The focus of many renovations is the bathroom. Homeowners often opt for an all-white look that works for resale, so greenery adds colour and life to this stark canvas.
Humidity in the bathroom can be up to 80%, making it a cosy environment for indoor plants.
Checking light levels
Choose suitable plants based on the level of natural light that usually penetrates through windows or skylights.
HIGH LIGHT – Opt for crotons, azaleas and cyclamens.
MEDIUM LIGHT – Choose peace lilies, calathea and aglaonema.
LOW LIGHT – Buy spider plants, Boston ferns and philodendrons.
Others include African violets, bromeliads, parlour palms, cast iron plants, bird’s nest ferns, ponytail palms, zebra plants and begonias
Cleaning the leaves
Leaves collect dust just like any other surface. Keeping them clean improves the plant’s ability to photosynthesise and transpire, improving the overall air quality.
Products that promote shiny leaves used to be popular but they tend to block leaf pores. Instead use a mixture of half milk, half water for sheen that doesn’t harm the plant.
Clean large-leafed plants by spraying with a mist of water and wiping each leaf with a sponge. Spray ferns a few times to allow the dust to drip off the foliage. Dust African violet leaves with a soft paintbrush.
Keep the soil moist
It’s difficult to judge when water is needed as some potting mix looks dry on top when they’re moist below.
Indoor plant roots usually grow in the base two-thirds of a pot so poke an index finger into the soil to about the second knuckle. If the soil feels damp, leave it and wait until the soil is barely moist before watering.
Add water until the flow runs out the base, washing excess fertiliser salts from the potting mix and ensuring the pot and roots get enough water. Pour excess water from the pot tray to avoid root rot.
Feed plants when they are producing new growth, usually between spring and autumn. Commercially available fertilisers come in granular, crystal, liquid or tablet format and are sold as indoor or houseplant food.
The three main elements are required for healthy growth.
NITROGEN stimulates the production of healthy green stems and leaves.
PHOSPHOROUS is important for flower production.
POTASSIUM improves the root system and the ability of the plant to use moisture and nutrients.