As the pandemic persists, plants have become increasingly in demand, motivated by individuals’ desire to care for a living item and to build a peaceful indoor sanctuary during this unpredictable and challenging time.
Studies have shown that most people plant greenery in their homes to create an atmosphere filled with relaxation and satisfaction. Since the interest in houseplants grows popular each day, it is proper for many people to be informed of the appropriate plant care tips. We tapped Albert Tang, a Chinese plantito/specialist, to share his five insights on how we can better cultivate our plants at home.
Plant lovers must always do research before buying a plant. It is important to know if they would be able to grow this plant given their environment conditions and if they are willing to adjust to meet their plant’s needs.
The most basic things to consider in growing plants is watering, light, media, temperature, air circulation, and the right amount of humidity. When you can provide the right needs for your plant it will not only survive but flourish.
2. Check if it is healthy.
Due to the plant trend nowadays, most sellers would sell unestablished cuttings. You can always ask your trusted seller if the plant is already established or just a new cutting.
You can also do this independently by examining if the plant is firm, has new growth points (unfurling leaves, aerial roots), or has better root bound. It also helps if you are familiar with common diseases such as rust, fungal rot, or pests, which may bring harm to your garden at home.
3. Choose the right growing medium and pot.
Choose a planter that is not too big or small as a big pot will not always result in a big plant. Sometimes this would result in your plants’ health declining.
The right planter could also help your plant be less susceptible to rotting. Some plants have a big taproot, therefore, requiring tall containers, while other plants grow shallow wide roots requiring shorter containers. Also, taller pots allow water to drain down faster while shorter pots drain longer.
4. Place your plants in an area where they can meet their needs.
Put your plants in an area where they can meet their light, temperature, and humidity requirements. That area should also facilitate receiving air circulation as it is important in growing healthy plants. Air circulation prevents plants from rust and rot.
Humidity requirements differ from one plant to another. Some species of Jewel Orchids, Begonias, and Sinningias require high humidity to thrive. While plants like Monsteras and Philodendrons appreciate moderate humidity.
If the air in your place is too dry, placing plants together could help you achieve the essential microclimates that is needed for growth. As plants transpire, they release water from their leaves increasing the humidity.
For plants that need high humidity, it would help to put them in terrariums indoors. Putting these plants in terrariums will allow the precious humidity to be locked inside the container. When setting up a terrarium, it is important to put it in a cool location to prevent the terrarium from overheating as it may also trap heat inside.
5. Water your plants properly.
Do not be afraid to water until the pot drips since the roots of the plants are at the bottom. Rot, which is a result of overwatering, is usually caused by an unhealthy root system, poor drainage in soil, or lack of air circulation. It is important to know when to water your plant. For most plants, I only water the plant when the soil is dry.
If your plants are planted in a well-draining mix, they would appreciate being watered generously and even some succulents could tolerate continuous rain after being established.