How and Where to Add Houseplants to Detoxify
Read these tips to learn how and where to add houseplants to detoxify your home. With the proper lighting conditions, soil, containers, watering and fertilizing your plants will flourish. When you set up your indoor garden you will want to find 15-20 houseplants you can place around your home. Approximately, 1 per 100 square feet to detoxify your air. Add plants to your bedroom for a better night sleep. Add in your family room to freshen the air and remove toxins. Read to find out tips to having a healthy and happy indoor garden with houseplants.
Make sure to read the tag on the plant to match it with the right amount of light. No matter what your light conditions are, there is a plant for that. The exposure of your windows facing north, south, east or west is very important. East and North facing windows are cool. In the winter you may have to move them as these windows might become icy. West and South facing windows are very bright and very hot in the summer. Your plants may need to be protected in the afternoon by a window shade as the sun is very hot in the west and south facing windows. Flowering houseplants do well here. Foliage plants tend to do better in the bright light of the east and west windows.
The soil for houseplants has a mix of ⅛ of your own soil, ⅛ compost, ¼ Permalite, and ½ commercial soil-less mix. You can buy houseplant potting soil at any nursery or big box store. Adding a small amount of slow-release fertilizer is recommended.
Cactuses and other succulents have become very popular for home gardens. These plants prefer a slightly alkaline pH and well-drained soil. You can make your own soil with ¼ garden loam, and peat moss, and ½ coarse sand and perlite.
Orchids need humidity and a ph of 5.2-6.5. The commercial soil mix for orchids is recommended for gardeners new to orchids. You can make your own orchid soil with a mixture of equal parts chopped and shredded red bark, coarse perlite, and sphagnum moss. Plastic pots are recommended.
Potting and Re-potting
Repotting is a necessity for small and medium potted plants. It’s time to re-pot your plant if you can see the root ball and there is no more room for the roots to grow. As your plant grows, repotting is a necessity.
For large plants such as trees, they will only need to be re-potted after 4 years. In alternate years, you may simply replace the top 2-3 inches of soil with fresh soil. If you have a large houseplant that is not looking good, you may need to take it out of its container and cut through the root ball. It is ok to remove a fair amount of the root ball as it is not helping the plant receive it’s water if it is all wound up in a ball.
Clay pots allow the humidity to escape which is the best choice for those plants who need very good drainage. Plants that benefit from clay pots are geraniums, cactus, and succulents.
Plastic pots are readily available in every shape and color. They are lightweight and make it easier to move larger plants. Plastic pots hold moisture in and are recommended for those houseplants that need constant moisture. Umbrella Palm and Baby Tears are two of the houseplants that need sustained moisture.
Your houseplant needs water if you press your finger into the soil and it feels dry. More plants die from over watering than under watering. Signs of overwatering are; yellow leaves, new and old leaves dropping, the tips of the foliage is brown and leaves yellow and wilt, flowers fall off, and the plant isn’t growing.
A good rule of thumb for watering is to water your small potted plants every two days. Your medium pots every week. Water your large containers every 10 days. Water your plants with room temperature water.
In the Fall and early Winter use an organic fertilizer at half strength every fourth watering for plants that show little to no growth. Increase fertilizer at half strength to every other watering for plants that are actively growing. In early spring to summer fertilize at half strength every other watering. When the temperature is 85 degrees or more, your plants need fertilizer more often as photosynthesis cannot occur at 85 degrees or higher. This means that the plant needs help as it can’t make its own food.
Pests to check for are spider mites, mealybug, and scale. The best solution is to mist your plants with room temperature water, air the room often, keep temperatures down and provide humidity.
If you have a problem with spider mites, rinse the plant every two weeks and move the infected plant away from other plants. Place the plant in the sink or bathtub to apply any pest control. Air the room daily and use a miticide available at a nursery or big box store.
Wrapping it up:
- Watch the lighting conditions in your home.
- Make sure your soil has the proper ph, fertilizer, and ingredients.
- Repotting is necessary if the plant is root bound in it’s pot.
- Choose a container for your plant based on it’s moisture needs.
- Water plant based on the size of the container.
- Read the package on fertilizer and use according to the temperature and season.
- Check your plant when you water for any unwanted pest or discoloration of leaves.
To read why you should add houseplants to detoxify your home, click on the link below.