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Guide to Choosing Indoor Plants

Are you looking to add some life to your home decor? Plants can do the trick for you. “But I haven’t really grown any indoor plants and we don’t have any space” you say. Or maybe you have tried but the effort wasn’t successful. Whatever the case, here are a few basics to rejuvenate your effort to grow indoor plants.

How much time can you devote to your plants? A plant has “needs,” so ask yourself if you will be able to take care of the plant before you commit to it. Some plants require a lot of attention, and some flourish with almost no attention at all. Cacti and evergreens need very little attention, but an African violet needs almost daily attention.

When you buy your house plants, first check the label in the pot and see if you have adequate lighting to match. Where do you want to place your plants? Plants that do well with partial or full shade can go just about anywhere, with the exception of east or west facing windows. Plants that require direct sunlight need to be placed near those windows.

Choose plants that match your space requirements and decor. A small space could easily be overwhelmed with a fichus tree in the corner of the room, but small flowering cacti on a tiered plant stand or three sizes of braided bamboo on a coffee table would be perfect. Consider their foliage, color, and blooming cycles to blend with the room.

Temperature is another consideration. Some plants like cool temps and others like toasty warm. This information will be listed on the label as well – you don’t want to waste heating or cooling costs just for your plants.

Labels will also give you basic information on fertilizing and watering. Fertilizing generally is every two weeks during active growth time; but in the winter, when plants slow down their growth and rest, only fertilize once a month.

Proper watering is very important and I can’t stress that enough. Some people think that more is better or that if a plant looks droopy, it needs water. This is not necessarily true. Plants get their nutrients and oxygen through the soil. Overwatering does the same thing to a plant as no water at all – it starves them. Water plants when the soil is almost dry. Don’t flood your plants; think of what they would take if they were outdoors in their natural environment, when it rains on and off. Use a turkey baster to get a slow, even watering. You can also water from the bottom. Set your plant into a saucer of water (I use the bath tub) and let the soil soak it up from the bottom to the top. You’ll know when it has had enough when the top soil is damp. Don’t let your plants stand in water.

Now I have some favorite plants that are perfect and almost kill proof for the beginner. They are: Golden pothos vine (Epipremnum pinnatum ‘aureum’), Spider plant (Chlorophytum), Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana), Succulents and Cacti. Check them out and see how you do. These choices will fit right in with most decors. Let us know how they work out for you. I hope the guide helps, and if you need more advice or guidance, go to Indoor Plant; it’s free.

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