Most people love indoor plants, and for good reason: whether small or large, plants breathe life into living areas while purifying the air. Therefore, an indoor space adorned with plants doesn’t just look pretty; it also provides a healthier environment.
Although taking care of indoor plants may seem easy, many things can kill a plant. To help you avoid the most common mistakes people make with indoor plants, here are five helpful tips that will keep your green friends healthy and happy.
1. Take into account the natural environment of plants.
Considering the amount of natural light each plant needs to grow can help you choose the right spot for it. As an example, most tropical plants prefer bright to moderate, indirect light and high humidity. These plants thrive when placed near east-facing windows or in rooms that receive full light. As well, misting them with water between waterings or using a plant humidifier will create a more humid microclimate that most tropical plants enjoy. Conversely, other plants may prefer bright, direct sunlight, dry air and periods of dryness between watering.
When it comes to indoor plants, keeping the environment as stable as possible is also essential. A stable environment doesn’t only mean eliminating temperature fluctuations but also keeping plants away from radiators, AC units, and other equipment that can create hot or cold drafts.
2. Choose planters with proper drainage.
Although plants need water to survive and grow, too much water can lead to root rot. Even if you have a watering schedule, it’s important to determine soil moisture levels before watering your plants. Using your fingers, check if the soil feels damp at least 2 inches below the surface. If the soil is wet, you should check again after a few days and water only when the soil feels dry to the touch.
Besides checking the soil, you should also choose planters with proper drainage. Because drainage holes prevent plant roots from sitting in standing water, opting for planters with adequate drainage systems is critical for healthy roots and plants. Although the indoor fiberglass planters we make available at Jay Scotts don’t come with drainage systems, drainage holes can be drilled in almost any fiberglass container, such as the Saint Tropez Round Bullet Planter and Pego Oval Planter. Because fiberglass containers also absorb less water than wood and terracotta pots, using these planters can further reduce the risk of root rot.
3. Sterilize potting soil and containers before planting or repotting plants.
Many plants need to be repotted every one to two years, depending on how quickly they grow. When planting or repotting plants, properly sterilized soil is key to growing healthy plants. Good potting soil, which provides a proper balance of nutrition, aeration and moisture-holding capabilities, can help a plant thrive rather than just survive. The best time to repot indoor plants is before the start of the growing season.
Planter material is another important consideration. Unlike other planter materials, such as wood, plastic or terracotta, fiberglass provides a smooth, non-porous surface that doesn’t harbor bacteria and fungi. As a result, fiberglass planters can prevent bacterial and fungal growth. Furthermore, these planters are easier to clean and sterilize to remove disease-causing microorganisms. This means that you can use the same fiberglass containers for different plants and for many years to come.
4. Use fertilizers carefully and control pests.
The general rule of thumb is to choose a fertilizer specific to indoor plants and read the instructions carefully. This is important because using too much fertilizer can “burn” roots and prevent plants from absorbing all the nutrients the need. Additionally, fertilizers tend to accumulate in potting soil. After using fertilizers during the growing and flowering seasons, you should allow your plants to rest for a few months. Potted plants often use up the nutrients already present in the soil during this time. It’s also important to check your plants for signs of pests. If you find any insects, treat as necessary.
5. Prune indoor plants regularly and keep them clean.
Trimming is a basic part of plant upkeep. The best time to prune indoor plants is at the end or beginning of their growing seasons. Another important factor in growing healthy plants is to keep their foliage clean. Dust that accumulates on leaves will block light, which in turn affects photosynthesis, and may even harbor insects. To clean your indoor plants, wipe their leaves regularly with a damp towel or take them outside to hose them off.
Indoor and outdoor plants are some of the most important decor elements of any business, irrespective of size and type. Although taking care of indoor plants isn’t too difficult, it’s better to leave it to professional interiorscapers if in doubt. In addition to caring for your plants, a professional interiorscaper knows how to combine different plants with indoor and outdoor fiberglass planters to create the best experience possible for your customers and employees.