There is no such thing as an indoor plant – they are all rain forest plants and like to have lots of other plants to grow among, so pack as many plants close together as possible and create your own rainforest indoors.
Most indoor plant deaths are caused by overwatering, neglect or incorrect light levels. Group plants together and mist them 3x per week to increase the humidity and give them some friends to be with. All indoor plants will need to be fertilised in spring and summer with a liquid fertiliser such as Home Grown Tonic every 2 weeks and a slow release fertiliser, EcoInside at the beginning of September, December and again in February.
Never move indoor plants in the direct sunlight to give them a boost, they won’t stand the shock, the leaves will burn, and they usually die back. Do, however take them into the shower and give them a nice cool down, leave the shower running over them for 2 minutes. This will leach out any accumulation of salts from the fertiliser and wash off any dust particles that coat the leaves and prevent transpiration.
If you have an area that has very little light there are only a few plants to choose from, but there will need to be some source of natural light. You can have a couple of the same plant potted up and just rotate the pots every month, so they recondition themselves.
Medium light. Dieffenbachia, Fatsia, Fittonia, Peperomia, Philodendron Congo, Scindapsus, Kentia palm.
Bright light – either direct light through windows or a conservatoryAnthurium, Bromeliad, Cissus, Cyclamen, Dracaena, Ficus, Cyperus, African violet, Spathiphyllum, Schefflera – umbrella tree, Rhaphis palm.
Think about the intensity of light and the duration for your plants, plants with variegated leaves or colour usually require lighter. Low light levels result in elongated stems, weak spindly growth and browning off on the edges of leaves. A room with low light may be increased with the use of mirrors or full spectrum grow lights.
The interior of most houses is dry, particularly when air conditioners or heating is on. Group plants together and spray mist them every second day to increase the humidity around the leaf tissue.
Indoor plants hate large fluctuations in temperature, ideally it should be between 15- 20 degrees during the day and not drop below 7 degrees at night.
This depends on the season, the type of plant, the potting mix, the position of the pot and the size of the plant. The plant will usually tell you when its thirsty, some plants prefer watering from the bottom-up others like from the top down. Do some research on where your indoor plant originates to get an idea how much water it would like.
Ferns require watering every day, but succulents and waxy leafed plants less often.
Spring and summer are the main growth periods for indoor plants. All indoor plants will need to be fertilised in spring and summer with a liquid fertiliser such as Home Grown Tonic every 2 weeks and a slow release fertiliser, EcoInside at the beginning of September, December and again in February.
Do not over feed though with high NPK fertiliser as this will encourage weak growth.
This is best done in spring and summer with fresh potting mix and in a slightly larger pot. Be gentle with the root system unless its fleshy and thick and requires pruning
Mealy bugs, cottony cushion scale, aphids, whitefly, fungus gnats, leaf nematode, grasshoppers, caterpillars.
Grey mould, crown and stem rot, rust, bacterial spot, pythium and powdery mildew