Brightening up indoors

Are you getting fed up of dreary dull days? Are you looking to brighten up your house? Want to bring a splash of colour inside? What about a house plant! House plants make wonderful additions to any room. Not only are they usually easy to take care of, many are believed to have some beneficial health effects – impressive isn’t it!

Most houseplants thrive when in a well-lit, draught-free place that has a consistent temperature. Like any plant, light is very important and since houseplants are kept indoors, light quality is completely determined by positioning. Light decreases quite dramatically as plants move further away from windows, so at times when light levels fall (such as during the winter months), the plants may need to be moved around to new positions with a similar temperature. Once you find the perfect position the rest is relatively simple:

  • Wait until the compost is almost dried out before rewatering, and always water from above with a saucer underneath to allow excess water to drain away.
  • Flowering plants benefit from a weekly dose of liquid feed.
  • If a plant needs to be moved to a bigger pot, add some slow-release fertiliser to the compost.
  • Remove any dying flowers or yellowing leaves by pinching them off with your thumb and forefinger.
  • Clean off dust with a piece of cotton wool as it can prevent plants from growing properly.

However, there are a handful of things to avoid: never place houseplants near open fires, radiators, in draughty positions or on windowsills on frosty nights.

So now you know the basics of caring for houseplants, it’s time to choose the perfect plant for you! To ensure whatever plant you choose thrives, base your choice on the amount of light you have available. These varieties will offer a good place to start:

  • Sunny windowsill: tropical hibiscus
  • Full filtered light: shrimp plant, cape primrose, waxplant
  • Medium light: dragon plant, rubber plant, blushing philodendron
  • Low light: aspidistra, heart-leaf, umbrella tree

Peace lilies make for excellent houseplants and their flowers are particularly elegant and beautiful, while money trees are a variety of succulent that are especially easy to care for. If you’re looking for a plant that has air-cleaning abilities, the spider plant is an excellent variety, while the cape primrose gives wonderful year-round flowers.

Do bear in mind that if you choose tropical plants, they will require a humid atmosphere and need misting on a daily basis. Cacti, succulents and carnivorous plants like a bright windowsill, but avoid putting them on a south-facing sill in summer as they will be at risk of getting scorched. Orchids prefer bright, indirect light and if possible, lots of fresh air and high humidity.

With a little bit of love and care, a thriving houseplant can make for a wonderful addition to any room! For more information on how to help house plants thrive, feel free to come in store for a chat with our friendly staff.