One of the main impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown on current interior design trends is the desire to increase our connection to the outdoors.
So it’s not surprising to find that green and earth tones are the two main colors influencing interior decor, part of an increasingly popular decorative aspect of biophilic design called biophilia.
According to home products company Zinus, this emerging trend has increased interest on Pinterest by 440%, indicating our desire to get back to nature, a key clue for 2022 interior design trends such as sustainability, upcycling and nature-based color.
Read more: How to remodel tired outdoor furniture instead of buying new
According to green building consultant Biofilico, this holistic, holistic approach to biophilic building design is grounded in the ideal of integrating the outside world into it, taking into account our impact on the environment and positively impacting the well-being of its occupants.
The core essence of the concept combines nature, sustainability and wellness in a healthy interior and healthy building strategy. But for most who dive into biophilic design, at a more manageable level, it can be as simple as a redecoration or a more sustainable purchase.
But even investing in big-ticket items to bring outdoors, like an eco-friendly sofa, isn’t an option, and humble houseplants are small items that can transform your interior; the more stuff you get into your home, the better.
Being surrounded by natural elements at home can make you feel more connected to nature, according to design experts at kitchen company Magnet. Research has shown that houseplants are also good for our health; not only do they lower stress levels and boost our mood, they also improve indoor air quality.
Considering the recent houseplant boom, it’s not far-fetched to say that most people have at least one houseplant in their homes, but how many are thriving?
You might think all you need to do is water your houseplants from time to time, but caring for your houseplants is much more than that.
With a few basic tips, houseplant care doesn’t get difficult or tedious, according to Madison Moulton, a plant expert at AllAboutGardening.com. Arm yourself with the knowledge and some tools to ensure your plants not only survive but thrive under your care.
1. Master the watering
Watering, despite being a deceptively simple plant care task, is one thing most houseplant parents get wrong. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned green thumb, improper watering can cause serious damage to plants.
“Overwatering is the most common mistake that can lead to root rot and eventual plant death,” says Madison Moulton. “Underwatering is also a problem, especially for forgetful indoor gardeners who often experience wilted and dry leaves and stems.” Say.
“Watering on a strict schedule, like every 7 days, is one way to make sure you run into one of these problems at some point. Environmental conditions won’t be consistent, which means that the moisture levels in the soil also will not be consistent.”
Instead of using a schedule, simply test the soil with your fingers every two to three days. Once the top inch or two is dry, it’s time to water again. It really depends on your plant – semi-succulents and succulents need to be completely dry, while those with thinner leaves and stems need to be watered more frequently. Look for signs of stress before it becomes unresolvable.
2. Right light
There are plenty of suggestions online for low-light houseplants that don’t require much sunlight to look their best. While most of these suggestions are not necessarily wrong, some key points are not mentioned.
Madison Moulton said: “First, low light doesn’t mean no light. A room with absolutely no windows or an extremely dark corner of your home can never sustain plants for long. They need sunlight to photosynthesize – and without it, they end up with die.
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“Secondly, just because a plant can survive low-light conditions, it doesn’t mean it will thrive or even grow well in those areas. It may retain its color and grow slightly each year, but is unlikely to reach its full potential.”
When possible, give your indoor plants bright indirect light, or at least moderate rather than low light. Just like watering, some plants need more and others can handle less, but bright indirect light is the norm to ensure fast and healthy growth.
3. Direct sun exposure
The same goes for the opposite of the previous tip – avoid direct sunlight at all costs. Most houseplants come from tropical rainforests, where they are protected by the tall canopy above. They received dappled light in these areas and were never exposed to full and unfiltered sunlight.
Madison Moulton said: “Exposing these plants to direct sunlight can quickly burn the leaves, turning them brown and causing them to wilt. Even an hour of high noon or afternoon direct sunlight is too much.
“Keep them out of direct sunlight unless it’s early in the morning and only for an hour or two. If needed, cover bright windows with sheer curtains to filter light from south or west windows.
4. Pot Rotation
Once you’ve found the perfect spot for your houseplants, you probably won’t consider moving them again unless you bring them to the sink. But some exercise is good for houseplants, especially when it comes to light sources.
The side of your plant that receives the most sunlight will inevitably grow the fastest. Over time, this will result in uneven growth that, in addition to looking patchy, is also detrimental to the long-term health and maintenance of the plant. Just rotate the pot once a week to give each other a chance to be in the spotlight.
5. Soil Mixing
Soil mix should be the first thing that comes to your mind if you want to transfer newly purchased plants into decorative pots that you already have concerns about or need to replant. This sets the stage for future growth of the plant, and may be the reason for its success, or, if you’re not careful, it may die.
Most general potting soils (or worse, garden soils) are not designed for indoor plants. It does not work well for indoor growth and will eventually cause root rot. A professional houseplant mix that takes into account indoor drainage and lack of evaporation is essential for the continued survival of plants.
However, to make your plants happier, you can also make your own soil mix. By combining the ingredients of your houseplant potting soil (perlite, peat moss or coconut coir, orchid bark) in the same proportions as your existing potting soil, you can limit the effects of transplant shock and ensure your plants stay happy until your next potting .
6. Priority drainage
We all fell in love with an amazing decorative planter that is perfect for our beloved plants, only to find it lacks drainage holes. In any case, many people want to try it out, replacing the drain with a stone at the bottom of the container. Unfortunately, these plants often wilt and turn yellow from root rot.
Nothing (not even a layer of stone) can replace a drainage hole. If the pot of your choice doesn’t have one, just drill your own holes or use it as a decorative pot lid with a plastic pot inside.
Those who go the pot lid route need to remember not to water inside the pot lid to prevent water from pooling on the bottom of the container. Water over the sink and put it back on the lid after all excess water has drained.
There are many factors to consider in keeping indoor plants happy. One that we tend to overlook is humidity. However, depending on your conditions, humidity can be one thing that can make or break your houseplant growing efforts.
In tropical rainforests, where most houseplants originate, humidity hovers around 70 percent during the dry season and as high as 90 percent or more during the rainy season. Our homes are nowhere near these conditions, so it’s best to increase the humidity around the plants for optimal growth.
Most plants will survive above 40% humidity. However, getting it closer to 60% can provide an ideal compromise between your comfort and plant health. Invest in a humidifier or place your plants on trays filled with pebbles and water to increase humidity throughout the day.
Indoor plants don’t like sudden changes in conditions, especially when it comes to temperature. They are accustomed to temperatures between 65F and 85F in their native region year-round and cannot tolerate fluctuations well outside of these ranges.
Place houseplants in the warmest room of the house and keep the indoor temperature consistent, especially in winter. Don’t place them in the path of an air conditioner or radiator, they can cause wild fluctuations, causing wilting and falling leaves.
9. Don’t forget to feed
Confined to pots and the same soil mix for too long, fast-growing houseplants can quickly use up all available nutrients in the soil. Without supplementation, growth will be stunted and you may notice signs of nutrient deficiencies, such as yellowing leaves.
If your plants haven’t been repotted in the same pot for more than a year, don’t forget to fertilize during the active growing season in spring and summer, and delay fertilizing in fall and winter. A balanced liquid fertilizer is suitable for most houseplants and is usually applied every 4-6 weeks with regular watering.
That being said, it’s also important not to overfeed. Over-fertilizing is a real risk for houseplants, resulting in burnt roots and leaves. Read the directions carefully and do not apply more than the amount recommended on the package.
10. Turn the basin
Over time, as the roots grow and expand, your houseplant will outgrow the available space in its container. Soil also slowly decomposes, no longer retaining the water or nutrients that plants need to survive. Whatever plants you have, you’ll eventually need to replant, and it’s not a task you should put off.
On the other hand, repotting too soon can also damage the health of the plant. This is especially true when bringing home a new factory. They need time to adjust to the new environmental conditions, so changing pots at this time will only cause more stress.
Before repotting, watch for signs that your plants need to be repotted first, such as roots circling the bottom of the container or growing through drainage holes. Join the amazing Welsh Homes Newsletter and don’t miss any home and garden tips and advice, dream homes and renovation stories.