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Five things you need to know when picking a houseplant

All of the houseplants on HomePlant are specially chosen to be hard to kill and able to thrive in all kinds of environments around the home. But there are still some important things you need to know when picking your new green friend.

  1. Where in your home do you want to keep your plant?

There are houseplants for all parts of your home. The main thing to think of is how much light is available in the spot you’re planning on putting a plant.

If you’re thinking of putting a plant in a windowsill, take your phone out right now (or close this page and open up your Appstore after this entry, it’s fine, we can wait) and download a compass app.

Got it? Great! Now you know your north from south in your home. As a general rule, it’s best to keep your lovely plants out of south and north facing windows. South because they get too much sun and can burn, north because the sunlight there will be weak and they might not get enough.

East facing windows, so your plant can watch the sunrise, are perfect for plants that love light. Our Oscar, Pamela and Jane all adore morning sunlight, so will do great there.

How about if you have somewhere a little shadier? Check out our May, Harry or Sofia for plants that thrive in shady spots.

 

  1. How much water for your plant?

As a general rule, the best way to know if your houseplant needs water is to take your pointing finger and poke it into the soil in the plant pot. If the soil is dry right up to your first knuckle, then the plant needs watering.

Plants like Kate, Harry and Claude all get freaked out if they get too much water. This can lead to droopy leaves and a sad looking plant, which is easy to misread and make you think that the plant needs more water. Don’t make that mistake! Do the finger trick, poking it into the soil up to your first knuckle, and if the soil is damp then it’s fine without more water for now. 

  1. How do I water my plant?

So you’ve checked whether your houseplant needs water and decided it does. Now, we need to make sure we water the plant properly. The last thing we want to do is just give the surface of the soil water while the roots of the plant are gasping for a drink.

The best way to do this is to take the plant out of its decorative pot and pop him or her either in your kitchen sink, bathtub if you have one or shower cubicle. If you can get rainwater or distilled water, your plant will love you for it. The fluoride added to tap water can turn the tips of leaves brown – it’s not the end of the world if this happens and won’t hurt your plant but with rainwater its leaves will remain a verdant green all the way to the tips.

With your water in hand, water the soil of the plant continuously until water starts streaming out of the bottom of the plastic pot. This means the roots are getting water too. Perfect!

Now leave your plant in the sink, tub or shower for an hour so the water drains – no plant likes hanging out in a pool of water – and then put them back home in their decorative pot. 

  1. How much time do I have for my plant?

Some houseplants are independent. Kate doesn’t need anyone looking after her – she can take care of herself. Others need a little bit more nurturing. Sofia and May both respond well to a more hands on approach from green fingered plant parents.

Ask yourself how much time you can devote to your plants. Don’t worry if it’s not much at all!

Claude and Kate can be watered as little as once every few weeks in the winter. They’ll be perfectly happy left well alone.

If you have a bit more time, Mark and May both like to be sprayed with water (again rainwater or distilled if you can) to keep their leaves nice and moist. This will take a little more of your time, but still not huge amounts. They might need watering a few times a week during warmer months.

  1. What type of plant works best in my space?

Some plants naturally work better in certain spots. Big Mikey Mike, for example, is around 5 feet tall and likes the air to be nice and humid. This means bathrooms or living rooms are a good space for him because they generally have a bit more space around places like bathtubs, TVs and couches.

Bedrooms are a perfect spot for Harry, Oscar, Jane and Kate. They all work hard to purify the air, giving rooms a wonderful fresh feel that is impossible to replicate without houseplants. 

Shady spots like bookshelves are the perfect home for May and Harry, they love being out of the way and can add a splash of verdant colour to darker spaces.

Remember that we are always here to answer your plant care questions. Click the contact us tab and get in touch!