The Care and Keeping of Your Indoor Garden

London has a history of being seen as a grey and dreary place, and sometimes city life lives up to that stereotype. This is part of why having house plants is such an effective way to brighten up an urban home. Natural greenery can open up a space and make it easier to breathe (maybe even literally) without having to sacrifice the conveniences and aesthetic of city life. We love it when clients have a green thumb, and we were lucky enough to work with a couple recently who wanted plants tastefully incorporated into the design of their flat.

In order to provide that comfy, cosy feel they were after we sourced a variety of hanging and sitting plants from Patch, who specialise in indoor plants (though they sell some better suited for the outdoors as well). The trick with plants, though, is that they aren’t as simple to maintain as a vase or a piece or artwork. They are living, breathing members of your household, even if they don’t greet you at the door or threaten to pee on the rug. Each kind of plant requires a different, often very individual type of care. In order to provide our client with a quick and easy plant-care guide, we consolidated information provided by Patch on the different plants they would have in their home.

Here’s our (and Patch’s) quick guide to taking care of some common house plants. 

 

 

 Air Plant
The ultimate low-maintenance house plant – unlike many plants, air plants obtains their water and nutrients through their leaves rather than through a root system and as a result they’re an incredibly adaptable plant perfectly suited to hanging!
LIKES
Due to their Latin-American roots, air plants are happiest in a well-lit spot but won’t mind if the sun isn’t directly shining on them.
DISLIKES
Getting too soggy so be careful when watering.
WATERING AND FEEDING
Use a plant mister and give them a spritz once a week.

 

Succulents
LIKES
Succulents grow best in plenty of light: a sunny windowsill would be the ideal spot for them to thrive!
DISLIKES
Succulents are low-maintenance plants, these guys do not like to sit in water.
WATERING AND FEEDING
Water succulents from below. This avoids getting their leaves wet, which can cause them to rot. Wait until the soil is completely dry before further watering, which generally translates as once every 4-5 days in the spring and summer and once every 10-14 days in the autumn and winter.

 

 

 

English Ivy
LIKES
Flourishes in a space with bright, indirect light.
DISLIKES
Ivy struggles in higher temperatures
HEALTH BENEFITS
Ivy has not only been proven to remove mould from the air but also to remove common air pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene and xylene.
WATERING AND FEEDING
When it comes to watering, keep a balance. Whilst she likes her soil to be kept moist, allow it to dry out slightly between waterings.

 

Ornamental Cabbage
LIKES
Give them a sunny, airy, cool place. They like bright light.
DISLIKES
Too much water.
WATERING AND FEEDING
They like to dry out slightly between watering; do not let them dry out too much as they will suffer stress if left dry for prolonged periods.

 

 

 

Sweetheart Plant/Philodendron
LIKES
Your sweetheart plant likes indirect light, so being placed next to a window will please it greatly and keep its leaves looking their best. Given its South American background, it also likes a warm, humid environment.
DISLIKES
The sweetheart plant will let you know if it isn’t getting the right amount of light. Too much will cause its leaves to go yellow and too little will result in long stems and small leaves.
WATERING AND FEEDING
The sweetheart plant likes its soil to dry out between waterings, so be sure to check that the top inch of soil is dry before watering. A Philodendron will tell you if they aren’t happy with your watering, as its leaves will go droopy if you are under- or over-watering it.

 

 Aspidistra
LIKES
Even though an aspidistra can cope with just above freezing, it’s happiest at room temperatures. Your aspidistra can tolerate shade, but will thrive in well-filtered, but not direct, light.
DISLIKES
While an aspidistra is a tough one to kill, it won’t survive direct sunshine. It is better off placed by a North-facing window or in a bright position deeper into a room.
WATERING AND FEEDING
Your aspidistra’s cast-iron constitution means that an occasional watering will be enough: just make sure to keep the compost moist. Over-watering will show with brown spots on its leaves. Aspidistra’s foliage is also a dust magnet: keep it clean by wiping him down a damp cloth.

 

 

Rubber Plant
LIKES
A rubber plant prefers being placed in a brightly lit room with no direct light although it won’t mind a few hours in the morning or afternoon. Rubber plants also like their leaves to be wiped with a damp cloth to get rid of any dust.
DISLIKES
Being over-watered – a sign of this will be the rubber plant’s leaves falling off.
HEALTH BENEFITS
NASA carried out a survey to better understand which houseplants would help clean the air in their space station and the rubber plant made the cut. WATERING AND FEEDING
Water your rubber plant moderately in the spring and summer months – about once every 5-7 days and once every 10-14 days in the autumn and winter. Water the rubber plant enough to thoroughly wet the compost but allow the top inch of compost to dry out between waterings.

 

Jade Plant/Money Plant/Friendship Tree
LIKES
A money plant will flourish in sunny conditions, giving their leaf edges a red tint however just a few hours of direct sunlight will be enough to keep them happy.
DISLIKES
Money plants hate their roots being sat in water as this will eventually cause their roots to rot so make sure you pour off any excess water left over after watering.
WATERING AND FEEDING
Money plants don’t like to be overwatered so make sure you allow them soil to dry out between waterings.

 

 

 

Corn Plant
LIKES
Your corn plant likes being placed in spots with either light shade or gently filtered sunlight. It also enjoys humid conditions, which makes it a good candidate for a kitchen or bathroom, if you have the space.
DISLIKES
Be careful not to leave the corn plant in bright direct sunlight, as their leaves will scorch. Likewise, too little light and new leaves will appear quite small. WATERING AND FEEDING
A corn plant enjoys a “drying time” between waterings, which means watering well and then waiting until the top inch of soil is dry before the next watering.