Images: | |Plants galore by Fat Cat Brussels | |

Indoor plants can make or break a room. There is no denying they are easy on the eye, they please the soul, clear the air and bring a natural element into any space, but they can backfire.

It is always very disconcerting when you go to a doctor’s room and his plant looks sick. Or when you visit a friend and their pot plants look sad.

In our Focus section in the latest Spring Issue92, we show you how to restore equilibrium in bathrooms by making the natural connection – by bringing plants indoors. This is sometimes not as easy as it seems, as you have to know how to care for your indoor plants properly, otherwise they become a sad mess.You can get so much joy from nurturing your plants, and seeing them grow- you just need to know the tricks.

Images: | Zamioculcas – Eternity Plant or ZZ plant | | Field Notes

Provide proper drainage. Your pots must have drainage holes to prevent over-watering and root rotting. No matter how cute your planting vessel is, it’s not worth using unless there are holes in the bottom.

Water from the bottom. Water poured directly onto the soil may flood, or not reach the pot plant’s roots. Instead, water plants bottom up by standing them in a dish and filling the dish with water.

Plants for the bathroom. Ferns and other moisture-loving plants do best in vaporous rooms like bathrooms where they can lap up regular doses of mist.

Do not over water. Over watering is often the cause of indoor plant death, water your plants only when the potting mix feels dry to the touch – check by pushing your finger into the soil; if it comes out without any trace of soil on it, start watering. Remember that plants may need more frequent watering in summer.

Apply some fertilizer. Feed your plants with small amounts of fertilizer. The fastest and simplest solution is complete liquid fertilizer in the recommended dose, usually every two to four weeks – check the label.

Plants like to be misted. Most indoor plants benefit from an occasional misting of water. Make sure the water is at room temperature and use a spray bottle. Misting is particularly beneficial if you live in a centrally heated or air-conditioned house as the air can become very dry.

Make sure that your plants get light. Identify how much natural light is available (and needed) for plants, or whether it is possible to have an indoor grow light placed next to the plant. A window is an ideal place but make sure you have a saucer or tray underneath the plants to catch the drips from watering and condensation which often occurs at night on the leaves.

Watch out for plant pests. Sometimes plants attract pests. Some are less susceptible to insects than others. Mold and viruses can also affect plants as well, but they are less common. There is lots of information online on how to treat these maladies.

                                                                         Don’t give up. If your plant dies, try again. Plant another one.
Images: String of Pearl plants

String of Pearls.This exquisite succulent is native to south West Africa and grows well as an indoor ornamental plant. Although exotic and delicate looking,  it is a breeze to take care of. It thrives in light, but cannot be exposed to direct sunlight, making it a perfect indoor feature. It thrives in drought like conditions -so forgetting to water it for a few weeks will not be a disaster.

Succulents in general can withstand a great deal of neglect and mismanagement, so they are perfect for a novice gardener trying their hand at the green fingers thing. Put them near a window to make sure they get enough sunlight. Other than that, succulents don’t need much attention.

Images: Orchard Press | Spider Plant

The Spider plant is a perfect hanging or potted plant for your home. It thrives under low light conditions and dose not require frequent watering. Only outright neglect will kill this South African native.

Bonus- this plant grows little off shoots that suspend themselves from the main plant. Cut these off and place in vases of water for a quick decor feature.

Images: Hanging pitcher plants |

  So instead of being so quick to cut flowers and put them in a vase, focus on learning to grow your own plants to decorate your house with.Did you see our DIY Macrame post over here? Our designer Kirsten Townsend shows you step by step how to make your very own macrame plant holder.

For even more ideas with plants, see here