Imagine a world without plants. It’s like a queen without her elegant clothing of many colors, and Crown comes to mind in the thought of it. The same goes for a home without houseplants. Well, there is a wide variety of house plants or indoor plants with different sizes, shapes, colors, and texture, which helps to beautify our homes and soften our environment.
Indoor plants have proven to improve our health by lowering blood pressure and removing pollutants from the air we breathe, reduce stress, fight colds, improve sleep, clear congestion and even stop headaches amongst other benefits. Examples of common house plants include Peacock plant, Lady Palm, Wax Plant, Bamboo Palm, and Swedish Ivy, also known as (Plectranthus Australis), just to mention a few.
Key factors to look out for when Purchasing Indoor Plants
Choose a reputable supplier when purchasing. Thoroughly examine each plant, watch for brown edges, and spindly growth with elongated stems and significant gaps between new leaves. Inspect leaves and stem junctions for signs of insect or disease problems. Check any support stakes to make sure they are not hiding broken stems or branches. Finally, make sure the plant gets placed in an area that suits its optimal requirements for light, temperature, and Humidity.
Suitable Positions for House Plants and Light Exposures
Different indoor plants require different conditions best suitable for their growth and wellbeing. The most critical factors to mind are light intensity and duration. Light energy is measured using a Light meter. A light meter measures light in units called foot-candles. One foot-candle is the amount of light from a candle spread over a square foot surface area.
Plants that Prefer low light may produce dull, sickly-looking leaves when exposed to too much light. Bright light can also cause leaf spots or brown-tipped scorched margins. On the other hand, not enough light can cause slow, spindly growth and the development of small pale leaves. Plants may not flower, or if they do, buds may drop, or flowers may fade quickly.
When selecting indoor plants for the home, characteristics of the location, the amount and duration of light all year long, must be placed into consideration. Often you will realize that indoor plants will be classified according to whether they prefer low, direct, or indirect light.
Temperature is the second most crucial factor in influencing plant growth in interior environments. Temperature and light are linked through the process of photosynthesis and respiration. Photosynthesis builds sugars and starch, which are then broken down by respiration to provide energy for the development of new tissues (growth) and maintenance of the existing ones. High temperatures speed up respiration, but maintenance takes precedence over growth as under insufficient light leads to low production of sugars for plant maintenance resulting in its death.
The relative humidity is the amount of moisture contained in the air. Nearly all houseplants prefer a humidity level of 50% or more. House plants may suffer, especially during the winter, from a lack of humidity. A simple method to increase the humidity is to place it in a pebble tray. This is a tray lined with Pebbles, filled in with enough water to reach just below the pebble’s surface. The water evaporates from the plate up into the surroundings of the plant, thereby increasing the relative humidity.
Watering and Fertilization
Moderate watering is one of the most critical skills in plant care. Applying a lot of water can suffocate the plant roots, and much less water causes growth to become erratic and stunted. To determine if your plant requires water, deep in your index finger into the soil. Most plants are ready for water if they are dry one inch down from the surface of the soil.
The watering application depends on the conditions under which the plants are growing. To gauge how much water to apply, consider; the plant type, plant size, container volume, soil moisture, and light intensity. Water devices are mostly used as they simplify the process of gaging the water when watering a plant.
When you fertilize, the fertilizer used to dissolve in the water in the soil to form salts. When you overfeed your plant, water becomes so salty and burns the plant’s roots by sucking water out of it. Over-fertilisation of plants can cause brown, crisp leaf margins. A white mineral crust on the outside of clay pots or the soil surface is a sure sign that the plant is being over-fertilized.
Pruning, Grooming, and Cleaning
When the plant has outgrown its container, root pruning is advisable. Pull roots away from the root mass then cut them back to within I inch of the soil mass. Pruning any shriveled or discolored leaves and cleaning dust from your houseplant will not only make it look more attractive; it also allows the plant to function more effectively.
Leaves can be cleaned with a more soft cloth while supporting the blade with one hand. Some plants can benefit from the actual rain shower and may need to be taken out on rainy days. Smaller plants can be washed by placing your hand over the top of the Pot to keep the soil from falling out, inverting the plant, immersing it in a solution of mild soapy water, and swirling it around for few seconds.
Plants in pots up to 10 inches in diameter should be repotted annually. Large container plants should repot every 2years. Repotting prevents the plant from becoming pot-bound. Plants on small containers have very slow leaf and stem growth. The soil dries out quickly even with frequent watering, and roots may begin to grow out of the drainage hole. Move your plant to a container that is only slightly larger.
Spots, rots, wilts, and mildews on your houseplants are symptoms of the disease. It is essential to identify the problem correctly. Your plant gets treated effectively. Some of the recommended treatment includes destroying infected leaves, using a fungicide, and modifying cultural practices like Ashes. There are a variety of pests that plague houseplants. Identify the pets and apply the appropriate remedy. Repeated treatment may be required to break the life cycle of overlapping generations of most of these pests. Finally home with a house plant is a happy home.