Foliage house plant care

Foliage house plant care

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There are the dozens of succulents I thought would thrive on my kitchen windowsill, only to wilt, brown and crumple into a heap of dust a few weeks later. Then there are the two beautiful palms that I impulse-bought online from The Home Depot and had delivered right to my doorstep the next afternoon. They stood in all of their beautiful, leafy glory for approximately 2. But it turns out I'm not cursed with a black thumb. I was simply making some very common, rookie mistakes when it comes to plant care.

  • Growing Indoor Plants with Success
  • 20 Super-Easy Houseplants You'll Love
  • 6 Fall-Friendly Foliage Plants for Your House
  • Houseplant Diseases & Disorders
  • Beginner's guide to watering indoor plants
  • 24 Beautiful Foliage Houseplants That Will Brighten Up Any Room in Your Home
  • Foliage Plants
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: Houseplant Care 101: Basic Tips and Tricks

Growing Indoor Plants with Success

A houseplant is a plant that is grown indoors in places such as residences and offices , namely for decorative purposes, but studies have also shown them to have positive psychological effects.

They also help with indoor air purification, since some species, and the soil-dwelling microbes associated with them, reduce indoor air pollution by absorbing volatile organic compounds including benzene , formaldehyde , and trichloroethylene.

While generally toxic to humans, such pollutants are absorbed by the plant and its soil-dwelling microbes without harm. Common houseplants are usually tropical or semi-tropical epiphytes , succulents or cacti. Without these conditions most house plants can die easily. As well, houseplants need the proper fertilizer and correct-sized pots. Ancient Egyptians and Sumerians grew ornamental and fruiting plants in decorative containers. Ancient Greeks and the Romans cultivated laurel trees in earthenware vessels.

In ancient China , potted plants were shown at garden exhibitions over 2, years ago. In the middle ages , ornamental gardening was restricted to monasteries.

In kitchen gardens of the medieval era, vegetable plants such as fennel , cabbage , onion , garlic , leeks , radishes and parsnips , peas , lentils and beans were grown if there was space for them.

Gillyflowers were also displayed in containers. In the Renaissance , plant collectors and affluent merchants from Italy , the Netherlands and Belgium imported plants from Asia Minor and the East Indies. Senecio angulatus was introduced in Malta and the rest of Europe in the 15th century as an ornamental plant. In the 16th century, fascination in exotic plants grew among the aristocracy of France and England, with inventor and writer Sir Hugh Platt publishing Garden of Eden in , which was a book about how to grow plants in homes.

Up to the 17th century, there was little evidence of the culture of houseplants for Central Europe. One explanation is the low standard of living at that time. Using the window sill in the living room as a plant shelter meant less light, freedom of storage and freedom of movement. Even in the often dark and unheated side rooms, there were almost no plants. Plant breeding developed in the late 17th and 18th centuries.

Now plants were widely cultivated with the researchers and botanists brought over 5, species to Europe from their ship expeditions from South America , Africa , Asia and Australia. At the beginning of the bourgeois age at the end of the 18th century, flower tables became part of the salons. Furthermore, nurseries were flourishing in the 18th century, which stocked thousands of plants, including citrus , jasmines , mignonette , bays , myrtles , agaves and aloes.

The dark and smoky Victorian era saw the first use of houseplants by the middle class , which were perceived as a symbol of social status and moral value, and were used on windows, in Wardian cases , trellises and stands. At the end of the 19th century, the range already included begonias , orchids , cineraria , clivia , cyclamen and flamingo flowers , but also leafy ornamental plants such as ferns , silver fir , ornamental asparagus , lilium , snake plant , English Ivy and rubber tree.

In the early 20th century, large often floor-to-ceiling windows ensured a seamless transition from the interior to the garden and architectural reforms and the development of new processes for glass production ensured that larger windows were used and thus improved lighting in the living rooms.

Senecio angulatus gained popularity following the Boer War in Queensland in the Edwardian era , where it was displayed in garden pillars in Brisbane newspapers in the late s. In the early 20th century, houseplants became dated due to their cluttered popularity in the Victoria, though the golden pothos , Chinese evergreens , peperomia obtusifolia , Boston ferns , cactus and ficus elastica had a modest presence throughout the first half of the century, but more so after World War II when houseplants became mainstream again.

Golden pothos , monsteras , African violets and Swedish ivy gained popularity in the s and s, when the plant fad returned again after WWII. In the s, there was an introduction of plant care labels. Garden centers became ubiquitous in the s and homes often had foliage-heavy plants in an "indoor jungle" backdrop. Plants were highly fashionable in the s and they included, philodendrons , string of hearts , Boston ferns , umbrella trees , syngoniums , tradescantias wandering jews , kentia palms, Tahitian brides , spider plants , weeping figs , Ficus lyrata , Ficus elastica, dracaenas , aglaonemas , aluminium plants , and snake plants, which were a common sight in homes in that decade.

In the s, the lush tone started to diminish in living rooms where it was fashionable to have only one or two grand botanical plants, such as a ficus or yucca. Shopping malls , however, still remained decorated with lush plants.

In the s, moth orchids became trendy, as well as the Dracaena fragrans and golden pothos, which still remained stylish. The s also brought a wave of interest in artificial plants. During the s, lucky bamboos became popular among consumers. The mid-late s and early s were revivalist decades with fashionable plants from earlier decades listed above being revitalised and popularised by social media especially Instagram.

Popular houseplants in these decades include peace lilies , prayer plants , ZZ plants , begonias , swiss cheese plants , crotons , peperomias , pileas , air plants , hypoestes , cacti, Boston fern, and many succulent plants such as curio or senecios , euphorbias , sedums , schlumbergeras , hoyas , etc.

Moreover, general interest in houseplants exploded during the Covid pandemic in the early s. Plants were mentioned on Instagram an average of more than 3, times a day in July and the hashtag plantmom has been used more than 2. The natural range of plant species, the varieties of which are used as houseplants, allows important conclusions to be drawn about their husbandry requirements.

Plants from tropical rainforests do not need to rest, unlike those from temperate zones. As a rule, their humidity requirements are particularly high. A more precise knowledge of the natural vegetation area of a plant is therefore helpful in maintenance.

The majority of the plant species kept as houseplants come from the area of the tropical rainforest and the adjacent areas. The length of the day is constantly around twelve hours. Precipitation is evenly distributed over the year.

The average daily temperature depends on the respective altitude. In tropical forests that are not at altitudes above meters, it is usually evenly between 24 and 28 degrees Celsius all year round. In higher-lying rainforests, the so-called tropical mountain forest, it sometimes only averages 10 degrees Celsius. The lighting conditions under which the respective plant species thrive depend on the respective vegetation levels. Plants that grow close to the ground are usually very shade-tolerant.

In contrast, the lighting requirement is higher for climbing plants and epiphytically growing species. Typical plant species in the tropical rainforest that are cared for as houseplants are bromeliads , orchids and philodendrons. They are suitable for keeping as a houseplant because they usually look attractive all year round and there is no need for a separate rest period for these plants. In contrast to the tropical rainforests, the alternately moist or rain-green forests have rainy and dry periods.

The species found there are adapted to these dry periods and have growing and resting periods. Successful maintenance of these species requires that these rest periods are observed. Typical plant species in the alternately moist forests, the varieties of which are cultivated as houseplants, are knight's stars and the clivien, which has been introduced as a houseplant sinceThe open savannah landscape, which can be found in both the tropics and the subtropics, is subdivided into wet savannah, dry savannah and thorn bush savannah.

Plant species in this habitat are very well adapted to temporary drought and low humidity. They are mostly succulents and cacti. However, it is important to note that cold storage in many species is necessary in winter in order to achieve flowering success next year.In addition to the cacti, various types of aloes , agaves , crassula , echeveria , euphorbia and sansevieria have spread as houseplants. The subtropics are characterized by a length of day that changes according to the season and a relatively mild winter with abundant rainfall.

During the summer, precipitation occasionally occurs only occasionally and very high temperatures can be reached. Myrtle and oleanders as well as some species of ficus are houseplants that come from this vegetation zone. Very few species of the plants cared for as indoor plants come from the temperate climate zone. Typical representatives are cultivated forms of ivy as well as Saxifraga stolonifera and Carex brunnea.

They all only thrive if they are as cool as possible. Both under-watering and over-watering can be detrimental to a houseplant. Different species of houseplants require different soil moisture levels.

Brown crispy tips on a plant's leaves are a sign that the plant is under-watered. Yellowing leaves can show that the plant is over watered. Most plants can not withstand their roots sitting in water and will often lead to root rot.

Most species of houseplant will tolerate low humidity environments if they're watered regularly. Different plants require different amounts of light, for different durations. Houseplants are generally grown in specialized soils called potting compost or potting soil. A good potting compost mixture includes soil conditioners to provide the plant with nutrients, support, adequate drainage, and proper aeration. Most potting composts contain a combination of peat and vermiculite or perlite.

Plants require soil minerals, mainly nitrate , phosphate , and potassium. Houseplants do not have a continuous feed of nutrients unless they are fertilised regularly. House plants are generally planted in pots that have drainage holes in the bottom of the pot to reduce the likelihood of over watering and standing water. A pot that is too large will cause root disease because of the excess moisture retained in the soil, while a pot that is too small will restrict a plant's growth.

Generally, a plant can stay in the same pot for two or so years. Pots come in a variety of types as well, but usually can be broken down into two groups: porous and non-porous. Porous pots provide better aeration as air passes laterally through the sides of the pot. Non-porous pots such as glazed or plastic pots tend to hold moisture longer and restrict airflow.

Aside from traditional soil mixtures, media such as expanded clay may be employed in hydroponics , in which the plant is grown in a water and nutrient solution. Methods of soiless growing include growing plants in pots of water, sand, gravel, brick, even styrofoam. Any habitat for soil-bound pests is also eliminated, and the plant's water supply is less variable.

However, some plants do not grow well with this technique, and media is often difficult to find in some parts of the world, such as North America, where hydroponics and specifically hydroculture is not as well-known or widespread.

Subirrigation offers another alternative to top-watering techniques. In this approach the plant is watered from the bottom of the pot. Water is transferred up into the potting media be it soil or others by capillary action.

Advantages of this technique include controlled amounts of water, resulting in lower chances of overwatering if done correctly, no need to drain plants after watering unlike traditional top-water methods, and less compaction of the media due to the pressure put on the media from top-watering. Indoor plants reduce components of indoor air pollution , particularly volatile organic compounds VOC such as benzene, toluene, and xylene.

VOCs are more common in indoor areas than outdoors.

20 Super-Easy Houseplants You'll Love

Very few plants tolerate dark corners. Most houseplants require the light that would be found within four to eight feet of a bright south window. Some will tolerate a spot very near the window, while others will prefer less light some distance away. Too little light can result in tall, lanky, small-leafed plants.

Florida Foliage House Plant Care: Spathiphyllum. R. J. Henny and J. Chen. Introduction. Most Spathiphyllum are seen in flower when at market.

6 Fall-Friendly Foliage Plants for Your House

Are the plants you love the ones you can have? Our 1 rule of green thumb is to determine the amount of natural light your space receives, and to choose your plant accordingly. Most houseplants prefer bright, indirect sunlight, but many can tolerate lower light levels like low light tolerant snake plants and ZZ plants. If the sun is intense through your windows, you may want to add a sheer curtain to diffuse the light. Cacti and some succulents like aloe can handle brighter, direct sunlight.New to plant parenthood? Some plants can handle that kind of lifestyle. A jet-setter like yourself will enjoy the resilience of low-maintenance and drought-tolerant succulents , ZZ plants , or snake plants , all pretty low key, as long as they have enough light bright and low light respectively. These should keep looking their best when you return from your next trip.

Houseplant Diseases & Disorders

Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Indoor foliage plants come in many shapes and sizes, and are generally easy to care for. Provide your indoor foliage plants with an appropriately-sized container. When choosing a new pot for your plant, choose one that is only 1 to 2 inches larger than the one in which the plant is currently growing.

As I write these very words, I am taking a look around to count the houseplants I have on my writing desk and all around the room. Right now, I am fortunate to have a sunroom in my apartment, a safe place for houseplants to perk up and do their thing.

Beginner's guide to watering indoor plants

This cultural practice generally causes the most confusion, but is relatively simple. Foliage plants are adapted to regions where soil is moist, but not continually saturated with water. Therefore, never allow soils to become completely dry between waterings, and when waterlog, apply enough water to thoroughly wet the entire soil ball. One of the best ways to do this in large plantings is with automatic watering systems. Watering frequency will depend on weather, type and size of plant and stage of plant growth.

24 Beautiful Foliage Houseplants That Will Brighten Up Any Room in Your Home

See All Posts. When I started my urban jungle, I wanted to find all the houseplant care tips in one place. I've drowned a few Aloe Vera's, I confess and almost gave up on indoor plants. They're beautiful but need care, or so I thought. Brutal variations in temperature and humidity can be detrimental. Stability is key.

Thinking about adding an African Mask houseplant to your collection? Here's what you need to know to keep it happy.

Foliage Plants

Aloe Aloe spp. Try smaller varieties such as Aloe vera on a sunny kitchen window. Aloes work nicely in dish gardens and in rooms with Southwestern decor.

While some people seem to have a knack for growing healthy house plants, for the rest of us keeping a cactus alive can feel like a bit of a stretch. It's a bible for anyone who wants to know how to look after their indoor plants and create unique displays that will bring year-round cheer to your home. Top tips for your new garden. Authors Fran Bailey and Zia Allaway shared their top tips with us on one of the most important aspects of indoor gardening - how to water your house plants. These days you can buy indoor plant watering systems that take the guesswork out of it, but if you still enjoy picking up a watering can and tending to your greenery, then read on. Most house plants prefer moist compost in spring and summer when they are in growth, but take care not to water too much; soggy, waterlogged compost causes disease and can be fatal, while a little drought is easily remedied.

Do you love plants, but find that gardening stresses you out? Plenty of people struggle to keep plants alive at first, but with time, practice and a little instruction, anyone can learn to do it.

Free entry to RHS members at selected times ». General enquiries Mon — Fri 9am — 5pm. Make a donation. Even if you don't have an outdoor space, you can still enjoy gardening. Growing indoors opens up new opportunities for exotic or tender plants, and houseplants can bring many health benefits. Get involved with the RHS ».

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