A few green plants are enough to give life to an interior, plants which also contribute to our well-being. Let us return the favor by treating them appropriately, that is to say by providing them with the care they need to be fulfilled and in good health!
1 – Offer a suitable container
Prefer to repot your plants in earthen pots rather than in plastic pots: the soil allows the roots to breathe, and you can see if your plant needs water just by touching its pot, thanks to its porosity.
The plants are often sold in a substrate made up largely of peat, which is not good in the long run, so quick repotting is advised.
The root system develops, more or less quickly, regular repotting is necessary. Choose a pot that is 2 or 3 cm larger in size than the old one. Always think about the drainage layer, which will prevent the roots from soaking in water and rotting.
2 – Provide light
Light is essential for photosynthesis, it is, in a way, the food of the plant. Illumination is inversely proportional to the square of the distance, so a plant placed 2 meters from a light source will receive 4 times less light than if it were placed against this source.
We consider that a plant should not be placed more than 1.50m away from a window, except of course for plants that like shade!
Dust also obstructs light, so the leaves should be cleaned regularly. A small shower from time to time allows both to remove this dust but also to moisten the plant.
A lack of light can lead to yellowing foliage, but that doesn’t mean placing your plants in full sun where they could burn! A window facing east is really ideal.
3 – Provide the necessary heat and humidity
The hygrometry of our interiors is rarely adapted to the plants: they need a high humidity rate (70 to 90% in their original environment). Maintaining a temperature of 18 ° in the rooms where you have plants is ideal, but also placing clay balls in the cups under their pots, in order to provide them with more ambient humidity.
Another method to overcome this too low humidity: regular misting of the foliage. A little lower temperature at night is also a good idea.
Symptoms of a lack of moisture: leaves turn yellow, flower buds do not hold, very slow growth, leaf tips and stems dry out and turn brown.
4 – do not overwater them
It is better to water less than to water too much: your plant will recover quickly from a little lack of water, on the other hand, it could die from an excess. Yellowing or softening of the leaves can be a symptom of this excess, following rotting roots. Winter is the dormant period for most indoor plants, a watering per week is the right frequency or watering every two weeks to woody plants that have trunks or tough stems. This is a general rule, which must be adapted to the different species and their environment.
It is good practice to wait for the soil to dry before watering again.
Touch this soil: if it is wet and cool, no need for water, if on the other hand, it’s at room temperature and dry, it is time to water! Empty the saucers about an hour after watering, unless they are used as a humidifier with clay balls.
Plants rarely like limestone, if you can water it with rainwater at room temperature it is much better. And if it’s possible, take it out from time to time when it rains if the temperature is mild.
5 – Make nutritional contributions
The nutrient reserves of potted plants are very limited and very quickly used (the substrate from the original pot is enough for about 6 weeks only), regular additions are therefore welcome.
From the first repotting, add a little slow-release fertilizer to the soil. You can add it each spring, on the surface, it will be gradually diffused in the substrate over the waterings.
Between these applications, fast-release fertilizers can be used, between March and September. These will aim to support the plant during its growth or flowering and their necessity will be determined by the needs of the plant.
The natural fertilizers are of course to be favored: compost, coffee grounds (potassium and magnesium), tea leaves after infusion (organic matter and nutrients), boiled egg water (minerals), and boiled vegetable water (vitamins and minerals).
On the other hand, avoid feeding a thirsty plant with fertilizer, the soil must be moist: wash it and then let it drain a little before applying fertilizer.