A Beginner’s Guide on House Plants

Al Ardh Alkhadra > Blog > Gardening > A Beginner’s Guide on House Plants

indoor house plants

Is staying indoors making your life dull? It is high time you add a hint of nature in the form of house plants in your workspace or living room.

Indoor plants need less maintenance and are easy to care for.

While they immediately brighten up your room bringing the warmth of nature inside.

Hence, you can go about your day as usual and pay just a little attention to the growth of these plants.

They can handle a little neglect and you do not need any gardening expertise to facilitate their growth.

This article discusses the low-maintenance house plants and how you can care for them so that you can get one for your room today!

house plants consideration

 

Considerations For House Plants

Before buying a plant, look at the space where you will keep it.

You should replicate the environment that they are originally grown in.

Plus, also look at your surroundings, if you live in a space with dim light then it is better to go for plants that do not require a high amount of sunlight.

The same goes for water, fertilizers use and airflow.

When it comes to indoor plants remember that it is good to use everything moderately, either the light, water or soil.

Sunlight

There is less sunlight access indoors, that is why most indoor plant species require less light to grow.

However, not all are the same.

Flowering plant species need moderate sunlight to bloom.

Hence, you will have to place them in the windows on the west, south or east side of the room.

You can also use grow lights to provide a moderate bright artificial light to the plants.

Moreover, you can use fluorescent grow lights that do not give any heat but light.

You can get more light energy by placing it closer, as it will not destroy the plant because there is no heat and the buds will bloom.

Whereas foliage plants are of three types requiring different amounts of light.

Some of these decorative plant species need more light hence, their position should be near the window or the south side of the room.

You may also need to bring these outdoors in spring and summer so that they get their full dose of sunlight.

However, be careful, tropical plants should never be in the sun for long as they thrive best in shade.

light on a pothos

 

If your room is dimly lit, you can put them under a grow light.

Next, if you choose those plant species requiring very little sunlight, even your dimly lit room would be enough for their growth.

On the other hand, place plants requiring moderate light near a window that faces north.

You can also filter the sunlight using curtains or choose an area where daylight reaches but not direct sun.

Plants the require more light need it for at least six hours in one day.

While those needing moderate and less slight can thrive in four to three hours light per day respectively.

Light is an important factor for plant growth but they do not die if you provide them insufficient light.

However, they will not produce new growth.

Remember to rotate your plant to give every portion an equal chance at growth because of sunlight exposure.

watering indoors

 

Water Requirements

Do you know that overwatering is one of the main causes behind indoor plant species death?

People usually think that they are not giving their plants enough water however, it is the other way round, they are giving too much of it.

Yes, they do need water but the potting soil is good enough when moist. It does not need to be wet.

So how can you assess the exact watering need of the plant?

One way is to check its weight.

Lightweight plants need more water but generally, indoor house plants prefer to be drier than always wet.

For example, succulents grow better when the moisture in the soil dries out.

Hence, you need water in moderation.

Excessively dry or damp soil will destroy the roots and your plant will inevitably die.

Whenever you notice that the potting soil is changing color and is cracking, then it is time to water again.

You need to stop giving more water when you see water escape from drainage holes.

Moreover, you can put your finger in the soil or use a moisture meter to assess if the soil needs to be damper.

Generally, you will require to water your indoor plants only about once or twice a week.

You can water them from the top sparing the foliage.

Using a water spray would be enough to moisten the soil.

Alternatively, you can take the bottom watering approach.

Place the plant in a dish containing water and let the roots pull up the amount of water they need.

Make sure the container has drainage holes or pebbles so that the plant does not keep standing in excess water.

Hence, remember to clear any standing water in the container and prevent clogging of drainage holes.

The main concerns regarding watering are usually over dehydrating or overwatering.

  • Overwatering Plants 

When you give plants more water than their requirement it allows air to pass through the soil.

The combination leads to fungus growth and lets root-killing bacteria invade the plant.

You will notice stinky roots at the bottom, standing water inside the container, fungus and mold forming on the plants.

The leaves of the plant will start to fall off and will also have brown patches.

  • Dehydrating Plants

If the plants start to wilt and you notice no new growth while previous flowers and leaves start falling too, then your plants need water.

The growth slows down, the leaves lose their color and the edges curl up.

Hence, this indicates that your plant is water-stressed.

Its roots are damaging and the soil pulls away from the container.

Hence, in both these scenarios, you will either have to reduce the water you give the plant or increase it.

There are certain plants that require more water than others.

If you are usually busy, then it is better to keep those house plants that require lesser maintenance.

Those that require less water include:

  • repotted plant
  • a plant placed in a cool room
  • a plant with rubbery and thick leaves
  • dormant plant
  • grown in humidity
  • grown in a non-porous container
  • grows in a water-retentive mixture

However, these require more water:

  • growing in sunlight
  • grown in clay pots and small pots
  • plants with large or thin leaves
  • a flowering plant species
  • grows in wet areas
  • grows very actively

You can use any water except for softened water as it contains sodium.

Rainwater is ideal for plant growth.

Though, normal tap water at room temperature is fine too.

The chlorine and fluoride content in the tap water will not harm the plant.

gardener adding fertilizer in pots

 

Temperature, Humidity and Fertilizer

The minimum temperatures for plants to grow are around 65-degree Fahrenheit in the daytime and 55-degree Fahrenheit at night.

Some tropical species require about 90-degree Fahrenheit temperatures.

Hence, the warmer indoor plants stay, the better.

They also need a good amount of airflow and humidity to grow properly, around 80 percent.

However, most homes are not that humid and are especially dry during winters.

Hence, you should get the airflow circulating by using a pedestal fan or ceiling fan.

Also, you can place a tray with water and pebbles near the plants for them to stay humid.

Or else you can mist them daily to keep them humid and group them together.

Some people may prefer to keep plants in the kitchen or bathroom since these areas have high humidity.

Houseplants need food to grow well and they can get that in the form of organic fertilizers.

Plants will soon use up the nutrients in the soil.

Hence, they will require more nutrients which they can get from an organic fertilizer as this is their only source to replenish nutrients.

You should add fertilizer at least once a month especially if you notice leaves changing color and falling.

Organic fertilizers are less likely to burn plants than synthetic fertilizers.

Al Ard Alkhadra’s products are organic fertilizers that can help your houseplants grow well indoors.

Start with less fertilizer application but if you see good growth then increase the amount by 2 weeks interval.

However, do not be deceived by greener color, look at the spacing between the leaves and their size.

If the size is small and spacing large then it is time to reduce the fertilizer application.

Nonetheless, it is still important to maintain the growth and life span of your plants.

choosing house plants

 

What House Plants Should You Choose?

Now that you know how to care for your houseplants using sunlight, water, humidity, temperature and fertilizers, it is time to tell you about beginner-friendly plants.

If this is your first time looking after a plant, then you probably are not well aware of caring for a plant.

Hence, you should go for indoor plant species that are easy to take care of.

Your safest options are plants that can grow well in dim light indoors but can also thrive in bright lights.

This way you will not have to regularly place them in an area with direct sunlight and will also not fear them burning.

Next, it is also better if they require less water and you only need to water it when the soil is dry.

Options include:

  • Snake Plant (Sansevieria spp.)

 

A Sansevieria trifasciata

It can enhance the beauty of your corners because of the long leaves.

It can thrive in fluorescent light but may prefer more direct sunlight.

Moreover, it rarely requires fertilization, once in spring is enough.

Also, you will need to water it once or twice a week if the soil dries down.

  • Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

 

spider house plants

This plant requires humidity hence you will usually see it in bathrooms and kitchens.

However, getting bright natural light is better than artificial light.

It needs fertilization at least four times a year using a water-soluble fertilizer.

Watering once a week is enough.

  • Pothos (Epipremnum)

 

 

pothos

It requires moderate light so it can still grow in fluorescent lights and you will not have to place it near the sunlight.

It is at risk of root rot hence it is better to water it less frequently.

Just prevent it from completely drying out that leaves shrivel and fall.

It does require fertilizing once a month but overall it is low maintenance and easy for beginners to keep.

Conclusion 

These popular house plants can brighten up your space and make it more wholesome.

Choose according to the conditions in your room and take care of these living creatures like you would of a pet.

Don’t worry, you do not to have a green thumb to take care of these plants, all you need is determination and consistency.

 

 

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