When your favourite room is calm and peaceful, you can be too! And turning your room into a plant sanctuary does just that.
Do you need to be a botanist or expert?
No. Plants only need three things – water, light and patience. House plants are there to be enjoyed. They have incredible air purifying properties but most people buy plants for aesthetic reasons, so make sure the plants you do eventually purchase are ones you love and ones that enhance the décor in your home.
Wondering what are some of the best plants to keep indoors?
Get yourself some peace lilies (spathiphyllum wallisii). This is one of my favourites because they are available everywhere and can tolerate low light environments. They bloom a few times a year so you get to enjoy beautiful white lilies. My next choice would be a rubber fig (ficus elastic) as they too are easy to find and can tolerate some neglect. Spider plants (chlorophytum comosum) are everywhere and you can propagate one from a neighbour’s yard so it’ll practically be free. If you have bright light in your home and tend to forget to water your plants, then get yourself a cactus or any succulent.
Some advice on getting started?
Get one plant, and for this, visit a local nursery where you can speak to one of the workers to help you get the perfect plant. Tell your local botanist about the conditions in your room, for example if it is warm or cold, humid or not.
Here are 5 tips to get you going:
- DO NOT buy a plant because it’s trendy. Research the needs and care of your dream plant. 2019/2020 saw the rise of the fiddle leaf fig and everyone went out to purchase them. Unfortunately this plant is difficult to keep alive as it needs lots of light, but too much light will burn the leaves. The flats most people are staying in don’t have a ton of sunlight, so the plant doesn’t survive. It doesn’t like being moved around and it will drop healthy leaves if its unhappy. Plus: they are expensive.
2. DO NOT OVERWATER YOUR PLANTS. One would believe that forgetting to water plants is the number one cause of indoor plants dying, however, your plant is more likely to die from overwatering. Overwatering leads to root rot and dying roots aren’t able to provide your plant with enough nutrients or water. A good rule would be to stick a finger into the soil and if it comes out dry with no soil on it, it’s time to water.
3. DO get pots with drainage holes. Make sure to buy pots with drainage holes. If a pot doesn’t have a drainage hole, then drill a few holes in the pot. This is a great way to ensure that your roots get oxygen and the plant doesn’t become waterlogged.
4. DO buy plants that make you happy. You’re more likely to take better care of your plants if you love how they look and if they genuinely put a smile on your face.
5. DO limit the use of fertilizer. Fertilizers encourage growth but overuse of these will burn out the soil and kill root systems, thus killing your plant. Only fertilize in the growing season.
Text: PIERCE VAN HEERDEN