Guide to Indoor Plants

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Indoor Palm Plants

Palm trees can be grown indoors given the proper care and space for growth. Palm plants can reach heights of 3 ft. up to 8 ft. and some can produce flowers, therefore the placement of these plants is essential. Although palm plants are a much more expensive choice than other types of house plants, they add a beachy, bright vibe to any space. As a special feature, palm plants also purify the air.

 

Some of the most common indoor palm plants are:

 

  • Areca Palm - Dypsis lutescens
  • Bamboo Palm - Chamaedorea seifrizii
  • Cat Palm - Chamaedorea cataractarum
  • Chinese Fan Palm - Livistona chinensis
  • Fishtail Palm - Caryota mitis
  • Kentia Palm - Howea forsteriana
  • Lady Palm - Rhapis excelsa
  • Majesty Palm - Ravenea rivularis

  

Things to consider

 

Living space

Palm plants need larger spaces for growth.

Temperature

Indoor palms require warmth, ideally between 15°C to 21°C.

Light

Needs a lot of indirect light all year round.

Water

Palms need to be kept moist – pour water until it comes out the drainage tray and then empty the tray so the palm doesn’t sit in water.

Repotting

Only when absolutely necessary as palms don’t like to be disturbed, and be mindful of not putting too much fertilizer.

 

Things to watch out for

 

Yellowing leaves

Signs of under-watering.

Brownish-red leaves

Signs of cold injury – place the palm away from A/C or where there is a draft of wind.

Brown leaves or tips

Signs of either dry or cold air, or under-watering.

Spots

Caused by either over-watering, the palm getting cold suddenly or watering with hard water.

Root rot

Soil or container may not be draining the water well.

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Rubber Plants – Ficus elastic 

Rubber plants are chic and given the right amount of living space, they can grow to impressive heights. They are versatile and adaptable; put them in a corner for a touch of greenery or make them a focal point in a large space, as they will grow and become dramatic. They also suit any interior design style – and as a bonus, they are very photogenic plants!

 

Things to consider

 

Soil

 

Rubber plants don’t like to sit in water, so a well-soil and container are important.

Light

 

Require a lot of indirect bright light. Rubber plants should be placed by a window that’s screened with sheer curtains. If leaves become leggy, lose their luster or lower leaves fall off, they are signs that the plant is not getting enough light.

Water

 

During the growing season (summer), rubber plants need to be kept moist. Mist and wipe the leaves. For the dormant season (winter), they may require to be watered only once or twice a month.

Mist the leaves during any season if the air is too dry.

Try to use lukewarm water to avoid shocking the plant.

Fertilization

 

Fertilize the rubber plant only during the growing season, like most indoor plants.

Pruning & Repotting

 

Rubber plants don’t require much pruning apart from removing dead or dying leaves. You can prune to shape the plant as desired. If you don’t repot, they will not grow. Rule of thumb is to transplant to a pot that’s about an inch bigger and not pots that are too big.

  

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Snake Plants – Sansevieria trifasciata 

Snake plants are branded the toughest indoor plants as they are very low maintenance and can survive in virtually any conditions. The only sure way to kill snake plants is by overwatering or never watering at all. Additionally, NASA has branded snake plants as one of the best air purifying plants as they remove toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene from the air.

 

Things to consider

Soil

Choose a loose well-draining potting mix. Sandier soils also work.

Temperature

Prefer warm temperatures, cannot go below 10°C.

Light

 

Prefer bright light with some sun, and can adapt to full sun. However, snake plants can survive in dim conditions.

Water

 

With snake plants, it is better to under-water than over-water. Over-watering will kill them. Let the soil dry in between waterings, and during winter, only water once a month or when the soil is dry to the touch.

Fertilization

 

Fertilize with a mild cactus fertilizer during the growing season and do not fertilizer in the winter.

Repotting

Repot in the spring using fresh potting soil.

  

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Fiddle-Leaf Fig Tree – Ficus lyrata  

Fiddle-leaf fig trees are one of the most popular indoor plans today. With their tree-like shape, they add warmth and life to any living space. They can look casually undone or chic depending on how you prune them. Native to tropical lands, fig trees prefer warm and wet conditions, but are relatively tough and can withstand non-tropical conditions for long periods of time. They can also grow tall, as much as 6 ft. or more, and even to 40 ft. in their natural habitat.

 

Things to consider

Soil

Any good fast-draining potting soil.

Temperature

Warm temperature as fig trees are native to tropics.

Light

 

Require a lot of bright, filtered light. Can adapt to full sun, but not dark places.

Water

 

Only water when the top inch of the soil is dry to keep the figs steadily moist but not sitting in water.

Fertilization

Fertilize with liquid fertilizer once a month during growing season.

Repotting

Repot when roots are starting to grow out of bottom pot or annually. Use a larger pot to encourage growth, or trim the rootball if size is a concern.

  

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Swiss Cheese Plant - Monstera deliciosa 

You will probably recognize the Monstera’s split leaves as they have been featured extensively as décor all over Instagram and even sold as single faux leaves at Ikea. This pretty plant is native to the tropical rainforests of southern Mexico, but adapts very easily to un-tropical climates such as ours. It is a climber plant and requires support sticks as well as a lot of room to grow. These plants can grow up to 65 ft. high and leaves can reach 9-35 inches in both width and length. Although the name suggests that the plant is delicious, the leaves are not edible and they are in fact poisonous when digested.

 

Things to consider

Temperature

Require high humidity. Active growth will start when temperatures hit 18°C or above.

Light

Gentle, filtered light. Avoid direct sunlight and dark spaces.

Water

 

Regular watering. The soil should be watered evenly and dry before watering again.

Fertilization

Don’t fertilize newly repotted Monsteras for at least three months. Fertilization is essential for new lush growth, but reduce the amount and frequency to prevent rapid growth.

Repotting

Repot shortly after purchase of a new Monstera, and choose the size of the new pot according to the size you wish your plant to grow. Monsteras can grow quite big.


  

Happy plants, happy life!

 

 

Rich 

 

 

References

https://www.houseplantsexpert.com/indoor-palm-plants.html

http://www.costafarms.com/plants/palm-houseplant

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/indoor-palm-tree-tips-leaves-turning-brown-50036.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/best-houseplants-destress_n_2964013#gallery/443066/3

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/rubber-plant-our-best-tips-for-growing-and-care-237390

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/love-fiddle-leaf-figs-check-out-rubber-tree-plants-237504

https://www.thespruce.com/snake-plant-care-overview-1902772

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Clean_Air_Study

https://www.thespruce.com/grow-fiddle-leaf-fig-indoors-1902756

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/tips-for-caring-for-fiddle-leaf-figs-199919

http://www.ourhouseplants.com/plants/monstera-deliciosa

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/monstera-deliciosa-growing-care-and-propagation-tips-235449