While houseplants have always been popular, the COVID lockdown has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people choosing to bring nature indoors. New businesses sprouted up for delivery, educational YouTube channels went viral, #houseplantparent was all the rage on social media, and everyone was adopting their own plant babies. If you’ve been thinking about jumping on the green train but are still hesitating because of your lack of knowledge (or confidence), you’ve come to the right place.
A Beginner’s Guide to Indoor Plants
Why should we have plants at home?
Indoor plants are natural air purifiers. In addition to releasing oxygen, plants clean the air of harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde and benzene that are commonly found in paints, cigarettes, and solvents. Studies have also shown that houseplants help reduce stress and fatigue levels by lowering people’s heart rate and blood pressure.
Certain plants like jasmine, lavender, and aloe vera improve the quality of sleep when placed in your bedroom. The presence of plants contributes to the general well-being of people by improving their mood, improving their general health, and helping them become happier and more optimistic about life.
Which houseplants to start with?
As a new plant parent, choosing the right plants is essential to get started. For good growth of any houseplant, you need to make sure you match the right plant for the right growing conditions. Choose plants that match your lifestyle. “The first rule of thumb: Always remember that plants are living, conscious things, not embellishment pieces or accessories,” says Luigson Fernandes, a plant enthusiast who goes by @thebeardedplantguy on Instagram.
“Make sure you choose the plants that best suit the personal conditions in your home. Start small – literally and figuratively – owning plants of smaller size, scale, and ease of maintenance. Low maintenance plants are definitely the way to go! Remember, no matter which plant you choose, the right amount of care and attention to your plants’ needs is the key to success. ”
With India’s climate and your skill level in mind, some of the best low maintenance houseplants are:
1. Snake plant
The characteristics that make the snake plant very popular are its durability and resistance. It features erect, sword-shaped leaves with variegated hues of green.
This plant is valued for its aesthetic appeal and resilience. With its cascading fronds with alternating green leaves, it instantly enhances any space.
Also known as the ‘Swiss cheese plant’, the Monstera plant is famous for the shape and size of its leaves, which feature striking fenestrations (natural cuts and holes).
Also Read: Most Useful Herbs And Plants
4. ZZ plant
The Zamioculcas Zamiifolia or ZZ plant is a tropical perennial native to East Africa, which is commonly found around the world due to its tolerance to a wide variety of climates.
The Pothos plant with its fast growing vines full of variegated green and white leaves will make any space more lush. Pothos are a great low-maintenance choice for those new to houseplants.
Some tips to get you started
“Three things that keep plants alive are light, water and humidity,” says Aditee Sinha, co-founder of Plants Cart. “Each factory needs it in different proportions and quantities. The very first tip, therefore, would be to research and learn more about your plants from the internet or from authentic sources and take care of the plants accordingly.
1. Find a reliable source
Order your plants from a reputable company that has a team of experts to help you and answer all of your questions. myBageecha, Ugaoo and Plants Cart are highly recommended.
2. Resist the urge to overwater your plants.
One of the most common mistakes people make early on is overwatering their plants. Keep track of how much water each plant needs and how often. Adjust this according to the weather.
3. Make sure the plants are getting enough light and moisture.
Before choosing your houseplants, it’s a good idea to match the amount of sunlight your home receives with the light that plants require. You may need to spray your plants with filtered water for them to thrive.
4. Additional plant care
Just as we need our vitamins, plants need their nutrients and must be protected from pests, insects and fungi. Opt for organic and sustainable pesticides, like neem products, which are great for plant protection.
5. Don’t worry about repotting and pruning
New plant owners are often afraid to prune or repot their plants. Prune your plants once every three months. Once your plant starts to get too big for its pot, repot it in a pot 1 to 3 inches taller than its current pot.
“Choosing the right planter depends mainly on the design theme of your space,” says Kapil V, founder of Bonasila Planters. “Pick a planter that blends in with the current design theme of your home or office. Then choose the planter according to the size of the plant you are going to pot, so that root growth is not hampered or affected. Finally, choose the right color! Selecting the color of your choice will help improve your mood and bring a certain dynamism to the ambiance of your spaces.