How many times have you seen plants at your local gardening store and thought about how great they would look in your office, living room, or bedroom? And most likely, you purchased a couple of them, brought them home, and they became sick in a month and eventually died.
This happens more often than you’d think because, unfortunately, your house isn’t the perfect environment for most plants to grow and thrive. In fact, as you’ll read this article, you’ll learn that several factors impact the kind of indoor plant you can bring home and expect to grow healthily.
What is an indoor plant?
Technically there are no indoor plants – but some can handle the stress of growing indoors, so we call them indoor plants. At the end of the day, bringing them inside robs them of the elements they need to grow and flourish, like sunshine, fresh air, and rain.
The majority of plants that survive indoors come from subtropical climates and prefer dappled light conditions. Therefore, when you shop for an indoor plant, look for one that can withstand temperature fluctuations, low light, and frequent drying. Also, remember that the plants you buy from nurseries have been reared in a controlled environment where they enjoy fertilising and frequent watering. Acclimatise them gradually to your home’s unique conditions to encourage them to grow healthily.
Find the right spot for your new green friend
Homeowners often make the mistake of buying an indoor plant before deciding where to put it. It’s best to decide where the plant will go before heading to the store to purchase it because different plants require different growing conditions. Depending on the available space, amount of light, and humidity level, you’ll be able to choose from a list of plants.
How much space does a plant need?
You most likely noticed that most people try to squeeze plants in tight spaces between decorations or gadgets. Placing them behind pieces of furniture or between decorative items will block the airflow and make it difficult for them to breathe. All plants need good air flow to thrive, so place the flower pots in a spot where they have plenty of space to grow and spread their stems. Airflow is also important because it lowers disease occurrence and reduces humidity which often facilitates rot and mould.
Does the plant require a high level of humidity?
We earlier mentioned that humidity can encourage mould to grow, but it doesn’t mean it’s bad for all plants. In fact, most plants need some amount of humidity to grow. If you want to buy a tropical plant, ensure it gets enough humidity and keep it away from your A/C unit or radiator. If you have low humidity levels indoors, mist it regularly to keep it healthy.
What is the ideal temperature for the plant?
Temperature is a crucial factor in plant wellness, and you should research what the ideal temperature for the plant you want to purchase is before bringing it home. Plant soil finds it more challenging to dry when exposed to air conditioning. On the other hand, the soil dries faster when the central or radiant heat is on. Even if most plants need warmth to thrive, keep them away from the A/C unit or radiator.
Water the plants frequently during the winter when the heat is turned on to ensure the soil has the proper humidity levels to encourage growth.
Shop for the ideal plant for you
By now, you know what kind of environment your plant needs to thrive, so it’s the moment to go to the nursery to pick one. Check out our guide to the best plants for living rooms to help you decide.
What plant size do you want?
Before heading to the plant nursery, decide what plant size is ideal for the place where you want to place it. To help you pick the plant size, here are some factors you should consider:
– A tall plant goes on the floor, while a shorter one fits a window, desk or table. If you’re shopping for plants for your balcony, decide what planters you want to purchase before picking a plant because each plant requires a special type of planter.
– All plants grow, so keep this in mind when shopping for an indoor flower. It’s a good idea to buy a smaller-sized one than the one you ultimately want and watch it grow to adulthood.
– Bigger plants are also heavier as they need larger pots and more soil. Therefore, moving a big plant around might be more challenging.
– What kind of effect do you want to achieve by bringing a plant inside? Do you want an accent piece? Do you want a plant to complement the present design?
How much light does the plant get inside?
Ensure the plant is the best pick for the light level of your house otherwise, its health will suffer. The light level is directly connected to the spot where you want to put the plant.
Do you have pets?
Before putting a plant in the cart, check if it’s toxic for pets because if you have a furry friend at home who likes to chew on greens, they might get sick.
Keep your indoor plant alive
Most nurseries provide recommendations on how to care for your new plant. However, it’s best to research before buying it to understand if it’s the right fit for your lifestyle. Watering the plant is the most time-intensive task of caring for it because it can die if you don’t water it properly. You should also not overlook the importance of fertilising it because it keeps the soil rich in nutrients and the plant healthy and happy. Once a couple of weeks, wipe the plant’s leaves to allow it to absorb light and prevent its pores from clogging. Most plants also require regular trimming and clipping to grow to their fullest potential.
Are you ready to become a plant parent? The above advice should help you start this journey with confidence.