5 things you NEED to keep your houseplants happy ALWAYS!
I bang on about this stuff all the time, so it made sense to put this information into a simple guide that you can readily use. Read on to learn the 5 things you need to keep your houseplants happy all the time.
I discovered these 5 things during my time studying horticulture and over the last 10 years while I have collected and fallen in love with learning about plants.
I personally use all 5 things to keep my houseplants happy and I’ll explain the use for each in this guide. So lets dive right in to the 5 things you need to keep your houseplants happy.
Disclaimer - this post contains affiliate links for which I may gain a commission at no additional cost to you, if you use the links to purchase a product.
Premium potting mix
When I first started out buying plants for my home, I didn't realize the importance of purchasing good quality potting mix. I would always opt for the cheapest potting mix I could find. More often than not, the cheapest potting mix is of poor quality, lacks nutrients and isn’t the best home for your new plant.
Since switching to premium potting mix I have found my plants perform much better, don’t dry out as quickly and now with experience I can see the quality is so much better.
I've tried this Premium potting mix and have had great results. All in all, if you're going to invest in plants for your home, you should invest in the potting mix they will live in.
After commencing my studies in horticulture, one of the first subjects we did was soil science and when I learnt about perlite it was a game changer! I quickly understood that the issues I was having with my indoor houseplants could be improved by making adjustments to the potting media I was using.
Premium potting mix is excellent for providing nutrients to your indoor plants but it also has great water holding capacity. This means indoors your plants may be staying moist for longer due to the lack of light inside.
Enter Perlite, a volcanic mineral which aids in aeration and drainage, it's the perfect additive to your indoor plant potting mix. Now with more air available to the plants root system, the water is still absorbed by the roots through the potting mix and any excess drains away quickly. This let's the plant to do its thing without drowning from lack of air around the root system. You can get Perlite online or from your local garden centre.
An all rounder insecticide and leaf shine, Neem oil is the answer to many pest problems faced with indoor plants. I have found this Neem oil the only answer for treating plants with fungus gnats and I’ve found it very effective when treating mealybugs and scale.
Neem oil comes from the Neem plant and is an organic insecticide which can be applied when diluted as a soil drench to kill fungus gnats and their larvae or as a spray to shine leaves and kill chewing and sucking insects such as mealybugs or scale.
Liquid fertiliser for houseplants
A sure fire way to keep your houseplants happy is to fertilise them. I recommend using a fertiliser that’s specific for houseplants so that you are applying the right ratio of nutrients for the type of plants that you have.
All fertilisers can be slightly different so I always advise to read the label and follow the instructions. More is not better when it comes to applying fertiliser so always dilute the product according to the instructions and only apply at recommended intervals.
When you start to use fertilser the results can be wild! I’ve just started using this liquid fertiliser for houseplants and I can’t wait to get my next bottle because the growth is REAL, even with my sporadic applications of the product.
Secateurs / snips
Proper and dedicated pruning implements are a MUST HAVE for all plant parents to help keep your plants in tip top shape. Houseplants like all plants will need their shape maintained, old and expired leaves removed and you should always use the correct tools for the job.
I use these Felco secateurs because as a professional horticulturist and teacher, I want to have the best tools at my disposal. But it's not good enough to just have the best tools, you have to look after them as well. Always clean your secateurs with alcohol after use so they are ready to go when you next need them and keep your snips sharp with a sharpening stone.
With these 5 things to keep your houseplants happy, you’re sure to be on your way to growing your own indoor jungle.
I would love to know if you already use these or if you would add to this list?
Let me know in the comments.