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Greenbourne Nursery advises us on Indoor Plants

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

✦ 10th January is Houseplant Appreciation Day and I'm one person who tell my plants how much I appreciate them everyday!

Firstly, please let me welcome you all to 2023. I trust you either had a great time with friends and family over the holiday period or you got a little bit of rest and contemplation in your garden. I hope 2023 is a great year in the garden for everyone.

This Month I would like to offer a little Indoor Plant Advice.

Don’t over water…

Many indoor plant deaths occur due to receiving too much water. A plant in a protected indoor environment is much less likely to transpire large amounts of water through its foliage. Hence you don’t need to be watering the plant every day as many of us do and have (I’ve been guilty of this too!).

The best advice for most indoor plants is to quickly check the soil with your fingertip and assess the moisture content. The basic rule here is that the soil only needs to be on the dryer side of moist.

We use a phrase here in the nursery when people ask how much water do I need to give my plant (which is a similar question to how long is a piece of string) and it goes ‘Not too wet, not too dry just moist to the touch’.

Indoor pots need to drain away…

There are two styles of indoor pot you will purchase in your nursery, ones which have drainage holes and a saucer at the base and ones which are completely sealed. Now of course this makes complete sense because if they allowed the water to drain away then all our carpets and floors would be covered in wet potting mix. There are different ways in how you must use each of these. The pot with the saucer works well when after you water the plant you eventually empty the saucer.

If the saucer is allowed to hold water too long, it can potentially trap water in the pot which can lead to those overwatering problems we spoke about earlier.

Ideally with this style of pot if you can water the pot without a great deal of excess water filling the saucer, this way you will normally be achieving the ‘keeping the soil moist not wet’ principal.

The completely sealed pot is where most of the problems occur. Number one rule here is to not plant directly into the pot. This style is designed to be a holding vessel for another slightly smaller pot that has drainage holes. The way to use this is simple, when the plant requires a watering simply remove the internal pot, water it quickly outside, let it stand for a small time period and then return it to its home. It is still a good idea to periodically check the sealed pot to make sure there isn’t any pooling water forming.

Feed a small amount often…

When fertilising your plant, it is best to feed the plant small amounts often. The slow-release fertilisers do a great job and should be incorporated into the potting mix as they give you a base to work with, however it is so important to keep the microbial activity in your indoor plants active.

Hence using liquid organic solutions that contain natural state fertilisers is really important.

These types of fertilisers will replenish and feed the organisms in the soil mix. As the plant is inside in an un-natural environment the soil has very little access to the microorganisms that naturally occur out in the garden areas. By topping up with organic based liquid fertilisers you will be ‘feeding the soil so the soil can then feed the plant.

Great indoor plant choices…

Peace Lilly (Spathiphyllum sp.)

The Peace Lily prefers a well lit position

This would have to be one of the best plants to use as an indoor plant. While it is super common in nurseries there is certainly a reason for this. It performs well.

The plant prefers the well-lit areas of the indoor environment but will tolerate lower light areas for small periods of time. They require minimal watering and produce magnificent white flowers in the warmer months.

The dark, glossy foliage is a feature all year round and complements the lighter neutral shades that many people have in their homes. If you are thinking of getting a gardening novice an indoor plant for a gift, this low maintenance one is the right choice.

Image right: One of the best plants to use as an indoor plant - The Peace Lily

Elepant Ear has large cascading leaves creating a holiday feel in homes by Greenbourne Nursery as featured in Brilliant-Online

Elephant Ear (Alocasia sp.)

If you have a little bit of extra room for an indoor plant to grow, the Alocasia really makes a statement. It is an elegant form that adds a tropical touch to interiors. The large cascading leaves create a real holiday feel in suburban homes.

The plant does best in the warmer rooms of the house as it has sub-tropical heritage. It works well in the humidity of a bathroom environment and will fill a corner well in today’s giant bathrooms.

Do keep it away from fireplaces as the hot dry heat can cause damage. A great addition to any indoor plant display area that will be a real showstopper (see image on the right)

Blechnum Fern (Blechnum sp.)

The Blechnum Fern thrives in a warm, shaded area with lots of ambient light by Greenbourne Nursery as featured in Brilliant-Online

There are many ferns that perform well in our indoor environments and the Blechnum fern is one of the best (see image on the right).

The plant thrives in a warm shaded area with lots of ambient light (enough to cast a slight shadow). Just remove the spent leaves as they occur to keep the plant looking lush and green all year round.

They don’t get too big and the size can be controlled by keeping them in small pots. Another variety that will do well with the humidity that occurs in the bathroom.

The final word on indoor plants…

When plants are grown successfully indoor, they not only bring that tranquil rainforest feel to a home but also help to absorb and rid our homes of various toxins that may be in the air. Unfortunately, we live in a chemical world so having plants to aid in the removal of these small particles that are leached into our air supply is important for the environment we eat and sleep in.

Do also remember that with this occurring the plants themselves will also need a break.

There really is no such thing as an ‘indoor’ plant. We have just found various varieties that tolerate the lower light levels that occur in our abodes. Rotating your indoor plants and giving them the occasional dose of outside atmosphere will keep them in a bit more of a natural state. A couple of hours in a shady spot under a tree will breathe new life back into your indoor plant.

So, get into your local nursery and look at the amazing array of indoor plants that are available for you to try. You are also always welcome to come into our nursery for some good advice or just a friendly chat.

Looking forward to seeing as many of you as I can in the nursery over the next month. The weather is looking good and the plants are looking even better. So, come on into Greenbourne Nursery for some good advice or just a friendly chat.

Happy Gardening - Daniel “Chook” Fowler


Greenbourne Nursery

239 High St, Wauchope, NSW 2446, Australia

Ph: 02 65 85 2117


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