tell you that it didn’t like being under your living room light, however bright they are.
It’s also crucial to note that not all indoor plants like low light. Peace lily can thrive in bright indirect sunlight but doesn’t like artificial light. Also, low light surroundings don’t mean a poorly-lit room. As a thumb rule, you should be able to read a book there in the daytime comfortable without having to switch on lights.
Now that you’re aware of these common indoor gardening mistakes, you know how to care for your beautiful green buddies next. It all boils down to a simple understanding – know your plant.