During lockdown, many of us are turning green-fingered in an effort to pass the time. Here are five tips to care for houseplants.
Houseplants aren’t just aesthetically pleasing, as they had a wide range of health and psychological benefits. They have the ability to improve your mood, reduce stress and increase productivity, according to The Royal Horticultural Society.
And one study, from the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, found that when patients were in hospitals with plants and flowers on display, they experienced less pain, fatigue and anxiety. What’s more, caring for plants offers wellbeing benefits — taking time to slow down and get green-fingered is a great way to calm our mind and relax.
Whilst keeping plants alive may sound relatively simply (but beware of overwatering), here are five measures to ensure you get the best out of your houseplants.
Give them a trim
Be sure to snip off any dead or dying leaves and stems, which will help your plant put energy into new growth or maintaining its health. Check weekly for any changes and that you aren’t overwatering your plants, as this may be contributing to dying leaves. Only water when the soil is dry.
Dust off the cobwebs
Plants such as Monstera (or Swiss cheese plants, as they’re commonly referred to) have a lot of surface area. Wipe their leaves, either with a dust towel to remove dust or a wet cloth to clean and add extra moisture. Dust can clog the plants pores, making photosynthesis harder and stunt growth. If you have larger plants, pop them into your shower with lukewarm water for a rinse.
Make sure you’re topping up your plants soil nutrients regularly with some fertiliser. As spring is prime growing time, try giving your plant a soil snack every few weeks, to keep their growth on track. With soil that is without regular fertiliser, growth can be slower once the plant has taken the nutrients from the soil.
Repot the plants
Can you see any roots poking out the top of your plant pot? Then it’s time to replant and give your green friend some extra room. Ensure the new pot you choose has drainage holes, otherwise your plant may become too saturated in water as it can’t drain away. You can even use the old pot for a new, smaller plant or cuttings to start their growing journey.
Stop the sunburn
Who knew plants could get sunburnt — not us! Whilst there is no plant SPF you can use, you can ensure your plant isn’t being overexposed. Look up your plant type and check if it’s sensitive to either too much sunlight or direct sunlight. Simple measures like moving your plants away from a window can provide them with instant relief.
With these five simple and easy tips, your houseplants will flourish.
Don’t miss Platinum’s next issue, on shop shelves May 13, for more houseplants tips and advice. You can subscribe here, with your first three issues from £3.