Keep your houseplants happy

homes and gardens 363

Houseplants bring life to any space and can even reduce stress – here’s how to keep them growing big and strong

If you live in a flat or masionette, then houseplants are a must. When chosen carefully, they can easily brighten up the smallest of properties, and certainly add a breath of fresh air to any room. However, it’s important to remember that you must look after them properly! Read on to see how to keep your houseplants happy.

Let the sunshine in

First things first, make sure that your houseplants are placed in the right spot for them to grow. If possible, the best place to stick them is beneath a south-facing window – these receive much more sunlight than north-facing ones. Once placed, turn the pots halfway each couple of days to make sure they are getting the optimum amount of sunlight and to stop the plant bending all one way. It’s also worth noting that plants with more foliage need more light and sun-sensitive plants might need a slightly shadier windowsill in summer.

Water, water, everywhere

When potting your houseplants, a nifty trick is to tuck a damp sponge into the bottom of the pit before filling it with soil. This will help the soil stay moist for longer, as well as acting as a mini water reservoir and will help prevent spillage if you overwater. And speaking of overwatering – try not to. If the plant is swimming in water, this is a sure-fire way to kill it off before it even starts to grow properly! Keep note of the type of plant and how often it needs to be watered and stick to it.

Tea time

Your plants are working hard to grow big and strong – so they deserve a tea break too! If you have an acid-loving houseplant, swapping water for brewed tea every few days can work absolute wonders. Alternatively, you could work wet tea leaves into the soil to give the plants a luxurious, glossy look. It’s not just tea that helps either – the minerals in soda water have been proven to help green plants grow, so try watering them with it once a week. Egg water has its benefits too – the nutrient-filled water helps them grow tall and proud.

Moving house

Now your plants have been growing for some time, it’s important to recognise when they need repotting. It can be done at any time, but it’s usually best to do it in spring, before growth begins. There are a few other signs that signal when a plant needs repotting – when new leaves appear smaller than older leaves, when the soil dries out very quickly after watering, if you can see roots on the surface of the soil or, finally, if the roots are so tightly coiled that when removed from the pot, it’s all root and no soil.

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