How to Keep Indoor Plants Alive

These five tips will help to keep your house greens looking lush

How to keep indoor plants alive, according to Sill Life's Jasmine Edgar. Picture / Supplied.

Jasmine Edgar of Sill Life has turned her obsession for indoor plants into a business. She shares tips and tricks on how to keep indoor plants alive and healthy.

1. Potting and repotting
When potting a plant, choose a pot that has good drainage and always use a good quality potting mix (I use Tully’s Perfect Potting). If you do have a pot without drainage, you can pot it in a smaller plastic pot and pop it inside.

When repotting, pick a pot that’s one size bigger than the one you have, place some firmly packed potting mix in the bottom and a small sprinkle of plant fertiliser (I use Ecostore Organic Biophos). Give the plant a good water and gently tip the pot on its side and ease out the plant, place it in the new pot and gently fill with potting mix, press down soil and keep filling until you are about 2-4cm from the top of the pot.

2. Light
Most plants like bright indirect sunlight. Plants get their nourishment and energy from the sun so don’t be shy about placing them in bright sunlight. As the seasons change, watch the light levels and move plants closer or further away from windows. Some plants can survive in very dim light but give them a bright light holiday one day a week. Pale foliage is a sign that your plant might not be getting enough light and brown patches on leaves can mean the plant is getting singed.

3. Water
One of the most common reasons indoor plants die is overwatering. The majority of plants need to be watered once a week. Once a month place them in a sink or bucket and drench the soil and roots, then let the water drain out well before placing them back in their spots. There are a few plants that like more water, such as peace lilies, and some that like less, including ZZ plants and snake plants.

4. Humidity
Lots of indoor plants, and the majority of what we sell, originate from sub-tropical rainforest-type climates. They love a light misting daily or you can sit them in the bathroom while you take a shower.

5. Choosing plants
Pick the right plant for you and your lifestyle. If you are new to house plants, start with an easy-care plant such as a succulent or cactus, then you can graduate to other types. If you go away a lot choose a plant that can survive without attention. If you live in the city you might want to think about plants that have super air cleansing powers. The whole process of choosing plants and their weekly routine can be quite meditative. Enjoy the watering rituals you create — it’s a good chance to practise your mindfulness. Just remember once you start it’s hard to stop!

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