Raising plant babies is a great hobby to have. Not only do they look great in any home, they also make really genuine pals who won’t spread any of your secrets and are always there to listen. If your landlord won’t let you get a cat, plant babies are the next best thing to a furry friend!
If you’re looking to raise some plant pals, it’s important to know how to care for them properly. A good indoor plant will last about 2 to 5 years in the right conditions. In this post, we’ll share some handy tips to help you be the best plant mom you can be.
Learn how to propagate
Before you go out and spend over $100 on a couple of wilted Monstera leaves in this retched houseplant economy – it definitely pays to take a look into the art of propagation. Have a nosy around and see if anyone you know has a bush of the plant species you want in their backyard – you’d be surprised what grows wild, especially in New Zealand climate.
There are different methods of propagation that work for different plant species, so do some research beforehand. Many indoor plants can be propagated just by taking a clipping from the stem and re-potting it in fresh potting soil. Succulents, cacti and monsteras can be propagated easily this way. You can also place cuttings in a vase of water for a few weeks first, so that they can grow longer roots before being transplanted into soil.
Choose plant pots wisely
When you pot your selected plants, it can be tempting to want to squeeze them into a pretty-looking pot that is completely the wrong size. A good pot for plants will determine its lifespan – so get it right the first time! The pot you use should have good drainage, and be big enough for the plant to have space to grow enough roots to thrive. Your plant will grow roots to the size that its container allows, and the bigger the roots, the bigger the plant.
Position your plants strategically
A common misconception with indoor plants is that they all need to be placed in the sunniest spot in your house. While this is true for some species, it is a good idea to do some research and find out if this is the case for your plant species. Most indoor plants like a good amount of ambient light, as direct sunlight will cause them to get sunburnt (Yes, that can even happen to plants).
Don’t overfeed your plants
We’ve all been there, whether it be with an indoor plant or a childhood goldfish – we just want to love and care and feed them all. The. Time.
Too much attention will be the demise of indoor plants, they usually don’t need watering every day and some even thrive in neglect. Read labels when you buy plants as they will usually come with care instructions. As a general rule, your indoor plants probably only need watering when the top of the potting mix feels quite dry.
If you get good potting mix, it will contain enough nutrients to keep your plant fed for about 6 months, after that you may want to give your plant some fertilizer every 6 months.
Clean plants breathe easier
Indoor plants aren’t exposed to any awful pests or diseases in the same way as outdoor plants can be. They may still get attacked by insects that live indoors – so it can be good to spray them lightly with some pesticides every so often.
The main external factor that gets to indoor plants is actually one you wouldn’t think of first – dust. Dust landing on the leaves can make it harder for them to breathe – just as we would find it if our breathing tubes were all blocked up with sand. To prevent this, clean your plants leaves with a damp cloth every couple of weeks.
Long Live All Your Plant Babies
Being a plant mom is a time to cherish, and it can be a lot of fun. Use these tips, and soon you’ll have a full house of big sprouting plant pals.
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