Real World Gardener is Caring for Indoor Plants in Garden Design

May 7th, 2013

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney,
streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio


The complete CRN
edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

Design Elements

Caring for Indoor Plants

There’s a program going round called
Improve Your Plant Life Balance.

It’s not just for your garden outside, but
indoors as well. Recent research has shown that indoor plants significantly
improve a whole range of aspects of our indoor environment. 

From cleaner air to helping to lower stress
and negative feelings,
Let’s find how to look after these
indoor plants?

Air-conditioning systems are almost never designed to remove outdoor gaseous pollutants from air drawn into the building.
Plants greatly help in removing volatile organic compounds that are emitted from plastics/synthetics in furniture fittings, computers, printers and more.
These compounds cause loss of concentration, headaches, eye, nose and throat problems.
So, if you don’t have indoor plants because you thought it was a 70’s thing, forget that, get some today.
Ten Gold Rules of Indoor plants:
Drown Them
: Roots need air as well as water - keeping the compost soaked at all
times means certain death for most plants. Waterlogging kills by preventing
vital air getting to the roots and by encouraging root-rotting diseases. More
plants die through overwatering than any other single cause; they are killed by
kindness.  By the way, don't empty tea or coffe dregs into pot plants. Doing this attracts Psiarid flies.
2. Give
Them A Rest
: Beginners are usually surprised to learn that nearly all plants
need a rest in winter. This means less water, less feeding and less heat than
in the active growing period. Also make certain there are no draughts as this
can be fatal. If plants are close to a door, pick a different winter location away
from chilly temperatures. 
3. Accept
The Loss Of 'Temporary' Plants
: Some popular gift plants such as Cyclamen,
Chrysanthemum and Gloxinia will die down in a matter of weeks. You've done
nothing wrong, these types of flowering pot plants are only temporary
 Either throw them into the compost or for cyclamen, plant them into a shady spot in the garden.
4. Give
Them Extra Humidity
: The atmosphere of a centrally heated room in winter is as
dry as desert air. Increase the air humidity placing
plants in a moist area such as the kitchen or bathroom. You can mist the
plants, grow pots in groups to increase the moisture surrounding plants or
double pot the plant using an outer waterproof container and fill the space
between the pot and the container with moist peat. 

5. Treat
Trouble Promptly
: Expert or beginner, trouble will strike some time. One or two
scale insects or mealy bugs are easily picked off; an infestation may be
incurable. Overwatering is not fatal at first, but kills when prolonged. Learn
to recognize the early signs of trouble.

 6. Group
Them Together:
Nearly all plants look better and grow better when grouped
together. The standard group consists of four to twelve clay or plastic pots
closely grouped together to produce a pleasing arrangement in which both shapes
and tints are varied. In the most usual grouping foliage plants are used to
provide the permanent framework and flowering pot plants are used to provide
splashes of colour. The taller plants, the darker greens and the larger leaves
are placed at the back of the group.

7. Learn
To Repot
: After a year or two most plants begin to look sickly. In many cases
the plant simply needs repotting into a larger container. The best time to
repot is in spring so that the roots will have plenty of time to become
established before the onset of the resting season.

8. Choose
Pick the right spot. Even
the expert can't make a shade lover survive in a sunny window. After buying
a plant monitor the activity for the first few weeks and make sure it's in the right place. 

9. Have
The Proper Tools
: Buy a watering can with a long, narrow spout and a mister for
increasing humidity, reducing dust and controlling pests. You will need a
good brand of potting mix and a collection of pots plus stakes and plant ties
or string. Drip trays will keep water off the furniture; a bottle of liquid
fertilizer and a safe pest killer will keep the plants looking healthy. To
complete your tool kit include a soft sponge, an old kitchen spoon and fork and
a pair of small sized secateurs.

10. Check
The Plant's Specific Needs
: Look up the secrets of success in an A-Z guide for
each plant. This will prove invaluable as you will detect problems, maintain
healthy plants and realize what plant is best suited for a specific location.
Did you know that air pollution is
almost always higher indoors than outside?


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