Caring for houseplants - how it works!
Plants and flowers don't just make us happy when we encounter them outside in nature. They also add color, cosiness and liveliness to our own four walls. Did you know that we feel better when we have flowers at home? You can find out more about this here read up.
Caring for your own houseplants is not always easy. It takes persistence and sometimes a little patience to see your houseplants thrive. However, if you can just watch your own plants gradually shrinking, you will quickly become frustrated and feel as if you have done everything wrong.
Therefore, I would like to put together useful tips that have saved some of my plants (and me) in the past and that make caring for houseplants almost child's play. If I can do it, you can definitely do it too - because I really don't have a “green thumb”, as they say.
Everyone has their own way of dealing with things, and of course that also applies to houseplants. So if you have any tips or suggestions of your own, please share them with us in the comments under this post!
Before you visit the local flower shop or the nearest garden center, it is important to think about where exactly in the home or office you want to place the plant(s). Is there a lot of sun there or is it more shady? What about the temperature? If you know these things in advance, the search for a suitable plant quickly becomes much easier: in the store you can simply compare the label of the plant with the conditions at home. This way you can quickly see whether the basic requirements are met or not.
But it's not just the plant's label that you should consider. When you're at the nursery, there are a few other things you can keep in mind:
Once you have found a beautiful and suitable plant that you would like to take home, it is a good idea to (gently) lift the plant out of its pot. This will give you an idea of the roots of the plant. If you can see a lot of roots on the outside just by looking at it, it makes sense to buy a larger pot into which you can then transfer the plant. This gives it more room to breathe and spread out. Finding suitable pots is also part of caring for your houseplants properly!
The simple black inner pots of the plants, like those you find in the nursery, are usually not very decorative. It's worth looking for a nicer planter or basket while you're there. This way you can ensure that the plant fits into the planter both visually and in size.
The water drain
What is really important when caring for houseplants is that the water can drain well. That's why the plant's pot should have holes in the bottom. Almost all plastic pots are equipped with holes right at the bottom edge (literally holes at the bottom). However, there are also a few that have holes in the middle of the bottom of the pot, but there is another depression around it in which water can collect in a circle. Accumulated water can cause the roots to rot, eventually causing the plant to die. Therefore, we want the former, that is, pots whose holes are actually at the bottom of the container.
As described above, you can repot plants. This makes particular sense when the plant outgrows its pot: the roots are already visible everywhere when the plant is lifted out of the pot. This is a sign that the plant needs more space to continue growing healthily.
However, some plants do not always tolerate a change in environment well. To be safe, you can use the following technique. This makes it easier for the plants and repotting is easy in almost all cases.
The “technique” actually consists of just one step: wet the soil with water before adding it to the new pot. The soil should be so moist that it sticks together (but please not soaking wet). That's it!
The moist environment encourages the plant's roots to spread and explore the new environment. The plant feels comfortable in its new environment more quickly.
The new pot is then lined with the moistened soil on the bottom and walls as usual. The plant is then inserted and covered with a little more wet soil. Finally, water the plant again so that the old (original) soil also gets moisture!
Of course, caring for houseplants also includes watering. Over- or under-watering of plants is probably the most common reason for their death. This is because our houseplants don't all need the same amount of water. These rules of thumb can help:
At what intervals should I water?
The soil should not be constantly moist, but should become quite dry between waterings. Stick your finger a few inches into the soil. If the soil is still moist at your fingertips, then you don't need to water. If, on the other hand, it is dry, it is time for the next watering.
How much should I water?
Most plants don’t like “wet feet”. Therefore, a whole pond should not form on the saucer when watering. Keep watering until a small amount of water collects on the saucer. If a small “flood” happens, you can always drain the water on the saucer.
Quite intuitively, houseplants need water more regularly, especially in the spring and summer months than in the colder months. But when it gets hot outside, plants not only demand more water - they also like the water to be a little colder than in winter. In winter, however, the water should not be warm, but at room temperature.
We know that plants need light, soil and water to thrive. What people sometimes forget, however, is that plants also need fertilizer. Fertilizer is like food for plants. Here too, of course, every plant is different. But on average, you should “feed” your houseplants every 2-4 weeks in spring and summer. In winter, however, the plants need rest and therefore usually do not need to be fertilized during this time.
Some plants need light, while others need more shade. Regardless, all plants need a natural light source. During cold winter days, you may want to move your plants more toward a light source. Nevertheless, you should be careful with this - because many plants don't like to change their place. They get used to their surroundings. So only move your plants when it is really necessary.
Another point to pay attention to when caring for houseplants is the temperature of the plant's surroundings. Like humans, plants prefer temperatures within a range that is comfortable for them.
Remember that plants placed in front of a window are often exposed to very different temperatures. The same goes for plants near a heater or air conditioner.
Insects and beetles love dead and decaying leaves. Therefore, you should remove any fallen leaves that are now lying on the ground. Even if you see that individual leaves or stems will soon die, you should cut them off. This means they cannot take any valuable nutrients away from the still healthy leaves and the plant feels better overall.
Insects and unwanted animals
When you are in the process of watering your plants, you should regularly take a moment to check the leaves/stem of the plant for small insects. If you encounter one of these, it's best to take care of it immediately (as with so many things in life ). If you have a suspicion but don't know exactly what kind of insect the plant is infected with, you can of course either google it - or ask at a nursery. Many of the small pests can be removed with a light soapy solution. To do this, simply spray the leaves with soapy water and then wipe them with a damp cloth. You may have to repeat this process a few times. In the case of aphids, for example, the plant is usually free of infestation after the first application.
If you're experimenting with new plants, trying things out a bit and things go wrong, don't be discouraged. Some houseplants are not easy to care for, and some will die - that's the cycle of life. And yet you will get better and learn more every time!
Of course, one option you also have is to adapt the type of plant to your own skill level. Succulents and ivy plants, for example, do not require extensive care as they are less fussy and fussy than many other houseplants...
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