Ok so maybe I should have titled this post How Not to Be A #Serialplantkiller because some of us may have been guilty of this in the past, including myself. But today’s post is all about being super positive with houseplants so The Ultimate Guide to Houseplants For Your Homes, seemed a much more apt choice of words. Oh, and it’s Monday so it’s always best to start the week off on a good note don’t you think?
The Ultimate Guide to Houseplants For Your Homes – Part 1
For me, plants have been a huge part of my life. From growing up in a family home that looked more like a greenhouse because of our green-fingered mum, was and still is, an avid plant collector. To my having owned a florist where I lived and breathed flowers and plants for several years. I have a few choice plants dotted around our home. All I hasten to add, are easy to care for and demand very little care and attention, with it being a busy family household.
With plants becoming an increasingly popular accessory in our homes, it can be a bit daunting to know where to start. Which can be where the trouble begins for the novice. It can become a little disheartening, to say the least when you find your new-found pride and joy, withering in the corner. My advice to you is don’t give up!! With a few key points to guide you, you’ll be on your way to becoming a green-fingered god/desses.
Why Go For Real?
I hear you on this one, and boy are there some really good faux plants out there. But hear me out, real plants have so much more than good looks going for them. They not only brighten and make our homes healthier, they also provide us with purpose. They bring out the better part of our human nature, and that is to care for something, other than ourselves.
You may think I am slightly mad, but when our eldest son moved out last year, I gave him Bob. (Yep you’ve guessed it I’m one of those crazy plant ladies that name their plants). In this instance, Bob happens to be a money plant. Not a very manly thing to own when you’re 21 years old I know, but Bob was given for a number of reasons. One was to brighten up his lovely flat and make it feel more homely, but more importantly, it gave him something to care and look after other than just himself. Oh, and by the way Bob is a super easy to care for plant. See there’s logic to my madness. And it’s still alive after six months, so if a 21-year-old can do it so can you!!
Ultimately, living houseplants help increase feelings of relaxation, well-being, and help you breathe more easily, whilst making your home a more beautiful place to live in. So there really isn’t a good reason not to own at least one or two.
Once you get hooked and you find you can keep a plant alive for more than a week, you’ll be adding to your collection in no time. Keeping houseplants alive is really simple when you apply some basic rules. So here’s The Ultimate Guide to Houseplants For Your Homes – Part 1
POINTS TO REMEMBER
Like most things, we tend to buy on good looks, which is fine if it’s a cushion, but not so great if you choose to buy a piece of living art like a plant.
The two most common problems for plants not surviving are:-
- The wrong environment – too warm and sunny or too cold and dark.
- You’ve picked plants requiring specialist care.
Good to Know: Plants can suffer from stress very much like ourselves, especially when they’ve moved into a new environment. If it’s leaves or flowers drop, be patient and give the plant time to settle into its new surroundings.
We are often attracted by the look of certain plants. Not surprising really as there are some real beauties out there. Choosing plants on their looks alone can be asking for trouble. If you don’t have the time to shower your plants with love and attention, opting for some Easy to Care For Plants may be the best solution. All the plants in the picture above are easy to care for plants. Gorgeous aren’t they?
To keep things simple, I have only chosen Easy to Care for plants for this guide, ensuring that you’ll stand the best chance possible in your quest to be green god/desses in your homes.
EASY TO CARE FOR PLANTS – BY ROOM TYPE
To make life easier when choosing plants this section deals with room types of which there are two main categories. Climate and light are key to your plant’s success. They’ll either love spaces that offer warmth and light or prefer cooler, darker areas of your homes.
Here are a few for each room to get you started…..
WARM & SUNNY ROOMS
Cacti and succulents are relatively well adapted to spaces where humidity is low, and they’ve definitely seen a huge rise in popularity over the past couple of years. I’m putting this down to their unusual textures and organic shapes which are almost sculptural in their appearance. It could also be that they happen to be a plant that can cope with neglect.
Care: Place in a bright sunny spot such as a window. Water when the soil is dry. Requires more water in the growing season from April through to September. Water sparingly during winter months to give it a rest.
Snake Plant/Mother In Laws Tongue
I grew up knowing this plant as the Mother in Laws Tongue, but regardless of its name, it is a really easy to care for plant. If space is tight this may be the plant for you as it grows upwards rather than out and down. This plant is tough, durable and will even grow in conditions of low light or under watering. Perfect for those of us that have very little time on our hands. It has also been proven that this plant has the ability to reduce eye irritation, headaches and respiratory problems.
Care: Water sparingly. It is better to underwater than to over water. Let the soil completely dry between watering. Always water on the edge of the base of the plant – never pour water over the leaves.
If you get bored easily, then bromeliads may be the plant for you. They only last about 3-6 months and because there is very little care involved, they are easy to maintain. Oh, and they add brilliant bursts of fun colour to your spaces too.
Care: They like a bright sunny spot but, as with most plants, not direct sunlight. Water it regularly into the top of the calyx of the plant.
DARKER & COOLER ROOMS
Elegant with its white spathes against its dark lush green leaves, the Peace Lily is a beautiful plant to have in your homes. It’s also really easy to care for. If you do forget to water it, it’ll let you know by dropping its leaves, which quickly recover when you give it a drink. Darker rooms are the perfect place for peace lilies as they don’t like too much light. Unlike most flowering plants, who require sunlight to flower, the peace lily needs a darker position for it to produce its white spathe like flowers.
Care: Keep the soil moist at all times, but do not over water.
There’s a real timeless quality and an air elegance to ivy plant as it trails down furniture. We’ve all got places in our homes that don’t receive that much light and ivies look great trailing down bookcases, shelves or hung from the ceiling.
Care: Ivies prefer to be kept slightly on the dry side, so let the soil dry out before you watering again.
Also known as dracaena, the dragon tree is a decorating go-to plant that’s easy to maintain. A slow grower, it can reach up to six feet tall indoors.
CARE: Dragon Trees are very easy to look after. If the air is dry where your plant is situated it can turn the leaf tips brown, which is easily rectified as you simply snip them off. This particular plant is extremely good at cleaning the air of impurities and harmful chemicals.
Aspidistras were very popular with the Victorians because of their resilience to coal fires and gas lamp fumes, and the typical darker rooms of the time. They’re hardy enough to be grown outside in mild areas as they tolerate temperatures just above freezing.
Care: Keep the compost just moist and water regularly during the warm summer growing season. Keep the leaves clean using a damp cloth. A good indicator that you’re overwatering is brown spots on leaves appear. Throughout summer provide a balanced liquid feed every 3 weeks. Aspidistras like to be pot bound, so move to a bigger pot only when absolutely necessary.
As this is the Ultimate Guide, I have had to break this post down into two parts. As much as I edited my initial post, there were just some major points that I just couldn’t leave out. So I am hoping you’ll come back for Part 2 later this week. It was either that or you’d be here forever reading this, and I know how busy life can all be.
Thank you, as always, for stopping by and for any comments, likes and shares.
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ps. I know I always end my posts by saying thank you, and that my lovely readers is because I really am thankful to those of you that do take the time to read them. It’s so great to see my readership grow as the weeks go by, especially as blog writing is so new to myself, and I love it.
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