Indoor Flower and Plant Care

Image: Gardening Know How

Indoor Flower Care

Indoor plants help to improve the quality of air inside the home besides providing a warm and colorful décor to the rooms. Growing house plants indoors is easy as well as exciting. However, it is very important to take adequate care of the plants and to ensure their growth as well as safety. Unlike keeping the plants in a greenhouse, keeping them inside the house requires a lot of adjustments and a lot of skills are also necessary for indoor flower care. Adequate watering and sufficient lighting are very important for indoor plant care. The temperature and humidity inside the home also have great impact on the plants. It is not possible to make the indoors 100% ideal for all types of plants to grow. However, when you select the indoor plants for your house, you can identify the basic needs of the plants and by making some changes or adjustments in indoors, you can provide the plants a healthy environment to grow.

Watering

The potting soil should not go dry but need not keep it too wet. When the soil is dry the roots go weak and will affect the growth of the plant. When the potting soil appears very light in color or with cracks on it, watering is essential. Just by sticking a finger on the soil we can determine how moist the soil is. The plants should not wilt and there should be no signs of dehydration. Formation of translucent leaves, slow growth of leaves, curling of leaf edges, formation of brown or yellow colored leaves and premature falling down of leaves and flowers indicate insufficient watering.

Overwatering is also equally harmful. As a result of over-watering roots will be destroyed by bacteria. Appearance of brown rotten patches on leaves, young leaves and old leaves falling off, water standing in the bottom of the pot, appearance of brown, stinky roots at the bottom and formation of fungus on the surface of the soil indicate over watering.

The plants that grow very fast, plants that receive direct sunlight, plants that grow in smaller pots, plants which are potted in clay pots and plants that have started flowering require more water. When the plant is kept in a cool room or in non-porous containers they require less water. Also, resting or dormant plants require very little water. The plants which were repotted very recently and those plants which grow in high humidity also require less water.

Plants prefer rain water as well as melted snow. Tap water at room temperature is also good for the indoor plants. Softened water contains sodium and hence should be avoided. Plants may be watered from top to bottom without wetting the foliage. The entire potting soil must be moistened. Ensure that water flows out of the holes in the bottom of the pot.

Drainage

Proper drainage of water is very important to keep the plant healthy. Specially made organic potting soil is ideal for the indoor plants. The plant should never stand in water. Hence either the container should have drainage holes or there must be a layer of pebbles in the bottom of the container. Check the holes at regular intervals to ensure that they are not clogged. Standing water must be discarded.

Light

Light requirements may vary from plant to plant. Though many plants prefer direct sunlight, the indoor plants may not be able to get it. By way of keeping the plant in a window they will receive sufficient light. If required, indoor plants may be provided supplemented light from grow light. For flowering plants, moderately bright light is good. Hence they may be kept in windows located towards east, west or south of the house.

Temperature and Humidity

Though temperature preferences vary from plant to plant, the ideal temperature for most of the indoor houseplants is 65 – 75 degrees during daytime and 55 – 60 degrees during night. Most plants prefer humidity around 80%. Humidity may drop in the winter. This problem can be solved by using a humidifier. A small tray with pebbles and water in it can also provide more humidity.

Fertilizer

During watering, plants are likely to drop the nutrients in the soil. Indoor plants have no way for nutrient replenishment other than fertilizing. Organic fertilizers ensure sufficient nutrition to the indoor plants. When plants are flowering and growing, fertilizer must be provided once in a month. During winter, fertilizing can be avoided. When the plant is found slow in growing or turns to yellow-green color more fertilizer should be added. Sometimes, the indication may be for less water or more light. Hence action may be taken only after analyzing all conditions.

Repotting the Houseplants

As a result of steady growth as well as thriving, the indoor plants will require bigger pots as well as fresh potting mix. Spring is the ideal time for repotting plants. The new pot should not be too big but it must be bigger than the first pot. Ensure that the root system is not damaged during repotting. There must be sufficient space at the top of the new pot for watering.

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