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SPRING CLEANING

SPRING PREPARATIONS FOR YOUR INDOOR PLANTS

Indoor plants should be an essential component of every interior design. Greenery brightens up indoor spaces and is known to have mood-boosting qualities.

Indoor plants are popular because they are relatively easy to take care of, provide health benefits, and can be used in various indoor décor themes. Indoor plants are a great option for those with little outdoor space or who live in climates with severely cold winters.

So, if you’re caring for indoor plants for the first time, our ultimate guide will provide the necessary information to allow your green friends to thrive.

TAKING CARE OF THEM

Here are some tips that will help you care for indoor plants:

• Keep the potting soil moist- It’s important to make sure the soil is not too wet nor too dry
• Make sure the plant pot has drainage holes in the bottom of the pot
• Place your plant near a light source, whether it’s natural or artificial
• Determine what species of plant you have so you can more accurately care for it

CAUSE OF DEATH...

Some of the most common reasons plants die are:

• Overwatering or underwatering
• Light Levels (either not enough light or too much light)
• Neglect

 

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GIMME FOOD

Go to a garden center and look for a fertilizer with “indoor plant” on the label. You will use less fertilizer for plants inside versus outside, so ensure you use the rate specified for indoor plants. If you’re getting fertilizer for blooming plants, look for a fertilizer labeled with the type of plant (orchids, for example) – but if it is unclear which one you should pick, it’s fine to use fertilizer for houseplants.

STOP BUGGING ME

Bugs on your indoor plants can be really annoying! If you spot pests, go to a garden center and purchase an insecticidal soap, which usually is contained in a spray bottle. When you notice bugs, spray the entire plant – the undersides and tops of the leaves as well as the stem. Next, wait about two weeks and repeat the spraying. Then, wait two more weeks and spray again.

You will want to spray three times because the soap usually will not eliminate eggs, which could hatch. If your plant is dealing with a severe infestation and you are unable to eradicate the pests, throw out the plant. You can also use a damp paper towel to remove a pest.

WHEN TO WATER

Over-watering is a common mistake, and you will want to make sure the plant actually requires water now or if it should wait until later. Here are some ways to see if it’s time to water:

• Soil probe – This probe will draw out soil, which will help you understand how dry the soil is below the surface.
• Moisture meter – This tool tells you, on a scale, how dry soil is.
• Lifting the plant up – Heaviness signifies the plant has enough water, but lightness signifies the plant is dry.
• Wilting – Wilting typically happens because the plant is not getting sufficient water. Lift the plant to see if it is light in weight or if it’s heavy.
• Tipping – If the leaf edges begin browning and are crispy to the touch, the plant likely needs water. If the leaf edges are becoming brown but feel mushy, the plant has likely gotten too much water.
 • Yellow leaves – Yellow leaves may also signify that a plant has too much or too little water, but this is not always the case.

PEACE LILY CARE

Peace lily plants (spathiphyllum) could make a nice addition to your indoor space, such as an office. These plants need to be watered moderately often, but make sure you do not over-water them. If your peace lily begins wilting, just give it some water. You’ll know it has enough if water begins seeping out of the pot’s drainage holes. Peace lilies also will handle low light. A north-facing window is a nice location for this plant, but you do not necessarily need to put it in a window.

LIGHT DUSTING

Aside from making your plants look better, spending some time to give your plants (specifically leafy tropicals) some TLC in the form of washing and dusting actually helps them thrive: dust that accumulates on leaves actually blocks light from reaching the leaves and inhibits photosynthesis and respiration.
To clean, support the underside of the leaf with your palm, and then wipe the surface with a damp paper towel or soft cloth. Make sure to clean both sides of the leaf. If you’re looking for a shortcut, you can also put your plants in the shower and give them a bath with tepid water, so long as your water pressure isn’t too intense (CAREFUL – don’t overwater. This ain’t for cacti and succulents).

After your leaves are clean, you can help keep them that way (and help ward off pests and mold at the same time) by spraying them with an organic leaf-shine-like diluted neem oil. They’ll look sparkly and thank you for it by staying happy and healthy – indoor plant care at its finest!

Lastly, keep your house in mind. Where are the plants going to bring you the most joy? How has the design of your house changed over the winter and where are some new places that plants would be happy? We like to put them everywhere, and it’s always fun to try to find creative solutions to integrate more green.

Still feeling overwhelmed with the process of redesigning your home? We can assist, contact one of our talented designers