Growing your own indoor oasis can be a little overwhelming. With endless plant varieties, different potting options, and Australia’s famously temperamental weather patterns, your serene green space can quickly become a panic room.
But never fear!
We’ve outlined the basic principles for keeping your plantlife thriving – and it’s easier than you think!
From simple positioning hacks to choosing the right fertiliser, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide for looking after indoor plants – we’ve even listed four ultra-durable plants to get you started!
Location, Location, Location!
It sounds obvious, but choosing the right position for your plant is essential for healthy growth. First of all: read the fine print! Your plant’s label should have plenty of information relating to its ideal conditions.
For indoor plants, you’re looking for good ambient lighting. Positioning a plant exposed to direct sunlight (especially behind a window) is not a great idea, and can lead to burning. Placing your plant away from heating or air conditioning vents is also a good idea. Look for a well-lit room with plenty of natural light. If your abode tends to be on the darker side, think about purchasing some fluorescent lighting (which can act as a substitute to natural light).
All in all, you’re looking for a spot that’s conducive to biological processes. Read: photosynthesis!
Don’t Kill Your Plants with Kindness – Stop Watering!
The first mistake most of us make when caring for our plants is overwatering. ‘Wet Feet’, terminology used to describe plants sitting in water for days, can be terminal for plant life, constricting the roots’ ability to carry oxygen to the leaves. Signs of overwatering tend to be obvious: a lack of new leaves, discoloured leaves, or soft rotten patches should all ring alarm bells.
As a general rule, indoor plants tend to prefer being on the drier side. Watering once per week or two is ample – and you can be even more conservative in winter.
If you can’t help yourself, a general ‘misting’ with a water-bottle can be beneficial, as it removes dust that blocks the plant’s pores, acting as a kind of humidifying imitation of the natural world.
Finally, make sure your pots have plenty of drainage!
Feed. Your. Plants.
Yes, photosynthesis creates chemical energy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bolster your plant’s growth with a little extra help!
Three key chemical denominators are found in all mixed fertilisers – phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen – and they’re all essential for maintaining a plant’s equilibrium.
Like watering, it’s important not to overdo it. Fertiliser is best used sparingly. Sprinkle the granules of fertiliser on your plant once a month, and only in times of growth (you can put it away in winter). The fertiliser will slowly break down over time and replace the nutrients lost when watering.
Just make sure the fertiliser label says ‘indoor plant’!
Have no plants to feed yet? These are the best ones to get you started!
Poetic, expressionist, and notoriously resilient, the Sansevieria trifasciata (also known as ‘Snake Plant’ or ‘Mother in Law’s tongue’) is perfect for beginners. Much like your real mother-in-law, they’re fine left in low-light conditions with minimal interference – kidding! The Snake Plant is also very slow-growing, and can even help with air filtration in your house!
Another staple for any green thumb, Devil’s Ivy is also a great place to start for beginners. One of the most popular hanging plants on earth, the Devil’s Ivy loves bright indirect light. Place it accordingly, and it’ll be on the move in no time!
Named for its spider-like appearance, the Spider Plant is another highly-adaptable option. With a little care, the Spider Plant will, over time, produce plantlets that add even more aesthetic diversity!
Native to the tropical forests of Mexico, the lush-looking Monstera Deliciosa will elevate your plant game to new heights. Also lovingly nicknamed the Swiss Cheese Plant (for their natural leaf-holes), the Monstera demands its own statement-making spot in your home. These can grow huge, so make sure to plan accordingly!
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