We all have houseplants at our homes for hobby purposes. Houseplants are also an important and integral part of the decoration in our homes and also offices. Therefore, knowledge of houseplants care and houseplants care tips is an important issue for all of us. In this article, we wanted to prepare a comprehensive houseplants care guide and give the necessary tips on houseplants care.
If you want to learn about the care for cactus that we grow at our home, you can read our article.
Many objects that threaten our health by emitting electromagnetic waves, such as modems, computers, screens, chargers, or by emitting toxic gases such as furniture, decoration objects, and functional household appliances, have been installed in our home today. Although we know that these objects have a serious threat to our health, we use them because they make our life easier. But who says technology and health can’t be suitable for each other? It is very possible to live in a healthy home environment without sacrificing technology or easiness. Our main helpers in creating this balance are some houseplants!
It has been known since 1989 that houseplants have the properties of cleaning and purifying the air inside the house. Bill Wolverton, who worked as an engineer at NASA, was the first to investigate the ability of plants to absorb many chemical compounds. Approximately 50 houseplants were tested in this way. Wolverton’s research on phyto-purification has spread and developed all over the world. These studies also contributed to the establishment of the concept of air quality indoors.
It is now proven that some construction and cleaning materials poison us. Adhesives, paints, compressed wood furniture, inks, cleaning materials, stoves or cigarette smoke adversely affect the air quality of our homes. From all these sources, volatile chemical compounds that threaten the health of people spread to the air and can cause health problems such as headaches, chronic fatigue, allergies …
Thanks to their calming colors, houseplants reduce stress, as well as moisten the air, absorb air pollutants and release oxygen back into the air. So do not deprive yourself of the skills of these plants!
Three points to consider when placing indoor plants
1. Light: Many plants do not want direct exposure to sunlight. In summer, a place in front of the window to the North is a suitable place.
2. Heat: It is ideal for the plant to remain at a constant temperature during growing periods. In cold weather, do not leave plants where they expose to the cold, near the windows and behind the curtains.
3. Moisture: Thin-leaved plants generally like the bathroom environment, as they need intense moisture. Thicker and fuller leaf plants prefer drier places such as halls.
Daily Care Of Plants
For the daily care of plants, we will need the equipment that we will count below. These tools can be professionally high quality or simple enough to do the job. The aim is to do our job while caring for plants.
- Pot Tray,
- Watering can with a long and narrow tip,
- Spray for moisturizing,
- Liquid or granular fertilizer,
- Plant support stick and plant tie,
- Pruning Shears
- Insecticides or fungicides (spray or medicine)
You can understand whether a plant needs water by inserting your finger in the soil for 2-3 cm. If it is dry, water it with warm water. Even if the surface looks dry, the bottom sides can be wet. Please water plants such as African violet and Cyclamen by putting warm water on the bottom tray, not from the top. In fact, this is the most correct method. Watering from the top causes roots of plants to rot. However, you should not leave the pot in a water-filled container for a long time and you should empty the excess water after a while. The water we added to the bottom tray should wait approximately 10-15 minutes, and if the water remains, it should be drained. During this time, the soil will take enough water and allow it to reach the roots.
In a new plant soil, there is enough food for about two months. (If we put new soil when planting) Leafy plants should be fed in spring and summer, as they grow quickly. Flowering plants should be fed during and before the flowering season. It is easy and practical to feed houseplants with liquid nutrients. For this purpose, there are many types of feeding liquid in the market. However, these foods are generally concentrated liquid foods. When giving to the plant, it should be diluted at certain rates. These rates are written on their boxes. Fertilizer should be prepared in a separate container with a mixture of liquid fertilizer and water in certain proportions and given to plants in this way.
There are the types of liquid nutrients that are given directly to the soil and there are also types that are sprayed on the leaves. In both types, liquid nutrients should be mixed with warm water and given to the plant in this way.
The plant, whose pot will be changed, should be given plenty of water 2 days before. The plant in the pot is grasped by the stem and it must be turned over after being held under the pot with the help of the other hand. Thus, the plant leaves the pot.
After the plant has been removed from the pot, its roots should be checked, and if there are injured roots, they should be cleaned. If the pot is small, it should be replaced with a bigger one. First, the new pot is filled with soil suitable for the type of the plant and then the plant should be planted. And around of the root of the plant be filled with soil.
It should be given plenty of water until water comes out from under the pot, and if there is a collapse after watering, soil should be added. As the last step, nutrients should be started after a month. Repotting should be done preferably in the spring.
The plant to be repotted is watered abundantly about an hour before replacing the pot. Thus, the plant can be easily removed with the soil during the pot replacement process. While changing the pot, it is turned over and the plant is removed from the pot by striking the bottom of the pot. Thorny plants should be grasped with thick papers.
The plant, which has been removed from the pot, is placed in its new pot with its soil covering the root. The bottom and sides of the plant are supported with good quality soil suitable for the plant and compressed in the pot. The pot of unhealthy plants should not be changed.
Indication: The plant is long and unhealthy. Joints intervals between leaves are wide. Growth has stopped. The leaves are smaller and pale than usual. The flowers are either absent or very weak.
Solution: Shorten the plant and move it to a place where it can get more light to strengthen its branching.
Indication: The plant grows to little or there is no growth. Its flowers are very short-lived. The leaves are weak. The lower leaves fall.
Solution: Keep it wait for 10 minutes in a bowl of water. Allow the water to drain before placing the pot on the tray. If the plant dries again in a very short time, replace the pot.
Very Cold Environment:
Indication: The flowers are short-lived, the leaves curl and fall.
Solution: Move to a warm place away from the air stream.
Indication: Leaf tips become brown and dry. The leaf edges turn yellow and the leaves fall. Buds and flowers shrink and fall.
Solution: Move to a more humid environment such as a bathroom or kitchen. Try to increase humidity in the environment.
Indication: The plant does not grow and bloom.
Solution: Feed with the necessary nutrients.
Indication: During the daytime, the leaves of the plant fade, brown scars are formed. The plant looks pale. The leaves wrinkle and dry.
Solution: Move the plant to a cooler and shadowy place.
Indication: The flowers rot. The leaves grow little, weak and easily fall.
Solution: Move the plant to a warmer environment. Allow excess water to flow out of the pot. Give water just as needed.
Excessive Hot Environment:
Indication: The plant shows unhealthy growth in winter. The edges of the leaves turn brown. The lower leaves fade and fall.
Solution: Move the plant to a cooler place.
Indication: Gray mold is formed on the leaves, flower, and stem.
Solution: Move the plant to a drier place.
Indication: The leaves turn brown and shrink.
Solution: Do not feed the plant until it looks healthy.
Pests And Treatments In Houseplants Care
It is easier to protect plants from diseases and insects than treating them. For this reason, we must create an ideal environment in order to ensure that plants are strong and healthy. You should immediately separate a diseased plant from others, by taking into account the possibility of contamination with other plants.
Here are common houseplant pests and their treatment methods:
They are small whiteflies that are moth-like and fly when disturbed. Soak the whole plant in warm soapy water and then rinse it.
Green or Black Flies:
They create colonies on the growing ends of the plant. Use the recommended method for whiteflies to eliminate.
It is the gray mold on the leaves, flowers, and stems. Take the plant in a drier environment and increase the airflow. Comb out dead flowers and leaves regularly. If the problem persists, spray with the fungicide.
They are formations like tiny wool balls under the leaves and on the stem. Wipe it with a cotton dipped in methyl alcohol.
They are small hard-shelled, brown and yellow insects that they are likely stuck to the leaves and stem. Clean the insects with warm soapy water and rinse.
They are white powder-like formations that occurred on the leaves and stem. Spray with a fungicide.
PS: You should take care to protect your plants from cold wind and direct sunlight when you take them to your home after buying. Never leave the plant in the air stream. Do not put it near fire or heater. Never use garden soil for changing pots.
Gravel tray is a very useful method for houseplants care. Most houseplants are tropical plants that live in humid environments in nature. Therefore, it is necessary to provide the moisture they need at home in houseplants care. Otherwise, they are quickly corrupted, lose their decorative properties. The easiest method is to moisten the plant leaves regularly with a sprayer. However, some of these plants do not like water on their leaves. (Such as african violet, maranta leuconeura, rex begonia.)
The pot tray should be a little wide and deep. Small pebbles is laid on the bottom of the tray as a 2-3 cm layer. The pot is placed on it. There should always be on the tray, but not touching the bottom of the pot. Water constantly evaporates to provide the required moist environment.
You can also place several pots in a tray. You can gather the pebbles from outside or use pebbles for decorative purposes.
Houseplants Care In Winter
In nature, almost all plants need a rest season. Usually, this period is the winter season. You can see clearly this situation on some of the plants. For example, the above-soil parts of the plants with onions and rhizomes dry. permanent herbaceous plants called perenials behave in the same way. Some of them lose their leaves and pass to the rest period.
In evergreen plants that generate a large part of houseplants, this process is not understood. When their growth slows down, it is tried to be accelerated by giving more water and nutrients. However, this causes some problems in the plant. It may even die by rotting.
Even if the home environment is warm, houseplants should be watered very little between November and March and no food should be given. Although a cool environment should be preferred in this period, it is not possible in houses that are heated by central heating. At least, plants should be removed from heat sources.
The leaves are regularly moistened so that they are not affected by dry air.
Plants such as Difenbahya, ferns that require constant moist soil are watered little and frequently. In other plants, the soil is expected to dry.
In some plants (especially those that bloom in winter) the rest period is different.
Flowers such as Azalea, Easter Cactus, Kalanchoe, and Clivia rest in the summer.
All houseplants that bloom in winter are watered abundantly during the flowering season and feed regularly.
Bulbous plants, such as cyclamen, caladium and amaryllis should not be watered until the season comes and when the above of the soil dry.
Some active plants such as african violet and busy lizzie do not need much rest period. Still, resting these plants for 1 month with reduced water and nutrients gives good results. This period should be at the end of winter and, if necessary, the pot is changed.
In all houseplants, repotting should be done right at the beginning of their active period. (Usually in spring)
Reasons For Yellowing In Plants
Yellowing is an important problem in houseplants care. Here are the reasons for yellowing problems in plants.
- Yellowing of the lower leaves: If the leaves look generally healthy, the yellowing of few lower leaves may result from biological phenomenon depends on aging.
- Small pot (replacing it with fresh soil in spring)
- Iron or nitrogen deficiency is also a reason. (In this case, you should use a suitable nutrient)
- Sudden yellowing on all leaves
- Sudden place or temperature change
- Cold airflow
- Cold environment
- Excessive watering (Especially if it waits in water in the plate, this situation will harm the roots and kill the plant)
- Little or no watering
- Hard water (Especially the yellowing that starts from the top is from the calcium accumulated in the soil due to the hard water)
- Watering houseplants with cold water. (Cold water shock to plants living at room temperature. You should always use warm water)
- Insufficient light (Excessive daylight in sensitive plants also causes yellowing and browning in leaves.)
PS: Featured image of the post cited from pixabay