Greening indoors! Houseplants decorating the home are becoming more and more popular as a new generation of homeowners learn the value of going green. As a versatile decorating tool, indoor plants offer endless scope with great effect but it is the air purifying qualities and the fact that they bring oxygen into the home that adds a new dimension to them.
They soften the indoor environment and help to add colour and life to the interior, bringing the garden indoors.
Gone are the days of having the same plant for year and years. As you change your décor plants can get replaced or moved around bringing new energy to the scheme. Flowering plants should be considered the same as a bunch of cut flowers, just more economical, to be thrown out when the flowers go and new ones brought in.
What do they need?
Make sure that the plant receives sufficient light. Indoor plants are categorised as high, medium or low light plants and they need to be positioned in the correct area in the home to accommodate their requirements. In general the first one and a half meters from a clear window constitutes high light.
Ensure good air circulation, but avoid draughts and water thoroughly less often, rather than little amounts at regular intervals.
In the post-modernist style so popular today make use of dramatic indoor plants such as Zamio's or Dracaena to enhance the look. For a tropical look indoor evergreen plants such as Bamboo Palms or Ficus make the bleak winter weather disappear from mind. Flowering indoor plants such as the Moth Orchids ideal for a classic interior, while pots of African violets and Chrysanthemums are ideal for a country cottage look.
Some great ideas
Perfect for bathrooms
As these rooms usually receive medium to low light and have high humidity, choose plants that withstand such conditions, such as the Spear Plant, Aglaonema. The Peace Lily, Spathyphylum will also grow in the lowest light spot but will flower in a lighter spot. They get the classic white sails that one sees in many planted arrangements.
Funky plants for teens
Quirky and different are the key requirements for indoor plants for teenagers. Consider aloes and succulents which you can plant out afterwards or the super cool Zamio which needs almost no water and then only once a month.
Brighten up the home office
An indoor plant in the home office provides a focus to rest computer-fatigued eyes. Plant foliage also keeps the room fresh by absorbing carbon dioxide from the air. A small plant on the desk or a tall plant behind the screen is your best solution for keeping the mind fresh behind the desk.
Keep them fabulous
Over-watering is the single biggest factor that causes the loss of houseplants. The soil should always be allowed to dry out between watering. TIP: Most indoor plants only need to be watered every ten days to alternate week!
Feed indoor plants with Nitrosol or Multifeed Classic once a month for best results.
Most pests on indoor plants can be eradicated with ease by applying the ready-to-use BioKill.
The most common are scale insects identified by brown bumps on the stems, spreading to the leaves and Mealy bug which produces a white cotton-wool like substance on the plants.
Problems such as brown leaf tips, yellowing and dropping of leaves are linked to incorrect watering or incorrect light position.