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Indoor Plant Tips
For those of you who have brought in a favourite plant from home and keep it on your desk at work, here are a few tips to keep it in tip top shape. We love ALL plants, not just the ones we look after, so follow the advice below to keep our green friends happy.
Most indoor plants will thrive in well-lit, draught-free places with an even temperature and reasonably high humidity, however, some plants have specific needs. Flowering plants and those with variegated leaves need more light than plants with plain green leaves. Ferns like a darker position, while Cacti, succulents and carnivorous plants like a bright windowsill. Orchids prefer bright, indirect light and if possible, lots of fresh air and high humidity.
One of the most common causes of indoor plant deaths is over-watering. Most plants benefit from allowing the soil to dry out a little between each watering, so don’t swamp them. (Also, over-watered plants tend to attract annoying little flies, called fungus gnats).
Water indoor plants from above and put saucers under plants to allow excess water to drain away. Generally plants will need watering more during their growing seasons - spring and summer - and much less during winter.
Your plants need water, light and warmth to survive. So when you're off on holiday, don't forget to water them thoroughly before you leave and try to keep them in the shade so they don't overheat.
Keep your indoor plants at comfortable temperatures (18-23 degrees), avoid keeping it near air vents, radiators, and other hot spot/draft areas.
Dust can quickly build up on leaves preventing plants from growing properly. Clean the leaves with a cotton cloth dipped in a little water.
Avoid annoying little flies by being careful not to tip tea and coffee into plant containers. The sugars left in the compost make it an ideal breeding ground for sciarid flies.
Plants acclimatise slowly to different surroundings by changing their leaf orientation and structure. If you can, try not to move them around, as they may not adapt as easily as you think.
Regularly prune your plants to stop them becoming 'leggy'. Once they've lost the foliage on their lower branches, it's very difficult to get it to return. Pinch off dying flowers with your thumb and forefinger and remove any damaged or yellowing leaves.