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Indoor Plants

Last Updated Feb 4, 2013 · Written by Craig Gibson

Indoor plants are a great way to bring the feeling of the outdoors indoors, and they also help to improve the air quality, as well as the Feng Shui of the home.  Indoor plants help to absorb negative energy, and emit positive energy in return. So how can you use indoor plants in the home?  Read on to find out more.

Indoor plants are an excellent choice for the home as they absorb many of the toxins found in the everyday household and give out oxygen, which refreshes and cleanses the air in enclosed spaces.  With a little bit of thought, you can find an indoor plant that is suitable for just about any area of your home, no matter how bright or dim it is.

It is a good idea to look at how the plants impact on the room.  Is it the right size for the space?  Does it match or complement the décor?  Indoor plants come in different foliage colours, so that you can choose one to best suit the way that you have decorated your home.  An indoor plant is a great way to liven up a space that is empty.  You can even use them as a room divider, or as a way to link the indoor and outdoor spaces of a home.

Caring for Indoor Plants

When you first bring your new plant home, you will need to acclimatise them before you can bring them fully indoors.  If you change their conditions too rapidly, they will go into shock and potentially become damaged.  If you have a warm house with regulated heat all year round, plants can immediately be taken indoors.  Otherwise, place the plant on the southern side of the house where there is no direct sunlight.  Gradually reduce the amount of food and water that they are given.  When the plants show sign of new growth, they have adapted to their new conditions and can then be taken indoors.

During the warmer months of the year, during the active growing stage of the plant, it is a good idea to take it outdoors for cleaning and fertilising.  Spray both sides of the foliage with an oil that deters sap sucking insects.  As far as fertilising goes, it is best to use a water-soluble one, as organic fertilisers leave an odour.  An organic seaweed or fish fertiliser is excellent as it boosts the plant’s growth during spring and helps the plant to take up nutrients.  Finally, give the plant a light pruning to shape it and reign in the more vigorous growth.

Light and Indoor Plants

The light and temperature requirements of the indoor plant are particularly important when you are deciding where to place it.  If you place the plant in the wrong area, it will soon become stressed and unhealthy.  Most indoor plants will do well if you place them in an area that has bright, filtered sunlight, or is in a well lit position.  Do not place them in direct sun.  if the plant does not get enough light, the plant may have pale and stunted new leaves, or drawn out growth, with long, thin, and weak stems.  Mature leaves will eventually turn yellow and fall.

If you have a brighter area in your home, some good plants are the Madonna Lily, philodendrons, Devil’s Ivy, syngoniums, dracaenas, cordylines, weeping figs, Boston ferns, and African violets.  If the area is darker, some plants you could use include the Kentia palm, the Parlor palm, Rochford holly fern, sansevieria, and aspidistra.

Watering Indoor Plants

The number one cause of the death of indoor plants is over watering as people overestimate the amount of water that indoor plants need.  In darker areas, plants should be watered less than normal.  In the summer months, water them a little more than you normally would.  Before watering, check the soil’s moisture content.  If it still feels damp, it generally will not need watering.  A good way to tell if you are over watering is if the plant has brown spots on its leaves.  Also, do not leave water standing in the saucer as it will lead to root rot.

If you need more advice why not speak to a local nursery in your area - locate one using the handy search directory feature on our site. Gardeners and horticulturists may also be able to help you maintain your indoor plants.

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