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How do you care for indoor plants?

Primula Acaulis.jpegWhen it comes to temperature, if you are comfortable then your plants will be too - not too hot and not too cold. Keep plants away from any heating/cooling ducts or vents so they aren't blasted with warm or cold air. Heated and air conditioned houses may have very dry air, which isn't great for indoor plants. A light misting with tap water via a spray bottle over the leaves once a day will keep the air around them a little more humid.

 

Good light is essential but not direct sun on the leaves through a window because that could burn them.  Either have them behind a light curtain or further into a room so they still have plenty of natural light.

 

Use a potting mix formulated specially for indoor plants, like Osmocote Professional Indoor Potting Mix, which doesn't contain any composted material that could become the perfect breeding ground for fungus gnats (tiny black flies). It's made from coir fibre (ground coconut husk) that is not fungus gnat friendly.

 

Your plants should be watered only when they need it - when the top 5cm or so of mix feels dry to the touch. Use your index finger to check the mix for moisture. Make sure to empty excess water out of saucers about half an hour after watering. If the potting mix is watered too often, your plants could rot.

 

Use a water soluble or liquid plant food for indoor plants once a month to keep plants healthy. Follow label instructions as to how to dilute and use.

 

Above all, don't mollycoddle your indoor plants - most die from too much attention rather than not enough.

 

Some believe that mains water with chlorine and fluoride in it may affect indoor plants. I've never found that to be the case even with super sensitive plants. However, if you are concerned, then fill a jug or watering can with tap water and leave it to stand for an hour or two before watering your plants. Any chlorine and fluoride will evaporate from it in that time. - Noelle

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