Indoor plants transform any room into a more positive space, and they’re credited with many benefits, from cleaning the air to improving our mood. Repay the favour by keeping your indoor plants happy and well cared for with these tips from our experts.
All Green Nursery & Garden's dedicated indoor plant room boasts over 200m² of thriving indoor plants, and our in-house horticulturalists are always on hand to offer you expert advice. Let us help you find the perfect plant for every room in your home.
Top tips for happy indoor plants
Get an indoor plant off to a good start with the right pot. It should look good but also be functional with a stable base, plenty of drainage holes, and a matching saucer.
- As a general rule you can start with a pot slightly bigger than the one your plant came in
- A pot that is too big it will look out of proportion until the plant has enough time to grow
- If the pot is too small, and the plant will tend to tip over and need frequent watering
To avoid the hassle of potting, a decorative “cache” pot can be used to conceal a plastic nursery pot. And if you’re sometimes forgetful or tend to be away a lot, self-watering pots are a terrific solution.
Don’t skimp when it comes to choosing a potting mix. It is a reservoir for all your plant’s food and water, so it really needs to be the right stuff.
- Some plants like a coarse, sandy soil that drains very well.
- Others prefer a rich, damp mix or organic material.
- Flowering plants such as orchids, need a specialised substrate.
Re-pot your indoor plants with fresh potting mix at least every two to three years in spring to keep them strong and healthy.
Most indoor plants like good ambient light but will burn if exposed to too much direct sun through glass.
- Keep them out of draughts and away from radiators and air conditioners.
- Many beautiful plants (such as cymbidium orchids) thrive when kept outdoors and then brought inside for occasional visits.
- And moving indoor plants out into the rain is a great way to get rid of accumulated dust.
You can move plants around until you find where they are happiest, and you may find this changes with the seasons.
Hint: Look your plant up online, read the tag from the nursery and chat to our team of indoor plant experts to get to know your plants. Their origins will give you clues on how best to treat them.
Watering and feeding
Ironically, many indoor plants die from too much attention. As a rule, watering less frequently and more deeply is better than constant light watering, which can cause root rot.
It’s not essential to fertilise your plants. A premium potting mix will contain enough plant food to last several months.
After that, you may consider light feeding with a liquid plant food or a slow-release fertiliser in spring and summer.
Even the happiest and healthiest indoor plants can occasionally come under attack from insects.
Keep a close eye on your plants, especially around young growth, and act as soon as you notice a problem. Common indoor pests include scale insects, mealy bugs, and aphids.
Apart from pesticides, you can try organic solutions such as Neem oil or essential oils and preparations of chilli or garlic.
Low-maintenance indoor plants
Some of us seem to have a hard time keeping indoor plants alive. If you can relate, then try these five really hardy specimens.
Mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Also known as the snake plant, it has striking yellow and green foliage, is very hardy, can go for long periods without water and will tolerate low light levels.
Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema)
The Chinese evergreen requires little care, provided it has the right growing conditions. Don’t leave it in full sunlight and don’t overwater, especially in winter.
Money tree (Pachira aquatica)
The money tree is often sold with braided trunks to "lock in" luck and fortune. It doesn’t need much light but it’s a swamp plant, so don’t let it dry out.
Air plants are about as low-maintenance as you can get. Protect them from full sun. Mist once or twice a week with a spray bottle, and give them a good soaking in the sink every now and then.
Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
Boston ferns are really tough in a spot with high humidity and lots of indirect light. Keep their roots damp but well drained, and mist the foliage occasionally.
Come root around among our massive range of nursery plants at All Green Nursery & Garden. From pot plants to grasses, ornamentals, shrubs and trees, we have all the plants and pots you'll need to turn your home into a living jungle.