Over the last 12 months, with so much of our time spent safely indoors it's no wonder that we're all keen to bring the outdoors in - hello houseplants! A little splash of greenery brightens up your day, and the Royal Horticultural Society says that our little green plant pals help reduce stress, boost productivity and filter out pollutants in the air. The lovely Lisa from Botanique (your go-to destination for all things greenery) is here to share her top tips for keeping your houseplants thriving all year round.
Hello! I’m Lisa, founder of Botanique at The Market Hall Shrewsbury; I like to think of Botanique as a lifestyle floral and plant boutique bursting with living beauty. I’m not your stereotypical florist or flower shop, I’m a bit more eclectic and varied, it’s all about you and your home, styling flowers and plants, with vases, pots and baskets to enhance your interior decor. Our houseplant collection is available from March to November and pretty much takes over the shop - a plantaholics paradise!
I believe houseplants make us happier, calmer human beings; they have now been proven to bring tranquility, remove toxins, aid concentration, and help with recuperation after illness and surgery. Pretty amazing and why having houseplants in our lives has become almost a necessity.
For some of us our plants are a fabulous hobby and we have gorgeous green foliage and healthy plants. But for others it’s hard work, we struggle to maintain our plants, I so often hear, “I’d love a plant or two but I just can’t keep them”.
To those people I ask a few simple questions.
“What plant are you trying to keep where?” and “are you a dribbler?!”
Where you position your plant and how you water it are the two key things to beautiful houseplants.
So before you rush out to buy the first plant you’re attracted to look at the space it’s going in; is it bright, or low light, is it a draughty area, or a hot spot, is it in a high traffic area and likely to be knocked into, or is it going to be left to get on with life peacefully?
Do you want a plant to trail, to be tall and elegant, fill a large space or sit on a table? Would you like it to be dramatic and make a statement or blend into the background? The size of your plant needs to be in proportion to the room or furniture its going to be sitting on, this is so important, the right plant will add to your rooms ambience and style.
Let’s assume you have the right plant for the right place, it arrives home looking lush with a happy life in front of it but after a month or so it’s just not happy, and you are not at one with your plant. I will bet you are a dribbler! Not you personally you understand, I mean you cannot walk past a plant without giving it a little bit of water.
STOP!! PUT YOUR WATERING CAN DOWN!
The majority of houseplants (there is always exceptions to the rule) need a good drink regularly when they are thirsty - often around every two weeks or when the first half of the compost is dry and the second half is drying out.
Only then do you water, preferably with rain water and you give your plant a good drink, so the compost is wet through and water is running out of the drainage holes. Let the plant rest, drink and drain before you put your plant back into its decorative pot, no plant wants to be sat in a puddle of stagnant water.
The other key to good watering is being consistent, set an alarm or use your fortnightly bin collection day as the day you check your plants and only water them if they are thirsty!
Here’s a top tip on feeding plants – use a banana skin! Soak it in a big jug of water overnight, remove the skin the next day and water, your plant will be nourished and thank you with healthy foliage. I would recommend doing this bi-monthly from spring until autumn.
I hope that’s been a useful read, if you have any questions or would like some help choosing your houseplants please pop by and see me, always happy to help you keep happy plants and to become a plantaholic, I know many!
For more gorgeous greenery and all things Botanique, head over to Lisa's social media pages!