How green fingered are you? We’ve jumped on the bringing-the-outdoors-in trend, and are hurling full-speed into an early-onset horticulture obsession. Not only does a handsome leafy friend add depth, colour and texture to a room, it’s actually good for you too; the clean oxygen produced from a room full of plants can help replace any pollution you breathed in on your way home. And now that it is officially Autumn, never has it been more urgent to harness some of the great outdoors to sustain us through the colder months. Here are our four beginner’s tips for nurturing your indoor jungle (…which we wish we’d known before we started… RIP Percy the Peace Lily).
ONE | Get Your Compass Out
You may like the idea of having a giant Monstera looming large in your living room, but if you live in a brightly lit South-facing flat that is a tad on the small side, no amount of praying to the plant gods is going to keep this beauty alive. Plants, like us, have preferences – North or South facing, light or dark, warm or cool. It’s worth indulging them, as it will save you a lot of late-night Googling as to why your beloved plant has dropped dead. The rule of thumb: turn the lights off and read the newspaper to your plants. If there’s enough light to read in, there’s enough light for your plant (they also love the carbon dioxide generated by your breath… nifty bonus!).
TWO | Watering
This part is a bit of a dark-art. House-plants are a fussy bunch; they all like different amounts and are just as likely to drown due to over-zealous watering, as to shrivel away if forgotten while you’re on holiday. The answer? Follow the instructions your plant was delivered with, then set a reminder on your phone until it becomes a habit. And if you do go away, soak a sponge in water and sit it at the bottom of the planter so your plant has a ready supply while you’re on the beach.
THREE | Feeding
There are plenty of household leftovers your plants will love. Acid-loving house plants will lap up your tea dregs, and after you’ve boiled your eggs, give the water to your green pals: it’s full of nutrients that plants adore. Also sparkling water that has lost its fizz is the plant equivalent of a green smoothie.
FOUR | Dressing
They’re fed and watered, and in the right spot. But how do they look? What are they wearing? They’ll need to keep their nursery pot (the brown or black plastic one that they came in) for drainage, but don’t leave them naked… In terms of size, planters are much like lampshades, and a 60:40 is plant:planter ratio is about right. And guess what? We have some ideas for planters your plants will love….