plant care guide

Caring for indoor plants is easier than you think. Below is a simple guide that covers most of our indoor plant range.

Pick the right plant for the room – rather than the trendiest – to ensure the happiest partnership for you and your new plant friend.


Succulents and Cacti

Light, warmth and humidity:  Succulents and cacti generally like a warm and bright room with occasional direct sunlight (not too much as this will scorch them).  Not enough light will cause Echeverias to flatten out.  Moderate to low humidity is best.

Water:  Once per week in summer, and fortnightly to monthly in winter. Many succulents are directly potted into small planters with no drainage holes, so take care not to drown them. Ensure the soil has plenty of sand/pumice/stones to aid drainage, and allow the top 1cm to 2cm of soil to dry out between waterings to avoid rot, fungus and associated pests.

Extra nutrients:  These plants aren’t big feeders. If you feel like it, add some slow release fertiliser granules in spring.


Ferns

Light, warmth and humidity:  Most ferns natural habitat is under the canopy of larger plants and trees.  They love a warm (but not hot) room with plenty of indirect light and moderate to high humidity. Direct sunlight will burn their leaves.

Water: 2 to 3 times per week in summer (1 to 2 times in winter).  Check regularly to make sure the soil is keep soil moist but well drained.  A good misting is also appreciated.

Extra nutrients:  When you buy a fern its soil is likely to already be compost enriched. Add some extra slow release fertiliser granules in spring.


Palms

Light, warmth and humidity: Indoor palms generally like a warm and bright room without direct sunlight (as this will scorch the leaves).  A dark room will slow their growth. Normal room humidity is OK but dry air may turn leaf tips brown (a common problem). Sudden temperature drops or cold drafts can give the leaves brown spots.

Water: 2 times per week in summer (once a week in winter).  Allow the top of the soil to dry out between waterings. Overwatering kills a Palm fast, especially if the soil/inner container does not drain well.  Make sure excess water is removed from the pot/tray after watering.

Extra nutrients: To help new fronds develop, feed once in spring and again mid summer with liquid house plant fertiliser. Special palm fertilisers are ideal.

Other tips: Put them outside in the (warm) rain occasionally to help clean their fronds of dust or wipe gently with a damp cloth.  It is normal for the lower fronds to brown off, just cut them away carefully.


Ficus

(Note: this guidance does not apply to the Fiddle Leaf Fig).

Light, warmth and humidity:  In general, ficus trees enjoy a warm draft free room and moderate to high humidity. Most prefer bright indirect light, although Rubber Trees will happily live in low light.

Water:  Once per week and allow the top 1cm to 2cm of soil to dry out between waterings.  Make sure excess water is removed from the pot/tray after watering.

Extra nutrients:  To encourage good growth, feed once in spring and again mid summer with liquid house plant fertiliser.


Philodendrons

Light, warmth and humidity:  Most Philodendrons are tropical so prefer moderate indirect sunlight, similar to what they would experience on the jungle floor.  They like moderate to high humidity.

Water:  Once per week and allow the top 1cm of soil to dry out between waterings.  Make sure excess water is removed from the pot/tray after watering.

Extra nutrients:  Feed once in spring and again mid summer with liquid house plant fertiliser.

Other tips: Put them outside in the (warm) rain occasionally to help clean their leaves of dust or wipe gently with a damp cloth.


Orchids

Light, warmth and humidity: Orchids prefer bright warm spot but not direct sunlight.  Moderate humidity is best.

Water: Once per week in summer, and fortnightly in winter. Remove the inner pot and pour water into it until it comes out the bottom. Never allow your orchid to sit in water, and try to avoid wetting the leaves.

Extra nutrients:  To encourage blooms, add liquid Orchid fertiliser to the water once a month.

Other tips: After your Orchid has finished flowering, cut the stem just above the first strong bud (approx 20 cm above the pot) and it will usually flower again within 6 to 8 months.