It may be easy to kill a plant, but it is no less frustrating for that. When after months of pampering, your pot begins to wither, it is not strange that a feeling of despair invades you.
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Or, perhaps even worse: has it happened to you that you have killed a large plant within a few weeks of bringing it home? (and probably after paying good money for it). There are no magic recipes, but there are some easy to follow tricks that can prevent you from having a bad drink. And with which you will be able to extend the life of those plants that you already have or want to put at home.
1. Place your plants between one and two meters from the window
This is a general rule, but this strip usually meets the conditions of a “bright place but away from direct light” that we often read on labels. And it works for most of the indoor plants we love so much – including monsteras, potos, and orchids.
Now: if your only available space is a huge floor-to-ceiling window that faces south, don’t choose a plant that needs frequent shade, like a fern; because (literally) you will get it scorched.
And the opposite: if you only have a small window facing west or north, which receives moderate light at a low rate, do not take home a giant cactus, lover of the sun. Instead, opt for one of these seven great plants for a dark corner.
2. Keep it simple: choose (almost) immortal plants.
If you have a specific plant on your head, make sure you know the care it requires before taking it home. An example of a plant in high demand, but also very demanding: the violin fig tree (Ficus lyrata), which has become the queen of the moment on Instagram, for its huge and objectively pretty leaves.
But, in return, it will ask you to keep both its soil and its leaves moist at all times. Something not always easy to achieve, especially if we usually spend a few weeks on vacation away from home.
Let’s face it: if you know you’re going to forget to water that delicate maidenhair fern (technically Adiantum raddianum, and another of the kings of the moment), make it easy for yourself; Instead, choose a plant that is more suited to your rhythm.
Here you have seven easy and almost immortal plants, suitable for big hands, such as the spider plant, the potus and the peace lily. Another easy option: put a succulent plant in the living room. Any of them will stoically bear your carelessness.
3. Don’t go overboard with the shower
If you want to stop killing plants, control your impulses with the watering can. In fact, excess water is the Most recognized cause of death of indoor plants; much more than its defect.
The excess moisture crushes the plant cells, and plugs the air circulation ducts under the ground, which will cause your plant to begin to rot and die, literally, drowned. [Si es tu caso, aquí tienes los trucos para rescatar una planta ahogada.]
Although there are plants that will ask you to keep them always humid (we have already talked about ferns or the fiddle fig tree; but aquatic plants or those from marshy environments will also require it), the vast majority will prefer that you control yourself.
There is a simple rule of thumb for when to water: wait until the soil is dry. When in doubt, use this trick: stick a finger into the ground to the second joint. If it’s dry, you have to water it. If not, wait a few more days.
4. Give them room to grow
If you change your pot, and move them to a slightly larger container, they will grow more. First, because squeezing its roots into a tiny pot constitutes a plant crime. Also, as a general rule, most plants prefer to live in a pot whose diameter is two inches larger than their roots.
This free space will allow the roots to feed at their natural rate, while facilitating the development of new roots that, in the medium term, will also make the aerial part (leaves, stems) increase in size. If you have questions about choosing the size of the pots, here are the answers.
5. And do not forget to give your plants “to eat”
Take advantage of these pot transfers to change the soil (or substrate), since it is more than likely that you need it. And, since the soil is the food for your plants (in addition to its physical support), it is advisable to buy a new bag of quality organic compost and, every spring, do the rounds and place a new layer on top.
One tip: avoid peaty garden soil. Much of the land they sell us is peat (rather than compost or dry substrate). And, to obtain it, the peatlands of Scotland, China and Russia are being depleted, a scarce ecosystem, which barely constitutes 3% of the earth’s surface; but that, nevertheless, they are considered the largest carbon deposit on the planet (above the forests).
Or, better yet, try to get your own compost, which also turns out to be the most effective: here we tell you how to make the best fertilizer for your plants.
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