Tips for keeping your plants healthy throughout the seasons

With air-conditioning becoming the norm in many homes across Australia, we asked indoor plant expert Jason Chongue to share his top tips to growing indoor plants in all seasons.

It is hard not to fall in love with plants. Over the last few years Australia, like communities overseas, have taken to indoor gardening with a sense of nostalgia, winding back to a time where rampant indoor gardens were a common component to any home. As our cities grow and become denser we’re seeing Australians embrace all things green for both aesthetic and therapeutic benefits.  We are seeing lush indoor escapes, overflowing balconies and courtyards bursting with foliage.

As seductive as this sounds, it is important to understand your gardening skillset and for those who have fallen hopelessly in love with plants and are finding themselves overwhelmed, slow down and pay attention to the fundamentals. What makes a great gardener is being attentive to your plant’s needs – that being water, light and nutrition but also acknowledging that the cities we have created are essentially artificial environments.

Throw in artificial heating, air conditioning and low light levels and we seem to have created an interesting environment for plants to grow in. When it comes to nurturing indoor plants throughout the season it doesn’t need to be difficult. Firstly, take note of the fundamentals of water, light and nutrition.

If you can get a handle of these then you are off to a good start:

1. Water 

Make sure to water your plants regularly. The best way to check if your plants are ready for a water, is to use your finger to check that the top inch of soil mixture is dry before watering. If it feels dry, it’s time for a water.
In the warmer months your plants will require adequate watering to sustain them through the warmer weather. In the cooler months, your plants require less water. Make sure to ease up on watering, by watering less frequently. Don’t allow your plants to sit in water as this can lead to root rot.

2. Light 

Your indoor plants will need access to the right natural lighting levels. Think about where your plants naturally grow in the world and find a space in your home that best replicates this condition.
Tropical plants grow in a broad spectrum of conditions. From low to bright light, you will find a plant that is perfect for your home. On the other hand, arid plants love sun drenched conditions making them perfect for west facing spaces.

3. Nutrition 

Plants like us need a good source of nutrition. Ensure you repot your plants with premium free draining potting mix and feed your plants with nutrients or fertilizer throughout the warmer months.

4. Air circulation

To prevent plant problems such as mold or pests, ensure there is adequate air circulation to your indoor spaces. It is always good to flush out any stagnant air within your home by opening windows and doors.  

5. Artificial heating and cooling

Most indoor plants are adaptable to a range of temperatures, however keep them away from blasts of hot or cool air. When it comes to heating and air conditioning there are some tricks to keeping your plants thriving in temperature-controlled spaces.

Firstly, make sure your plants are not directly in front of heating or cooling vents, safely position them a few metres from any vent. Clustering your plants and layering them in groups will create a small ecosystem: a mini plant family that will shelter each other during waves of heating and cooling.

6. Maintenance 

It’s always good practice to keep your plants clean and maintained to minimize plant problems in the future. Clean off any dust from your plants by washing them off in the shower or using a damp cloth to wipe the leaves.

When caring for your plants it is important to keep on top of gardening tasks. Make sure to regularly remove dead leaves from the base of your plant, check for any signs of pest and feed with nutrients as required.


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