Caring for House Plants
Houseplants are one of the greatest ways of bringing warmth and life into a home or office. They are also great accents that can provide a healthy and creative hobby. Here is some helpful advice on how best to look after them and to get you started.
African Violets or St Paulia.
Moderate to bright, indirect, indoor light. Watering: Keep soil moist to dry, and allow soil around roots to dry out before watering to encourage blooming. Water from the bottom with room temperature water by placing the plastic pot in water, and allowing the plant to absorb the water (not more than 30 minutes). Avoid getting water on the leaves as this can cause spotting damage. For best results, use violet plant food as directed. Tips: Pinch off spent blooms and the stems of the blooms and this will encourage development of new buds. Place plants away from floor vents, fans, or entrance doors to avoid air drafts and bursts of cold air.
The Aloe Vera's care needs are just that of a cactus. It thrives in bright light so keep it within 5 feet of a east or west facing window. This houseplant also just like the cactus tolerates very infrequent watering. You will only need to water this plant once every 2 weeks..
Anthuriums - Flamingo Flowers
Most Anthuriums you’ll find at the garden center will be in a 5″ or 6″ inch pot. Keep the plant in bright light (north or east windowsill would be best) but NOT direct light, watering on a weekly basis is about right. Generally they like to stay moist but dry out between watering. In Hawaii they grow the plants for cut flowers in volcanic rock where the water drains quickly.
On most varieties a flower stalk rises from the center of the plant. In general, Bromeliads prefer bright light so if possible place in east or west facing windows. Watering Bromeliads is different then most house plants. Instead of watering near the base of the plant, you need to water by filling the center of the stalk (rosette) with warm water.
Christmas Cactus - Schlumbergera bridgesii
These houseplants are extremely easy to care for. The following is the trick in getting them to bloom. in September and October, Christmas cactus plants should be kept in a cool room where temperatures will remain around 10 degrees Celsius, give or take a few degrees and they will produce buds. Be sure not to expose them to freezing temperatures. It's also very important they be kept in a room where no artificial light will be turned on at night.
There are three things crotons need in abundance. Crotons need bright light to maintain their fiery colour, which makes these plants so attractive. They need a high- humidity environment. Crotons also need year-round warmth. They need to be away from cold drafts or defoliation will take place. Water it when the soil gets dry, but not before. Do not fertilize the plant until you see some new growth emerging.
These plants need a light position, but not too much direct sunlight. A window sill which does not face south is ideal. It will be happy at normal room temperatures, but shouldn't get too hot, and will last much longer in a cool position 55°F/13°C or below to almost freezing.
Watering incorrectly can cause the most problems, generally when too much water has been given. Always wait until the compost feels fairly dry, but avoid waiting so long that the plant becomes limp. You can water from either the top or the bottom, but afterwards the pot should be allowed to drain properly, and any water remaining in the saucer or pot-holder after 5 minutes, should be tipped away. If possible, avoid splashing the center of the plant with water.
You can feed with a pot-plant liquid food (e.g. Baby Bio) about every 2 weeks, but be aware that overfeeding is more likely to produce foliage rather than buds, and dead blooms or leaves should be removed carefully by giving their stems a sharp tug.
Lovely foliage plants with large, usually variegated leaves. They will grow large, up to 2 metres tall, given the right conditions and care, but they are not the easiest of plants. CAUTION - the sap is poisonous and great care must be taken not to get sap on hands and to keep the plant away from children. Site: light shade in summer and bright in winter. Temp: Likes a constant temperature with a minimum of 15°C 60°F in the winter. Water: Let the compost dry out slightly in between waterings, do not let any water sit in the dish under the plant. Mist regularly. Feeding: A liquid feed can be applied every four weeks in the growing season. Tip: If the plant gets leggy due to the lower leaves falling off it can be cut back to a low point on the stem.
Commonly known as Madagascar dragon trees make excellent office or houseplants with their ability to survive in low light conditions for decades. marginata’s plants have ribbon like leaves that are dark green with a thin marginata strip down the middle. Let the soil dry between watering so that it feels slightly moist. Tell-tale signs it’s time to water? The Dracaena leaves will begin to droop and feel limp. Your watering patterns should change with each season though, so in the winter and autumn months, let the soil completely dry out before watering as they are receiving less light.
Is a very popular indoor plant that can be used in the house, in offices and interior landscaping. The plant is great for indoors with low - moderate or high lighting conditions. The plant has an elegant form and dense, glossy dark foliage. Slender branches arch gracefully from a light grey trunk. These small indoor trees are generally easy to grow if given enough light and proper care. Do not over water this will cause the leaves to drop.
Bright indirect light. Some direct sunlight in winter is fine. Keep soil evenly moist during the growing season, slightly drier in winter. With gardenia yellow leaves are usually caused by over watering. Use a pot with a drainage hole and allow soil to dry slightly between waterings. Gardenias love humidity. Use a room humidifier or place the pot on a tray of wet pebbles. Misting is also a good idea in summer. With gardenia care should be taken to mist the foliage, and not the flowers. Normal room temperatures 16-24°C They need Lime-free potting mix.
Like to be near a sunny window, or one that receives up to six hours of direct sunlight. Make sure the temperature of the spot does not rise above 22 Celsius as it could adversely affect blooming. Water frequently so the soil is evenly moist at all times, especially during blooming season, and mist the plant lightly once a week to increase humidity. Feed it a water-soluble fertilizer every other week at 1/4 the recommended strength.
Top up the water regularly, add flower food in proportion and remove faded flowers as they occur.
These make a lovely houseplant and after flowering cut back hard and you can plant in your garden in a moderately shady position that has plenty of moisture. An alkaline pH of 6.5 is best for hydrangeas that are white or pink. For blue flowers you MUST have a much more acid soil and a pH of around 5 is ideal
Have long-lasting blooms and don't like too much sun or too much water, making them perfect, easy-care indoor plants The small plants are typically so inexpensive that when the blooms whither, many people simply discard the plant and buy another. The thick, fleshy foliage remains attractive however, and aficionados may want to keep their specimen for the next blooming cycle.
(Howea forsteriana) is an elegant plant that can create a tropical atmosphere in any home. A native to Lord Howe Island near Australia It does best in medium light; the more filtered light it gets, the more fronds it will produce. If light is too low, the stems will become stretched and there will little or no undergrowth of new stems. Kentia palm does not like wet feet! Do not keep the root ball moist or wet all the time, otherwise rotting will occur.
The ultimate house plant, Phalaenopsis are easy to grow in centrally heated homes and flower for an incredibly long time: Expect 10 weeks but don’t be surprised if your plant is still producing buds and has blooms after 6 months! Phalaenopsis orchids enjoy a spot near or in a bright window but avoid strong midday sun. They should be watered thoroughly and then not again until the media is nearly, but not completely dry. The ideal temperatures for the Phals range between 13 and 29 C. For ideal growing try to maintain 15 at night and between 23 and 29 during the day.
Peace Lily or Spathiphyllum
Is one of the Top 10 houseplants tested for removing toxic chemicals from you home or office. Place it in lower lighted areas out of direct sunlight. This plant requires heavy watering, but you must allow the soil to dry out in-between watering. This plant also loves higher humidity levels, so providing it with a nice misting a couple times a week will help the plant remain beautifully healthy. The ideal temperature is between 20- 29C during the day and at night down to 15C
Place it near a sunny window where it will have the most available sunlight. A window that faces south, east or west is better than one facing north. Do not let any part of the plant touch the cold windowpane because this may injure it.To keep the plant in bloom, maintain it at a temperature of 13 to 20 degrees C during the daylight hours and, if possible, move it to a cooler place at night. Because root rot disease is more prevalent at temperatures below 10 degrees C, do not put the poinsettia in a room colder than this. Avoid exposing the plant to hot or cold drafts, which may cause premature leaf drop. To get it to flower next year it needs 14 hours of total darkness for 8 weeks from September.
Are wonderful house plants for beginners, caring for "spiders" is easy and most of the time only downright neglect will kill the “airplane plant” or Chlorophytum comosum. It will grow in most locations though its variegation is most pronounced when the plant is near a window. Keep away from midday sun. It is very tolerant of a variety of temperature ranges and prefers to be pot bound.
Is a succulent, tree-like plant native to southern North America, Mexico and parts of the Caribbean - in other words, the hot bits! It thrives in drought and blossoms with creamy clusters of flowers. And in living rooms up and down the country! The Yucca plant requires bright light, however they will tolerate less than sunny spots. So place your Yucca houseplants within 3-5 feet of a window and rotate it if it starts bending towards the light source. It prefers moderate watering. Water thoroughly once every 7 – 10 days or when the soil feels dry to touch.