Welcome to plant parenthood! If you are a beginner or are looking for a reminder on the plant care basics, look no further.
If in doubt, don’t!
Over watering is renowned for being the biggest killer of houseplants. It can limit the supply of oxygen that the roots require for your plant to survive.
It’s often wise to err on the side of caution when watering, if in doubt hold off for a few days.
When to water my plants
As you become a more accomplished plant parent you will read the signals from your plant on when it needs watering, these signs include curling leaves and wilting stems.
Other ways to test for whether your houseplant is thirsty are
- Dipping your finger into the soil, if your top two knuckles are dry, then your plant may need a drink
- Test the weight of your plant, if it is on the light side there is a lack of moisture so give it a drink
How to water my plants
It is best to give your plant one big drink rather than lots of little sips.
This can be done in two ways
- Bottom up: take your plant out of its decorative pot and place in a bowl, sink, or if you have many plants to water even the bath. Leave the plants to soak up the water.
- Top down: pour water evenly onto the plant until water runs out of the bottom holes.
Don’t forget, always leave your plants to drain any excess water away to avoid root rot.
Rainwater is ideal to water your plants with, and it’s far more environmentally friendly to collect.
In order not to shock your plants, especially in winter, room temperature is the best for your water.
Light is crucial for your plants and getting it right can feel a little overwhelming. Each room in your home will offer different light environments, see this as a positive for growing your plant family!
Plants need light to photosynthesise and grow, but exposed to too much sun can run the risk of scorching the leaves.
- Bright light: this is where the sun beams shine to light up an area of the room.
- Moderate light: east and west facing windows are great for providing moderate light.
- Low light: this doesn’t mean no light, but perhaps the room has few windows, or the blinds are kept down for a long period of the day.
Direct or indirect light
Indirect light is where the sun’s rays don’t travel directly from the sun to your plant, the light can be filtered, such as through curtains or a tree outside the window.
A simple way to test direct or indirect light is looking at the shadows
- A sharply defined shadow with no blurry edges indicates direct light. This is because the sun hits the plant head-on and clearly casts a perfect shadow
- A shadow that is weak with indistinct or blurry edges indicates indirect light because the sun is not hitting the plant head-on and so does not produce a perfectly defined shadow.
- A barely visible shadow indicates low light. There is still enough light for some degree of a shadow but it is very faint.
Plants tend to like a stable environment, they may well take a few weeks to acclimatize to their new home, so don’t panic if you see a little leaf drop.
Ideally place in rooms where there isn’t too much fluctuation in temperature and avoid drafts.
Feeding your plants
Feeding houseplants during their growing period of spring to autumn is vital to encourage lush and healthy growth.
As the nutrients in the soil are used up by the plant they need to be replaced.
Enjoy getting to know your plants, their individual likes, dislikes and quirks! You’ll soon start learning the language and signs of your plant, then you’ll be wanting to buy it some friends!
For advice on specific plants use the search bar for hints and tips on our houseplant range.