I never imagined a once serial plant killer like me would be writing a blog on taking care of house plants! But here I am!
After making a few mistakes along the way, I’ve learnt a few things about plant care.
The one important myth to burst is that house plants require less light. From my experience, that’s not true. All plants require a good amount of light and house plants are no different. So even if you have a house plant, it is advisable to keep it in a spot in your home which gets natural light for it to thrive.
The amount of water your plants need, and frequency of watering really depends on your environment. The best way to determine if your plant needs watering is to touch and feel the soil, if it is still damp, there is no need to water it. If it is dry, water it from all sides and let the excess water drip out from the holes beneath the pot. I also like to mist the leaves with water occasionally and wipe out dust from the leaves to retain the lushness and shine in the leaves. Watch out for signs of browning at the tips of the leaves - it usually is telling you something, either your plant is getting less light or less water and you can course correct.
Which brings me to the ideal type of pot to grow your house plant in. It’s very important for plants to get aeration and so choosing a pot with holes beneath for excess water to drip through helps tremendously to ensure that the soil is well aerated, and the roots do not decay. I like growing plants in plastic pots with holes beneath and I place these pots in pretty looking planters to complete the look. House plants are a great way of decorating your home apart from the calming and soothing effect they lend to your home! For larger plants, you could do the same or use pots made of cement, ceramic, mud etc.
I like the plastic pots at Japan Home Centre - they are very functional, and some can even be used without a separate planter. Stores like H&M and Tree stock beautiful planters.
I typically buy plants online – there are several websites which deliver home like greenitup or Keren’s Garden. I also like the plants at Muji – they are great to add a little aesthetic touch to your living room coffee table! I buy soil from Japan Home Centre. You could also venture out to the markets in Prince Edward, Wan Chai to pick from a wide variety of plants.
My top 6 house plants are: Most of these are said to be good air purifiers as well!
1. Snake plant - No fuss, easy to maintain, medium sunlight, water once a week. Fun fact: snake plant is also known as Mother in law’s tongue as the pointed tip of the leaves is said to symbolize the sharp tongue of a mother-in-law!
2. Pothos or Money plant - Medium sunlight, water once a week, looks very nice on a chest of drawers or at an elevation. You could also grow money plant in water in a glass vase. Add a touch of greenery to your bathroom by placing a money plant in water in a glass vase.
3. Monstera - my favorite, unique and large leaves give out a lush garden feel to your home, needs medium sunlight, water once a week. It is native to the rainforests of South America and thrives in a humid environment. The monstera is famous for its natural leaf holes because of which it is nicknamed, Swiss Cheese plant!
4. Bamboo - water twice a week, needs good amount of sun light
5. Aglaonema - comes in beautiful colours (pink and green, yellow and green), low maintenance, water once a week, needs medium sun light.
6. Fiddle leaf fig - relatively more high maintenance, needs good amount of sunlight, water once or twice a week. The big fiddle leaf fig plant will add an Instagram worthy touch to your living room!