We all love having a home and garden full of luscious plants.
The only problem is finding the time to water them. Not to mention knowing how much water to give them and how often.
Watering is without doubt the biggest issue gardeners and domestic goddesses face but it doesn’t have to be that way. Our cheat sheet will have your home looking green and fresh inside and out in a few simple steps.
First up, the most common houseplants…
1. Spider Plant
Water: little and often
Location: a well-lit room but NOT in direct sunlight
Spider Plants are the most popular plant for UK homeowners and are also found in many offices throughout the country – largely because they are easy to care for and grow quickly. Water regularly and cut dead leaves away as needed.
2. Aloe Vera
Water: regular and constant. The soil should be damp to touch at all times
Location: bright conditions – on a windowsill or shelf that receives direct sunlight
Aloe Vera’s health and medicinal benefits make it a popular houseplant but growers should be aware that it relies on water for its green foliage and can take a while to flower. Be patient and keep watering!
3. Peace Lily
Water: daily during summer and weekly during winter. Humid conditions will require more watering
Location: bright conditions but out of direct sunlight – away from the window
Thankfully easy to maintain, Peace Lily plants have a small pretty flower with few demands. They are thirsty plants when it’s hot though so be sure to keep a watering can handy during summer. You can leave longer between drinks in the winter when weekly or even fortnightly watering is sufficient.
4. Jade Plant
Water: infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out in between watering
Location: window location where it will receive a few hours of sunlight per day
Jade Plants owe their origins to the Bonsai tree and, like the Bonsai, they flourish best when they are able to enjoy direct sunlight for a few hours. Kitchens are a popular location and homeowners love their low watering demands which require the soil to dry out in between drinks. Failing to do this and leave surface water at the roots can actually cause them to rot so take heed!
What can you do when you’re not at home?
So now you know how to look after your houseplants the next question is what should you do when you’re not at home?
Dog-sitting is one thing but will your friends and family really be willing to plant-sit while you’re sunning yourself in the Costa Brava?
There’s no need to come home to an unhappy houseplant – or relative – if you prepare your beloved blooms for your time away.
First of all, you need to give your plants a thorough watering before you leave. You should also move them out of direct sunlight and into a cooler room to prevent damage.
Next, you need to find a way to keep your plants watered while you’re not around – especially if leaving for a long holiday. There are a few different watering methods you can try:
1. Wick method
Ideal for large single pot plants. Use a large container to hold water along with a piece of capillary matting as a wick. Insert one end of the wick into the container and tuck the other end into the plant pot, enabling the plant to have access to water while you’re away.
2. Cover with clear plastic bag
This should only be used for short-term trips. Place a clear plastic bag over your plant and seal it closed to allow the plant to collect and recycle water vapour.
3. Self-watering containers
More suited to plants which need water all year round, such as citruses, these can be purchased from garden centres and have built-in reservoir systems to provide a constant flow of water.
Do you have any other tips how you keep your plants happy during your time away? Leave a comment below!
Don’t forget to check out an extensive range of plants online, in chase you are looking to extend your plant family at home or to send a thoughtful gift to a loved one!