Indoor plants might even help your kids (and you) sleep better. Now… how to keep them alive and thriving!

Creating an indoor garden in your family home is the perfect way to bring the outdoors inside. Whether you want to create your perfect oasis for some “me time”,  or you’re panicking about kids on their devices all the time and you want them to breathe in some clean air. In fact, indoor plants will even help your kids (and you) sleep better. Now… how to keep them alive and thriving!

Get the light right

Majority of indoor plants are best grown in a bright room out of the direct sun light. Many cangrow in low light situations so try them and if they aren’t growing very well where you havethem – rotate them out every month or so or find a lighter spot for them.

No draughts , thanks

Try to limit fluctuations in temperature – keep away from air conditioner ducts or heaters (and definitely away from any draughts)

I like water, but not too much!

Water requirements depend on the type of plant you are growing, how big it is and the time of year. It’s always best to keep indoor plants drier than wet. Plants like orchids orsucculents may only need watering once or twice a month. Philodendrons prefer a wet/dry cycle – keep them dry for weeks and then put them outside for a good soaking before bringing them back inside. The best method of checking if your plant needs water is to feel around in the soil with your fingers. The top may look dry, but dig down a few centimetres and you may find moist soil and won’t need to water your plant.

Introducing little pockets of green with indoor plants is not only restful on the eye, but the added oxygen inside can make for a better night’s sleep for everyone. Aloe Vera plants are perfect, because they breathe oxygen during the night.

Be consistent, or I might die or get sick

Unless the plant is a water lover or has dried out completely – don’t leave the pot sitting in a saucer. If your plant is over watered the leaves may get yellow and turn brown with wet patches on the ends of the leaves. They may also get spots or show signs of fungal attack.

Healthy food plan for your plants!

Liquid fertilisers, like the ones you use on your outdoor plants, can be used inside as well. Apply according to the instructions on the bottle. Most plants that you buy come with controlled release fertiliser in them. If you’re repotting your indoor plants, ensure you use a good quality potting mix designed for potted plants.

What plants would Mum love for Mother’s Day?

Gift cards (Bunnings gift cards are personalised with a beautiful picture of your choice) are a great idea, as your mum can spend some much appreciated time wandering around the gorgeous indoor plant section, contemplating her own oasis in the making. Here’s a selection of favourites to consider:

• Potted Chrysanthemums are the classic Mother’s Day plant. They will grow inside for a few weeks, but then can be taken outside in warmer climates.

• Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

• Philodendron

• Dracaenas

• Lucky Bamboo

• Phalaenopsis Orchids

• Cyclamen

• Anthurium

• ZZ Plant

Be mindful however that some indoor plants can be poisonous so do your research before selecting your plants.

Create a Mother’s Day oasis

No-go plants for a family home?

There are a few plants that are known to be poisonous or can cause allergic reactions. Some pets and children may eat plants so check the label or ask the people you buy your plants from. Plants with a milky white sap are a problem. Best to always use caution and wash your hands well before and after dealing with plants and soils and keep your plants away from the reach of small children or pets.

When I get too big for my pot

Larger plants will benefit from potting up every couple of years. Smaller indoor plants will need to have the potting mix refreshed refreshed every few years to ensure the soil structure is at its peak. Pot-bound plants (except Orchids) should always be potted up. When potting up, it’s best to only increase no more than 2 pot sizes.

EXPERT TIP: Keep a few additional indoor plants in a shady spot outside. Rotate them in for the poorer performing ones inside and rejuvenate the resting plants outside. Repeat.

Can I be dusted? 

It’s not essential to frequently dust your plants, but they can become unsightly. The best method of dust removal is to take the plants outside and hose them down. If you are unable to do this, you can use “Leaf Shine” with a microfibre cloth and gently wipe the leaves. Be careful not to use the product underneath the foliage and do not use it on plants such as ferns or succulents.

Indoor plants hack

When watering your plants indoors make sure you use a specialised indoor watering can with a narrow spout so you can direct the water to the plants without making a mess.

Plant care tips from Bunnings’ National Greenlife Buyer Andrew Grant

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