How to Care for Potted Plants?

Having plants around the home is known for boosting our moods and increasing productivity and creativity, so it’s no wonder that more and more people are enjoying the presence of potted plants inside the homes and outside in their gardens. Not only that, but plants are well known for cleaning the air we breathe by removing toxins and producing oxygen, so with this in mind, let’s give back to our green friends and understand how best to look after potted plants. To ensure we can carry on enjoying the many wonderful benefits of potted plants and to ensure they’re happy in their new homes, we’re here to offer answers to some commonly asked questions about potted plants.

Which plants make good beginner plants and how do I look after them?

  • Prayer plant – thrives in bright locations where it can receive indirect sunlight, all it needs is a weekly mist and weekly water (to ensure the soil is moist). In the winter the prayer plant should be watered less regularly. This is a pet-friendly plant.
  • Fishbone cactusenjoys bright light but do not place on a windowsill where it might get too much direct light as the Fishbone Cactus needs indirect sunlight. The fishbone cactus plant is a low maintenance plant and is forgiving when there’s been unintentional neglect. Should its stems become really long, feel free to prune them, as new stems will sprout from wherever you’ve cut it and this will make the plant look thicker and healthier. Water this plant semi-regularly in the summer months but do allow it to dry in-between watering sessions. This plant is pet-friendly.
  • Kentia palmsits happily in low-light and is simple to care for. Mist the Kentia palm weekly and wipe leaves when they become dusty with a damp cloth to allow its pores to breathe. This plant looks great in corridors, bedrooms and living rooms and can grow to 3m tall. The Kentia palm is pet-friendly.
  • Snake plantan extremely hardy houseplant that requires very little attention. The Snake plant is great for improving air quality and looks great anywhere in the home as they are tolerant of low light levels but are happiest in indirect sunlight. Never water if the top layer of the soil is damp, wait until it is dry before watering again, as you don’t want to over-water the snake plant. This plant is toxic to pets but is only a problem if they like to nibble at plants, otherwise, both can live in harmony.
  • Aloe Veraneeds bright light, so place on the windowsill where it can bask in the glorious sunshine. Aloe Vera is easy to care for and pruning is not required, do not over-water, make sure the soil is dry before watering again. If you watered the plant and it is still wet the next day, make sure you drain the excess water and allow it to dry. This healing plant is, in fact, toxic to pets, so be sure to keep it away from nibblers or choose a pet-friendly house plant. 

How do I choose the right pot for my plant?

  • Drainage is paramount when it comes to potted plants as this allows water to drain through and out of the soil when there’s too much. Plant pots without drainage holes will trap excess water and cause the plant to drown or develop root rot. If this is happening your plant will start to wilt and droop, and the soil will be moist to touch.
  • Space is important in a plant pot as the plant will need enough room to grow. When a plant’s roots are unable to stretch and spread throughout the soil, you will end up with a top-heavy plant and its roots will be unable to hold the foliage that sits above the soil’s surface. 

How do I choose the right potting mix/soil for my plant?

Always buy potting soil from your local garden centre. Potting soil has a nice loose and light consistency that allows the plant’s roots to spread and anchor down into fresh new territory. Potting mixture usually consists of peat moss, vermiculite and organic matter, which is ideal for most house plants. However, if you’re looking to re-pot cacti or succulents, you’ll want to use their very own cacti or succulent focussed soil.

Top tip: never use soil from your garden, as it’s likely to be contaminated with weed seeds, insects and even fungal disease.

How do I feed potted plants?

Potted plants require additional fertilising, so if you want thriving, lush green plants, be sure to feed them liquid fertiliser once a month in line with whatever the label of your chosen houseplant feed suggests. For example, Baby Bio suggests that 5-10 drops of feed needs to be mixed with half a litre of water to make for the optimal solution. When watering your plants be sure to think about its size and water appropriately – do not be tempted to over-water. 

Feel inspired to branch out to outdoor gardening? Contact R&J Landscapes. We have decades worth of experience and a plethora of completed projects under our belts, which means we’re able to bring any landscaping project to life. Simply call our friendly team and let’s get you pencilled in.