Health Benefits of Indoor Plants
Bringing the outside inside and filling your house with greenery not only looks good, it can make you feel good too. Having indoor plants around the home improves your well-being, makes you feel more relaxed and positive about life. Plants are also nature’s air purifiers, so just a few plants in a room can significantly increase air quality.
Studies* have shown that 1 plant in a medium sized room (4mx5m) will produce 25% cleaner air and a little bit more mental wellbeing, 5 plants in that same room, will produce 75% cleaner air and 60% more mental wellbeing.
A variety of sizes and species is the key to success!
*research through RMIT University, for more information visit http://www.plantlifebalance.com.au/the-science/
Plants with big bold foliage like the Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) or Swiss Cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa), give the room an instant jungle feel and create drama in a space.
Or you might like to add a splash of colour with fiery Bromeliads, Cyclamen or orchids. Variegated houseplants with two-tone green and white foliage can lighten indoor areas or explore colour and form with vibrant foliage plants like colourful Calatheas, beautiful Aglaonemas or variegated Dragon Trees (Dracaena).
If you’re guilty of neglecting your house plants try growing Mother-in-law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata), Zanzibar Gem (Zamioculcas zamifolia)or Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra)– they’re tough as old boots.
And don’t forget to add greenery at all levels. Hanging indoor plants like Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum) look magnificent cascading from benches and shelves or display elegant varieties like Chain of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii)in decorative hanging baskets.
Looking after indoor plants can be simple if you follow a few tips:
Don’t drown your plants with love. Over watering is the biggest killer of indoor plants. Wilting leaves can be a sign of too much or too little water (among other things). So if your house plants are sulking, don’t always assume that they are thirsty. Poke your finger into the soil first to see if it’s dry down to your second knuckle before getting out the watering can. Remember soil around the top section of the pot can dry out very quickly but the soil around the plant’s root system can still be very wet.
Give your house plants a regular wipe down with a moist cloth to prevent an accumulation of dust on the leaves. To give them a thorough clean pop them in the shower every month or so to remove any build up and make them look shiny and healthy. You could also put them outside in the rain for a wash or sprinkle them with the hose.
Some house plants grow well in low light, others need it a bit brighter to flourish, so position them around your home according to their required light levels and keep them away from heaters and blasts of cold and warm air.
Indoor plant pests and diseases are easier to treat if you catch them early, so when you are watering or just admiring your plant gang keep an eye out for signs that they are unhappy.
Re-potting can give tired looking house plants a new lease on life, particularly if they are jumping out of their pots. Water newly potted plants in with a solution of Seasol (30 mL in 9 litres of water) to promote strong healthy roots and settle the plant into its new home.
Spring, Summer & Autumn
Mix 50 mL of PowerFeed and 30 mL of Seasol in 9 litres of water and apply the solution to your house plants every two to four weeks.
Flowering indoor plants will perform best with a weekly dose of PowerFeed applied as a foliar spray (20mL per 9 litres of water) throughout the growing season.
For ferns, palms and delicate plants reduce the application rate to 20mL of Seasol and 10mL of PowerFeed per 9 litres of water every two to four weeks.
Indoor plants aren’t as vigorous in winter, so you can reduce the amount that you feed them. Give them a half a teaspoon each of Seasol and PowerFeed per litre of water once a month through the cooler months.
TIP: For a real treat take your indoor plants outside once a month and water them with a solution of 50mL of PowerFeed and 30mL of Seasol in 9 litres of water. Allow them to drain thoroughly before bringing them back inside.
TIP: To make plant care simple, get your hands on bottle of Seasol Foliar Spray or Seasol Pots and Plants, a convenient 750 mL ready to use trigger pack, that is tailor made for indoor plants.