We all love a good houseplant, but as all of us have found out at one point in our lives – from the poor Venus Flytraps of our youth to the downtrodden cacti of our university years – plants can be picky when it comes to care.
The result? Many of our floral friends are crying out for some tender love and care, but how do you know if you’re unwittingly mistreating your prize plant? Well, Hammonds, the fitted furniture specialists, recently set out to find out why.
The guide from Hammonds came about because of the growing trend in what’s called biophilic design – that’s any interior design that puts plants first. Searches for the term have grown 21% in the last year, with Instagram home to over 8.1 million posts that use the hashtag #houseplants.
But, much like the current trend for badly behaved lockdown pooches, many new plant owners born in the pandemic don’t know how to take care of their plants, especially since the signs that something’s gone wrong can be confusing to say the least. With this in mind, the company’s experts did some digging and found out how to care for the most common plants.
How to Tell if Your Houseplant Is Unhappy
Hammonds looked at four common houseplants – Swiss cheese plant, Chinese money plant, peace lily, and aloe vera:
- Swiss cheese plant – Yellowing leaves are a sign of overwatering.
- Chinese money plant – Tall stems with small leaves are a sign of insufficient light. Cupped leaves mean the plant is getting too much light or heat. And drooping shows a lack of water.
- Peace lily – Brown leaf tips can be a sign of exposure to tap water chemicals, while wilting is a sure sign of dehydration.
- Aloe vera – Brown and mushy leaves are a sign of overwatering with the common aloe vera.
How to Care for Your Houseplant and Keep Them Looking Their Best
All houseplants need caring for with the right watering, feeding and placement. It’s important to research what exactly your plant needs – a Swiss cheese plant needs regular watering for instance, while an aloe vera should have completely dry soil before you crack out the watering can.
Light is also crucial – all four of the plants above thrive in indirect sunlight, so don’t put them on south-facing windowsills or let them feel gloomy facing north – east or west are much better bets.
It’s also important to trim and clean your plants. According to advice from Kew, every spring, make sure to prune away any dead leaves, stems, or flowers, and clean dust from the leaves so they can breathe properly.
Keeping your plants healthy requires a keen eye, plenty of research, and a proactive approach. What’s your favourite indoor plant and how do you keep it looking its best? Let us know in the comments section.
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