Indoor plants

Indoor plants

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Within the individual plants section you will find all the cards of the main houseplants. Each sheet examines a houseplant, describing its curiosities, cultivation methods and cultivation techniques. There are many categories of plants that can successfully grow in an apartment; for some of them, little maintenance is enough to give good results, the important thing is to respect some simple rules of general validity, and to follow the specific instructions of the chosen plant regarding watering, fertilization, pruning and repotting.

First of all, it is important to carefully choose the best location for the plant, which typically requires light but almost never direct exposure to the sun's rays, and not to change this position too frequently. The indoor plants they are very often of tropical origin, ... continue

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continue ... , for this reason they cannot withstand too low temperatures or the rigors of winter; therefore they should not be kept in rooms that are too cold (usually the acceptable temperature never drops below 12 ° -15 ° C) or exposed to the outside during the winter season. Finally, care must always be taken to ensure that there are no water stagnations in the saucer, which can lead to the onset of mold or root rot.

Among the types of plants most commonly used as a furnishing accessory are the Pothos, the Spathiphyllum, the Philodendron and the Dieffenbachia; a slightly less known plant but of undoubted elegance and simplicity of cultivation is also the Pachira. If, on the other hand, you want to give a touch of color to the room, you can choose plants such as Anthurium or Guzmania.

Most of the indoor plants has tropical origins. They usually come from the rainforests of South America or Asia. They live well in our homes because they usually find a very similar situation in both light and temperature. We will give a general picture of how they should be treated and then we will illustrate the specific characteristics of the most common plants. Indoor plants usually need a lot of light, but not direct. It is therefore good to place them near a window (especially in winter), but make sure that the sun is filtered through a curtain. If the plants get little light they will probably grow very spun and pale green. If they receive too much, we risk that their leaves will burn.

Pothos (or Scindapsus) is a climbing evergreen plant, with small heart-shaped leaves that extend along supple branches; for this reason it is ideal to be placed in bowls hanging from the ceiling from which it can fall, or on shelves along which it can extend forming a pleasant green spot. The plant grows quickly and without the need for excessive care; it resists well even in "difficult" environments such as the kitchen or bathroom, as long as it is placed in a bright position but sheltered from direct rays, and moderately bathed regularly.

It can give excellent results both underground and cultivated in hydroponics; the latter mode is also very useful for reproducing the plant, through cuttings placed in water to allow the development of the roots, which can then be repotted. They are plants that come from the Pacific Ocean, climbing and easy to cultivate. At most they tolerate 13 ° C. They need not direct light and frequent watering in summer. The substrate should be light and possibly sterile. They can also be grown like orchids as they have aerial roots (which need a lot of moisture). They multiply by apical cutting.

Spathiphyllum is a plant of tropical origin, belonging to the Araceae family, characterized by large oblong green leaves that grow directly from an underground rhizome, and very small flowers collected in a spade-shaped inflorescence called spadix, contained in an almost large element. as much as the leaves but white in color, called spata. The plant can reach 50-60 cm in height, but there are varieties that keep smaller (30 cm). It can be placed in a bright area of ​​the house, but not near the windows as the direct sun would burn the leaves. It is sensitive to excessive humidity and does not like low temperatures. Reproduction occurs generally by division of the tufts. It has elongated and pointed leaves, medium green, soft but shiny.

It produces white flowers on an erect spadix. It tolerates temperatures up to 10 ° C. It wants intense but filtered light and needs a lot of water, especially vaporized. Attention must be paid to water stagnation. It needs liquid fertilizer for green plants about every two weeks. Keep the plants possibly in rather small pots, at most 15 cm.

The Philodendron is also an evergreen of the Araceae family; its name in Greek means "friend of the trees", as it is a climbing plant that in nature uses the trunks of trees as a support for its growth. In the apartment it can be kept in a vase equipped with a stake, typically a cylindrical-shaped support covered with sphagnum, to be kept moist by vaporizing water regularly, so that the large heart-shaped leaves, sometimes with a carved margin, can wrap around it.

Likes shady locations and a preferably hot-humid climate; it is very afraid of water stagnation. It comes from the tropical areas of South America. They are creeping or climbing evergreen plants. However, they love temperatures above 15 ° C. Watering in summer must be abundant, but it is crucial to maintain (especially in winter) the very high ambient humidity. The leaves must therefore be vaporized at least twice a day. The substrate must be peaty but draining. They do not need large containers and should be fertilized every two weeks. They can be multiplied by cutting.

Dieffenbachia is an evergreen perennial plant from central and southern America; has a bushy shape, characterized by large oblong green leaves, spotted or streaked with white, cream or even yellow-orange for some varieties; the different shades of the leaves make it particularly decorative. It is a plant that can reach up to 2 m in height, with leaves that reach a length of up to 60 cm. It needs a lot of diffused light and a temperature that never falls below 15 ° -18 ° C (ideally at least 20 ° -22 ° C). It is advisable to clean the leaves from time to time with a damp cloth, to remove accumulations of dust that do not allow the plant to breathe. They come from Central and South America. They are evergreen perennials suitable for indoor or greenhouse cultivation. They have oblong or lanceolate leaves of colors ranging from bright green to variegated to completely white. Unfortunately, the sap is poisonous and therefore must be handled with care. The ideal temperature for them is 15 to 18 degrees. To maintain the variegation it is important to keep them in very bright areas, but without direct light.

They must be watered abundantly in summer, while in winter watering must be almost suspended. The fertilizations are carried out in the vegetative period every 15 days.

They can be multiplied quite easily by cutting.

This genus includes 8 widely cultivated species due to their adaptability to unfavorable conditions. They have long green, decorative leaves that can reach 50 cm in length. It can withstand 5 ° C at most. It loves non-direct light, but also tolerates shadow well. It has no particular needs for environmental humidity and lives very well in pots. It can be multiplied by division.

It belongs to the liliaceae family and has lanceolate, very decorative leaves. They are suitable for cultivation in the apartment and in the Center-South, they can also be kept outside, always if repaired. The minimum temperature must not be below 10 ° C and must be protected from drafts. It needs a lot of light and in summer it is best to place it in the garden or on a balcony. It must be watered abundantly during the hot season, on average in spring and autumn. In winter it can be almost completely suspended. The fertilizations in the vegetative period must take place every three days. Absolutely avoid stagnation. It needs a peaty but draining substratum. It can be multiplied by cutting.

Plants native to the Pacific Ocean. They are very slow growing palms. They tolerate lack of light and low humidity well, so they are ideal if you want plants that need little attention. In winter they can stand up to 10 degrees and tolerate both light shade and direct light.

It prefers small pots and well-drained soil. It should be fertilized about every two weeks. They multiply very hardly in our climates.

Originally from Asia. It has a straight trunk and very thick foliage. The leaves are small and oval, very shiny about 10 cm (in the Benjamina). In the elastic, on the other hand, they are very wide, oval, leathery and shiny. The length is about 30cm. There are beautiful variegated cultivars in white or pink. It wants a slightly acidic, permeable and fertile soil. It likes a humid substrate, but totally avoids water stagnation that can cause rot.

The pot must therefore have excellent drainage consisting of at least a three-centimeter layer of expanded clay. Watering must be frequent in summer, but very little or practically absent in winter. It is necessary to maintain a high ambient humidity by steaming often or leaving water in the saucer (which, however, must not come into direct contact with the roots of the plant!). They need a very bright exposure, but not direct light.

These plants come from Tanzania.

It is an upright succulent plant. It lives very well in the apartment or even outdoors in the hottest areas. It can not stand less than 15 ° C. It tolerates drought well, but it is good to water regularly from March to October. It needs little fertilizer and in any case with little nitrogen. It can be multiplied by leaf cutting.

The Pachira is an upright evergreen plant, native to Mexico, belonging to the Bombacaceae family, the same as the baobabs; in nature this plant can reach considerable dimensions, up to 20 m, but the variety that can commonly be grown at home (Pachira Aquatica) reaches 2, maximum 3 m. The stem is rather tender, so often in the same vase there are several stems intertwined together to give an even more interesting and decorative aspect to the plant; the foliage is concentrated at the top of the plant, with intense green leaves made up of 5-9 oval leaves gathered at the base. The plant loves medium-high temperatures (up to 25 ° -27 °), in summer it can be taken outdoors, taking care to avoid drafts.

If you want to give a touch of color to an environment, Anthurium can be indicated: it is a tropical plant native to South America, characterized (as already seen for the Spathiphyllum) by a bright colored spathe, typically red with all its shades from orange to dark pink, which grows around a cylindrical spadix with tiny yellow / green flowers. The plant, as is the case in general for flora of tropical origin, loves warm-humid environments and prefers penumbra or soft light; in addition to direct sun, it is very afraid of sudden changes in temperature.

Another one houseplant that brings color to the room is Guzmania: it belongs to the Bromeliaceae family, comes from the Antilles and is characterized by lanceolate green leaves arranged to form a central rosette, inside which floral bracts of different colors develop: red, orange, yellow, pink among the most common. The flowers that develop inside these bracts are white-yellow, rather small and short-lived, unlike the bracts that keep their vivid colors even for a few months, as long as the environment is well lit. Multiplication is possible through the lateral jets that the plant produces, taking care to detach them only when they have generated their own roots.

They generally adapt well to the temperatures we can find in the house. In winter it is good that they are around 15-16 ° C. In summer, the ideal is around 20 °. Too high temperatures and excessively dry environments must be avoided because they could lead to excessive dehydration. If we have a terrace or a garden, we can decide to put them outside in the summer. This will surely benefit them a lot. The ideal is to place them in a very bright area, but shaded for example by the leaves of trees.

As we said, almost all houseplants come from rainforests. In their home environment, atmospheric humidity is very high. Usually it ranges from 80 to 90%.

In our homes it is practically impossible to obtain such a habitat. However, if we do not provide at least good humidity, we will see our pots deteriorate and the leaves turn yellow (especially at the edges).

A good solution may be to often vaporize the leaves with a sprayer or to insert wet expanded clay in the saucer. This slowly will release moisture favoring the well-being of the plant.

As with all plants this is a crucial point. Often poor results are obtained because there is a tendency to water too much: it is the frequent cause of stagnation and consequent rotting of the roots and the collar. It is therefore necessary to try hard to find a balance and to water when the plant really needs it. Ultimately it is always better to intervene once less than once more.

Before doing this it is worthwhile to make sure that the substrate is really dry by inserting a finger deep. The ideal watering is by immersion: in practice, you have to insert the plant in a container full of water and leave it there for about an hour. This will autonomously absorb the amount of water it will need for several days, without the soil being completely wet (as happens when water is administered from above).

Another important recommendation is to avoid the saucer: it does nothing but promote water stagnation and most of the time it is the real cause of deterioration. Almost all of these plants need to use slightly calcareous water. If that of our tap is very hard it is better to buy a specific one deriving from reverse osmosis or collect the rain one. Water from air conditioners or dehumidifiers is also excellent because it should be almost distilled.

For our houseplants, in general, it is good to prefer a soil for green plants rather light. Eventually we can think of mixing the substrate with draining material such as pumice or agri-perlite. It is also important to prepare a good drainage layer made of expanded clay or gravel on the bottom of the pot. This will favor the outflow of water and will help us avoid rot.

Repotting should be done whenever we see that the container has become too cramped for the plant. This is usually evidenced by the roots starting to emerge from the drain holes. It is an operation that must usually be carried out in early spring. It is necessary to extract the plant, free the roots (if they were excessively compacted) and cut those that are rotten. It is then necessary to insert the specimen in a larger pot by preparing a draining layer on the bottom and adding good soil. For the first few weeks it is then advisable to water a little more abundantly, but avoid fertilizing to let the plant recover with tranquility.

They can be administered during the vegetative period, in practice from March to September-October.

We can choose between liquid fertilizers (to be diluted in water for irrigation and possibly used by foliar administration) and slow release fertilizers (you can choose between granular and stick fertilizers, very convenient to stick into the ground). However, these are usually fertilizers with a good NPK balance.

Beyond the names and species, very often people who want a plant are looking for green indoor plants that is, plants that create color, presence and that bring a touch of naturalness to the home. Colors and flowering are secondary aspects for this category of plants, although there are actually many green indoor plants which are able to give beautiful and prolonged blooms, thus adding a pleasant flowering to the green and ornamental value. Clivia, anthurium, and schlumbergera are good examples of indoor plants ornamental but at the same time with excellent flowering.

If, on the other hand, you are looking for a plant that gives you only green and a particular shape, there are many species that you can choose from. Ficus benjamin is one of the most popular green indoor plants, accompanied by other very valid species such as beucarnea, dracena, yucca, potos, sanseveria and spatifillo.

All these plants grow well even in semi-shaded conditions and even with poor apartment light. However, within this section you will find all the cultivation cards complete with all the useful information to avoid making mistakes in the cultivation of these species.

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Video: How To Care For Indoor Plants + GREENIFY YOUR SPACE