Now that you have bought plants for your home or workplace, how will you look after the plants? Here are a few tips to help you keep your plants looking fresh and healthy.
Tips for plant care
Three main factors affect the growth and health of plants – Light, Water and Fertilizing.
Light is the food of plants enabling photosynthesis. This process in presence of light, converts water and carbon dioxide into sugars and oxygen.
As a very general rule flowering plants and colorful foliage plants need direct sun, ornamental foliage plants don’t need direct sun and will survive in less light and cacti and succulents need lots of sunlight.
Low light indicators are pale leaves, slow, weak growth of stems, leaves drying and dropping, etc. Brown burn marks on exposed leaves, shrivelled dry leaves, indicates too much light.
Water requirements of plants should be fulfilled by regular and appropriate watering. Watering of potted plants should be just enough to wet the complete potting medium. Excess water draining from the pot should not be allowed to collect below the pot as excess water can rot the roots. Humidity of surrounding air also affects the health of plants.
Few methods to increase humidity around house plants are misting (spraying. The benefits of misting are that it cools the plants down in the hot weather, provides humidity to leaves in dry conditions and cleans the leaves.
Plants requiring high humidity should be kept in the bathrooms or kitchens as these are generally the most humid rooms. Brown dry leaf tips, yellow leaves, leaf fall, indicate low humidity / dry air.
What is in plant food? There are three major constituents of plant food- Nitrogen (N) – For leaf growth and ‘greening’ of plants, Phosphates (P2O5) – For root growth, Potash (K2O) – For flowers. Other elements of plant food are Trace elements, these are generally present in most compound fertilizers.
There are a few points that should be kept in mind for feeding your plants –
Fertilizers are now available in various forms like powders, pellets/sticks and liquids. Pellets / sticks are easiest to use. Liquids dissolved in water are best for house plants as they are evenly distributed throughout the potting medium to all roots.