How to keep indoor plants alive

Come on, admit it....is your thumb not as green as you want it to be? Are you having trouble keeping your house plants alive and healthy?  Read on to find out how 10 simple changes will make you feel like a “natural born gardener”!

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Rippled Peperomia

With it's unusual leaf structure it's easy to see where Rippled Peperomia got its name. The heart shaped leaves are dark to emerald green in colour with grooved ridges which create a ripple effect on the surface. Rippled Peperomia is small plant growing to about 20cm in height and width.

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Sansevieria

Description

With its striking patterned vertical leaves Sansevieria Plant is unique in its shape. The thick leathery leaves, which can reach over a meter, look almost artificial and great for adding texture to any interior.

Sansevieria Plants are native to the arid and humid tropics of Western Africa and found in the rainforest of Nigeria to Condo. Due to their harsh natural environment, snake plants make excellent houseplants. They are very forgiving and withstand irregular watering, almost any lighting condition and has very little pest problem, making it the ideal plant for a newbie indoor gardener.

Sansevieria plants are known for its air purification qualities. NASA research has shown that Sansevieria plants remove toxins such as Benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air. If that wasn’t enough, Sansevieria plants also absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen at night unlike most plants so it’s the perfect plant for a bedroom.

Common name

Snake plant, Mother-in-law’s Tongue, Viper’s Bowstring hemp, Sansevieria

Botanical name

Sansevieria Trifasciata

Difficulty level

Easy

Light

The plant requires indirect light without any direct sunlight. While the plant would survive in low light, it prefers medium to bright light to thrive and flourish.

Watering

Water moderately in bright to medium lighting condition and sparingly in low light condition. Always allowing the topsoil to dry out before watering. In winter months, reduce watering by letting the topsoil to dry out for longer.

Nutrients

Slow release fertilizer once every 6 months and liquid fertilizer once a month during spring and summer.

Pet friendly

No. It can cause digestive distress

Common Mistakes:
Overwatering is a common mistake, leading to root rotting. The plant also doesn’t like cold temperature for too long. If the plant suffers from root and base rot and can’t be recovered, it is always a good idea to take cutting of the leaves for replanting.

Cupid Peperomia (variegated)

Description:

Cupid peperomia is a trailing plant with gorgeous heart shaped leaves. The thick glossy leaves are light green with creamy white edges. Around the stem joints and where the leaves meet the stem it's light pink in colour making the plant look delicate. Don't let the delicate look put you off as Cupid Peperomia is actually a hardy plant and easy to look after. You can grow them in hanging baskets or horizontally along a tabletop or a mantle.

Cupid Peperomia is native to the tropics of Mexico, the Caribbean and other parts of Central America. In its natural environment Cupid Peperomia generally grows in dappled shade, hanging off tall trees. It has a shallow root system and stores water in its leaves and stems. While the mature leaves are green with creamy and sometimes pale yellow border, when new leaves appear, sometime they can be entirely cream in colour and the green colour develops as they mature. Cupid Peperomias are fast growing plants which can quickly fill out the hanging pot and trail off the side.

Other name:

Peperomia Scandens, Peperomia also known as Radiator Plant

Botanical name:

Peperomia Nitida

Difficulty 

Easy

Light

Prefers medium to bright indirect light but no direct sunlight. It can tolerate low light though it would slow down growth and the leaves may turn green without the cream border.

Watering

Moderate to sparingly in summer allowing the topsoil to dry out before watering again. Reduce watering in winter and allowing the topsoil to dry out for a bit longer.

Nutrients

Cupid Peperomia doesn’t require much fertilisers. A liquid fertiliser once a month during spring and summer is sufficient.

Pet Friendly

Yes

Common Mistakes:

The most common mistakes with this plant tend to be overwatering, causing the leaves to blister or both stem and leaves to turn black. If the temperature is too cold the leaves could fall off.

Rubber Plant

Description:

If you want to make a bold statement with a floor length indoor plant, Rubber plant is the perfect fit. These magnificent plants with their large glossy, leathery leaves are quite adaptive and easy to care for. Given the right condition these plants can reach staggering heights. We have three different varieties of Rubber plants to suit any home.

1) Burgundy Rubber plant – has shiny leaves that range from rich burgundy red to almost black, will add richness to your interior

2) The Green variety has large, smooth green leaves and will add a slash of color in a corner.

3) The Variegated variety has medium to large green leaves with white or pink edges will lighten up the room

Other names:

Rubber Plant, Rubber tree or Rubber bush

Botanical Name

Ficus Elastica

Difficulty level

Easy.

Light

Prefers medium to bright indirect light. It can adapt to low light

Watering

Moderately, allowing an inch or two of topsoil to dry out before watering. Water more in summer and less in winter

Nutrients

Slow release fertilizer once every 6 months and liquid fertilizer once a month except in winter months.

Pet friendly

No. It can cause mouth and digestive distress

Common Mistakes:

The most common mistakes with this plant tend to be overwatering, frequent change of location, insufficient light and a drafty location.

Peacock Plant

Description

The Peacock plant has been given its delightful name because it has beautiful bold and decorative marking of a peacock’s tail. The leaves are pale green with dark green feathered effect with a pinkish-red underside. This slender plant with the right care can reach a height of 60cm. Peacock plants are perfect to layer with next to a floor length plant or alone on a table top creating a dramatic effect in your interior.

Native to tropics of eastern Brazil, the Peacock Plant requires the right level of moisture, light and humidity to flourish. The Peacock Plant can be a little harder to care for as it needs evenly moist soil all the time. As the plant prefers medium to low indirect light, you can place this plant further away from the windowsill then others.

Common name

Cathedral Windows, Player Plant        

Botanical name

Calathea Makoyana

Difficulty level

Difficult

Light

Prefers medium to low indirect light only, no direct sunlight.

Watering

Water moderately and keep the soil moist in summer months but not soggy. Reduce frequency over winter, though don’t let the soil dry out for too long.

Nutrients

Slow release fertilizer once every 6 months and diluted liquid fertilizer once a month except in winter months.

Pet friendly

Yes

Common Mistakes:

The common mistakes with this plant tend to be around understanding the watering needs as under watering leads to leaves curling or getting brown edges. Over-watering leads to limp stem or stem rotting. Low humidity or dry air would also lead to leaf tips turning brown.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

Description

With its large, violin-shaped, sculptural leaves, the fiddle leaf fig tree would create a dramatic effect in any space. The leaves are densely packed, crumpled with a leathery feel. This gentle giant is a slow growing plant, which can reach up to 3 metres indoor and the top branches can be looped once it reaches the desired height. The plant looks great near a doorway, hallway or other featured parts of a room.

Native to Western African rainforest, this plant can be sensitive to lighting and may lose leaves if it doesn’t have a brightly lit spot. It also doesn’t like cold or dry condition. For this reason, the plant can be a little harder to care for. Though in no need of an expert and most gardeners would be fine. The plant will also lose it’s lower leaves when seeing new growth to encourage new leaves to grow.

Common name

Fiddle Leaf Fig tree

Botanical name

Ficus Pandurata

Difficulty level

Difficult

Light

The plant requires indirect bright light without direct sunlight. Though it can tolerate morning and afternoon sun though not midday sun.

Watering

Water sparingly and keep mostly dry, allowing the 2 inch of topsoil to dry out before watering. In winter months, reduce watering by letting the topsoil to dry out for longer.

Nutrients

Slow release fertilizer once every 6 months and liquid fertilizer once a month during spring and summer.

Pet friendly

No. It can cause digestive distress

Common Mistakes:

Overwatering is a common mistake, though under-watering turns leaves yellow or brown. Low humidity or dry air would also lead to leaf tips turning brown.

Devil's Ivy

Description

If you are looking for easy care indoor plant that’s difficult to kill, look no further than the Devil’s Ivy. This trailing plant with its distinctly green and gold marbled leaves is a hardy houseplant that tolerates a wide range of growing condition including low light.

They are fast growing plants with aerial roots, which are also very versatile in the house. You can grow them in hanging baskets or trailing down a bookshelf or horizontally along a tabletop or a mantle. Bathroom with it’s high humidity is also a great place for hanging Devil’s Ivy. It is also good at providing privacy in a overlooking area of the house.

Originally native to the Moorea Island of French Polynesia, Devil’s Ivy has become naturalized in tropical and sub-tropical forest worldwide including South East Asia, Solomon Island, and Northern Australia. In it’s natural habitat the plant can grow to 20 meters long, however as a indoor plant it can grow up to 2 meters long.

Common name

Golden Pothos, Devil’s Ivy, Money plant

Botanical name

Epipremnum Aureum

Difficulty level

Easy.

Light

The best lighting condition for Devil’s Ivy is indirect medium light. While the plant would be fine in low light, it slows down the growth.

Watering

Water moderately in spring and summer and re-water only when the topsoil is dry. Keep it mostly dry in winter.

Nutrients

Slow release fertilizer once every 6 months and diluted liquid fertilizer once a month except in winter months.

Pet friendly

No. It can cause digestive distress

Common Mistakes:

The most common problem with this plant is overwatering turning leaves yellow and causing root rot or the stems to rot. Low humidity could lead to leaf tips turning brown.

Monstera

Description

With its unique, cut-out leaves and architectural presence Monstera would make a focal point of any interior. The plant has huge leaves, a mature plants leaves can reach up to 90cm in length and 75cm in width. It’s a fast growing, adaptive and easy to care for plant, making it an ideal indoor plant even for the most novice gardener.

Monstera plants are climbers therefore needs space to grow and flourish, and sufficient light to form the holes in it’s leaves. The plant is thought to have holes in the leaves to combat winds and heavy rainfall in its native environment, the tropical forest of southern Mexico. The plant grows aerial roots to gather moisture and stabilize itself as it spreads out. The aerial roots can be tucked back into the pot or a moss stick can be used to provide support if needed.

Common Name

Swiss Cheese plant, Fruit salad plant, Monstera, Split leaves philodendron

Botanical name

Monstera deliciosa

Difficulty level

Easy.

Light

Prefers medium to bright indirect light.

Watering

Moderately, keeping the soil moist in summer and letting the soil dry out in winter between watering.

Nutrients

Slow release fertilizer once every 6 months and liquid fertilizer once a month except in winter months.

Pet friendly

No. It can cause digestive distress

Common Mistakes:
The most common mistakes with this plant tend to be overwatering. Low humidity or dry air would also lead to the plant looking unhealthy. If leaves are not forming slits or holes are usually due to insufficient lights, water or fertilizer.

Happy Plant - Dracaena

Description:

Happy plant has a very cheerful and lively presence with it’s long graceful green leaves with bright green and yellow stripes. They provide colour and warmth to any space and for this reason they are one of the most popular plants for offices or hotels. In a home, Happy plants look great in a corridor or at the entrance hall making a house feel warm and inviting.

Native to tropical Africa, Happy plant can be found in Sudan to Mozambique, to west Cote d’lvoire to Angola. In its native environment the surrounding vegetation usually provide shades so Happy Plant can tolerate varied lighting and watering conditions. With their easy care nature Happy Plant is a great house plant, especially for whose new to indoor gardening.

Other names:

Corn Plant, Cornstalk Dracaena

Botanical Name

Dracaena Fragrans Massangeana

Difficulty level

Easy – occasionally the leaves should be dusted to allow the plant to absorb all the elements needed

Light

Prefers medium to bright indirect light. It can adapt to low light

Watering

Moderately, allowing an inch or two of topsoil to dry out before watering. Water more in summer and less in winter. While the plant will tolerate under watering, it will die from overwatering.

Nutrients

Slow release fertilizer once every 6 months and liquid fertilizer once a month except in winter months.

Pet friendly

No. It can cause mouth and digestive distress

Common Mistakes:

The most common mistakes with this plant tend to be overwatering, causing root rot. Insufficient lighting including direct sunlight or lack nutrient can also turn leaves yellow or brown.