Keeping your houseplants happy
Taking care of plants at home doesn't have to be difficult. Find out how to choose the right indoor plants for your home and how to take care of them.
Research conducted in association with RMIT University and the University of Melbourne found that introducing just one plant in your home could improve air quality by 25%. They also found that your wellbeing increases as you introduce more plants, with 10 plants of varying types providing the most benefits.
Choosing the right plants for your space
Indoor plant care is about creating an environment that best reflects a plant’s outdoor conditions, to ensure growth at its full potential. Rather than worrying too much about how to take care of your plants at home, consider simple things like sun exposure, temperature levels, humidity and the amount of watering required. Keeping your houseplants healthy, aka having a ‘green thumb’, is about choosing the right plants for the different parts of your home.
Some popular choices for indoor plants include:
- Ferns: Best for a low-light area with slight humidity; a great choice for your bathroom. Boston Ferns are believed to be especially useful for air purification.
- Fruit salad plant (Monstera deliciosa): Lovers of bright light, these plants with ‘swiss cheese’ leaves are an easy-care option. Small plants can sit on a table or bedroom shelf and bigger plants make good floor plants.
- Peace Lily: These upright plants are fans of bright but indirect light and will happily sit on the floor or a table in living spaces.
- Devil’s Ivy: Good for spots with low light and doesn’t like to be in direct light. This is a trailing plant and can be a good addition to a set of shelves or side table.
Some common indoor plants can be toxic to pets, so make sure that the plant you’re keen on is compatible with your beloved furry friends.
Bringing your plants home
Before you buy your chosen plant and bring it home, check whether it is healthy. Look for strong leaves without holes or withering. Check under the leaves for any pests. If possible, gently pull the plant and soil away from the pot to check that there is a fully established root system.
Make sure that your pot has adequate drainage. If you’ve found a pot that suits your style but doesn’t have drainage holes, consider putting a saucer or some rocks into the bottom of it and place the plant, with its plastic pot, inside.
Once you have your plants settled into their preferred spots, pay particular attention to how you’re using your heating and cooling. Dramatic changes in temperature generally aren’t good for plants, so opt for gradual increases when you’re using your central heating or air conditioning. If you’re using smart controls, consider setting plant-friendly limits to stop things getting too warm or cool.