- All plants need light to grow although some species such as yucca, monstera and sansevieria, will tolerate darker areas than others.
- They all absorb the light through their leaves, and so it is essential to prevent them from becoming too dusty, by giving the leaves a wipe over with a damp cloth or duster.
- Check the care label of your plant to see what conditions it will thrive in, or ask our instore plant experts for advice.
- Not all plants need the same amount of water, and one of the biggest mistakes new plant owners make is to over-water, which will waterlog the roots causing the plant to “drown”.
- Most plants can handle a little neglect, so it is better to err on the side of caution when it comes to watering (better a little too dry than sitting in a puddle).
- There are gadgets available to tell if the soil is damp, but one of the most effective ways to tell if the plant needs water is to stick your finger in the soil, a couple of centimetres or so under the surface.
- With most foliage plants, they will need watering when the top 1-2cm of soil is feeling dry, although they will need less in winter than they will in summer.
- Cacti and succulents are usually potted in sandy soil, so the water runs through more easily. They won’t need watering as often as other houseplants (every 2-4 weeks depending on the time of year) but you should water slowly to allow them time to take on some of the water before it drains away.
- Plants rely on us to feed them, whether that is by repotting them into fresh compost, or by using a dedicated plant feed.
- Plant feed can be bought as a concentrate which you add to water when you are watering your houseplant, or you can buy a drip feeder which will deliver the feed directly to the plant when it needs it.
- Generic plant feed is fine for most types of houseplant, but there are specific feeds for certain types of plants, including bonsai trees, citrus plants and cacti.
- When your plant outgrows its current container, it is time to re-pot it.
- Most houseplants can be re-potted using a generic houseplant compost but, as with the feed, citrus plants and cacti have specific needs. A citrus plant will thrive in a loam-based compost, whereas cacti will enjoy a specialist sand-based compost.