Conforming to the typical student stereotype, I found myself blossoming into a crazy plant lady in the final term of first year. However, the new academic year has only fuelled my love of plants, much to the dislike of my bank balance. Moving out of uni halls has given my creative streak a chance to finally flourish. Determined to make my new student house a home, I have acquired many a plant along the way.
As a newbie to the world of plants, I for sure am still learning the small intricacies of their care. Asking many a question to shop owners and googling any others, I have complied all I know about the care of a few species of indoor plant.
I am certainly no expert, but hopefully these tips will help any of you interested in how to keep and grow houseplants.
Cacti and Succulents –the ones that got me interested in plants
Cacti and succulents are for sure my one true (plant) loves. Behind the tough exterior of the cactus and the delicate nature of a succulent, lies plants that are the perfect starters, especially for students or those who have a bad track record with plant survival.
Cacti and succulents grow best in light conditions, but not direct sunlight. Weekly watering is required during their growing season (spring to autumn), however cacti in particular can survive many a week without water, though they will not thrive. During the winter months, these plants enter dormancy, whereby watering is required less frequently, perhaps every couple of weeks or monthly.
Bonsai– the statement piece
At just four years old, my bonsai has a lot of life yet to live. By far the most impressive plant I own, the care as expected is slightly trickier. Follow these tips as you should be tree-ly fine.
Only when the soil feels slightly dry should you water the plant, by soaking through to the root mass. An easy way to ensure you achieve this is to keep watering until the water soaks out onto the dripping tray.
In terms of lighting, make sure you have a species of bonsai that can survive indoors (tropical or sub-tropical), as most prefer to be grown outdoors. Bonsai trees need bright conditions, especially those indoors, where light intensity is lower anyways. Perhaps on a window sill, preferably south facing, is the ideal location.
Spider Plant– the most popular
Spider plants have always been popular for their easy to care for nature. The tonal colours and trailing arches of the leaves add detail to any room, perfect for any millennials’ aesthetic.
These plants are particularly hardy and can survive in less than perfect conditions. Therefore, they only need to be kept in moderate to bright locations. They need watering generously during the summer months, preferably with rain water, yet cutting this back in wintertime.
Wax plant– the 80s kid
A-hoya there! Inspired by the many instas of hanging plants, I felt it was time to finally commit. The plant revival has seen a surge in popularity of the hoya, which is making its comeback in a big, waxy way. The perfect hanging plant for my uni room.
The plant prefers moderate to shaded light and thrives especially in humid conditions. In the summer months, it’s best to water the plant liberally however in winter, the plant only needs watering when the soil is completely dry.