Care for Indoor Plants

The beauty of indoor plants and gardens seldom escapes our eyes. In Singapore and certainly in many countries overseas, they often end up our cameras as we capture them to share with our loved ones and friends, perhaps even on Facebook.

Some of us may even be motivated to try and bring this beauty into our homes. Indeed, indoor plant is another focus for house-proud owners to consider and they can certainly attract many hours of conversation with like-minded visitors.

With some careful planning and tender care, you can succeed in having your own little green space or cluster of pots of blooms. Key considerations are proper light, water, temperatures and potting. These will enable a plant living indoors to flourish and live a healthy life just as it would amid an outdoor garden.

Lighting – Find out the light requirements of the plants you have in mind. Be sure the location for the plant has sufficient light. Plants are inclined to bend towards light. Hence, you will have to rotate your plants from time to time to let them grow in an upright position. If you have the commitment and time, you may want to take the plants out to the balcony to take advantage of the sun. When you see the plant’s leaves turning pale, it is an indication that it may need more light. One suggestion is to use fluorescent lights to help the plant to adjust until it becomes used to the indoors.

Water – Make sure you thoroughly wet the soil. Use pots that can drain away the water so that it does not pool in the pot, or the plant will drown in these conditions. When the leaves turn yellow, this is a sign of a lack of oxygen to the roots. Use room temperature water and also remember to clear the excess water in the tray so that you do not breed mosquitoes.

Climate – Be realistic and don’t try to grow plants that can’t take our local weather. Temperatures that are too hot can cause some plants to be weak and small, and cold temperatures will cause leaves to turn yellow and possibly fall off. The point to note is to try and create the same conditions as the plants would enjoy in their native habitat.

Pot – When you notice the plant’s roots growing out of the pot, it’s time to re-pot the plant as soon as possible. Otherwise the roots will be tangled as they do not have proper room to grow and the plant will suffer. If the pots are too small, the plant’s growth will be restricted and it may eventually die.

You can try growing a few different types of house plants to give your blooms a variety of plant shapes and colour to create an eye-catching display.

Speak to the neighbourhood nursery or visit the NParks website http://www.nparks.gov.sg/cms/ which has many interesting tips for plant lovers, including video clips.

– This article first appeared in a lifestyle magazine