• Root Houseplants

What a plant wants. Tips for happy and healthy plants.

This is the first of hopefully many informative posts/blogs aimed at helping our customers get the most from their plants. From choosing the right plant for your environment to help with keeping your green babies alive and well we aim to cover a variety of topics that will keep your indoor jungle's flourishing.

We've acquired the help of local horticulture student James Freeman. James has a serious passion for plants and is super knowledgeable. James' goal is for people to gain a further connection with nature and to help people develop their own intrigue with plants.

Anyway, that's enough from us. We'll hand you over to James....

What a plant wants.

Just like you or I, our plants want a healthy life and to live somewhere comfy. However, unlike us, plants have no legs, so wherever we grow our plants, that spot becomes their new home.

With regards to houseplants in particular, living in a pot (or in my case, it’s often an old peanut butter tub) means it’s at home for the duration. Until some benevolent plant obsessive, like me, gets around to upgrading its living situation.

Let’s get to the reason why I’m talking about this. We keep plants to make us happy and in return, we need to keep them happy. So, here’s a list of tips to ensure healthy plants.

The list is not intended to be exhaustive; it’s intended to provide a checklist or mental toolkit for troubleshooting any problems encountered.

Let’s start from the beginning:

  • Right plant, right place

I love a trip to our plant shop, and more often than not, I have no idea what will happen when I get there. I rarely make a shopping list and I’m impulsive. What I always have in mind though, is what space I have available at home or at work, and where I want a new plant to go.

Before you take the plant to the till:

  • Do you have enough time to look after any more plants? (or is this just me?)

  • Always check plant care labels to see if they’re suitable for their new home, or ask the staff

  • Check for signs of wilting, dark streaks on the leaves or stems, and for any insect damage

  • If you can, carefully tip out the plant to see if its root bound and to check the compost is pest free

When your new plant arrives home:

  • A good drink of water will be needed. I leave mine in a couple of inches of water in the sink for half an hour, allowing the roots to directly suck up the water

  • Inspect the pot for drainage holes and re-pot if needed

  • Check that your plant is in the right place considering its care requirements

  • Light levels should follow the care guidance provided by Root Houseplants, to meet your plants needs

  • Is it somewhere your cat is going to nibble it to death? If so, try and keep out of reach

Now let's keep your plant happy:

  • Make sure to rotate it 90° every few days during the growing season. This will ensure even growth

  • Use a damp cloth to remove dust from leaves. This will help the plant photosynthesize

  • If the cat is nibbling the leaves, use sharp scissors to cut the tattered ends back to new growth. This will prevent infection getting into any wounds

  • Certain plants will need feeding. Although some may live on seemingly forever with no intervention, doublecheck those care instructions for your plant

  • A good watering schedule should be kept. Depending on the needs of the plant, and what season we’re in, the schedule may need adapting

  • Sometimes plants will end up near a radiator. In this case, it’s important to try and keep the humidity and temperature changes to a minimum

  • Repotting may also be needed every few years

Any questions just pop in and see us or email us directly