Filed under Self
Written by Kate-Marie Thorpe
Whether you’ve always been a green thumb or picked up indoor planting as a lockdown hobby, there’s no denying our houses are now a little leafier. With inspo from the Plantchelor to Planterina, and Pinterest boards packed with greenhouse cabinets and stand arrangements, it’s never been easier to justify just ‘one more plant’ on the weekend trip to Bunnings (or even Woolies? Plants are literally everywhere now).
But answer me truthfully: Are your plant babies still receiving the same TLC they once did? Perhaps what began as a nurturing relationship has ended in a break-up due to ‘high maintenance’ tendencies, or a few too many casualties occurred when the seasons changed.
Before you pick up the secateurs and hang up your watering can, it may be worth maintaining your indoor jungle for more than just an aesthetically pleasing Zoom background. For some postnatal potting advice and benefits of keeping indoor plants, we turned to Dominic Hooghuis and Duncan Hilder, co-founders of The Plant Runner—a modern online (and much more aesthetic) alternative to your local nursery.
How can indoor plants affect our mood while WFH or relaxing inside?
There has been a tonne of research into the benefits of having plants in your home. Apart from the aesthetic benefits, indoor plants engage many senses, as well as improving air quality and decreasing stress. Studies have also shown having indoor plants in the workplace (i.e. our homes over the past two years) can boost productivity and creativity. They encourage mindfulness via plant care routines and connect us to nature – this has been shown to help with depression and anxiety.
Are there any health benefits of placing plants around the home?
Outside of the mental health benefits listed above, one of the biggest health benefits is improving air quality. There are a number of plants – like Chlorophytum comosum (Spider Plant), Sansevieria spp (Snake Plant) and Epipremnum aureum (Devil’s Ivy) – that can actually help in removing toxins from the air. Indoor plants can also help improve sleep quality and some have been shown to boost immune systems.
Where is the best place to put your plants in a small space?
When styling for a small space, you want to make sure you don’t lose too much floor space to your plants. The key is to keep the space as functional as possible while creating that jungle vibe. Using trailing plants on shelves and bookshelves is one way, and windowsills can become plant-fam mantles (just watch any direct sun!). Empty corners are perfect for taller plants like Fiddle Leaf Figs (Ficus lyrata) or Giant Birds of Paradise (Strelitzia nicolai). The best tip we can offer is to get the furniture in first and then get your plant-style on with the space that’s left.
Three top tips for caring for your indoor plants
#1 Ask about your plant when you buy it. This is the best tip we can give any new plant parent. Your local plant shop staff will be more than happy to run you through each plant’s requirements. Otherwise, our DMs are always open!
#2 Not all plants need the same amount of water. When you first bring a new plant into your home, the plant variety, the light in the room, and the temperature of the room will all play a part in determining how much water the plant needs. For the first few waterings, get in the habit of sticking your finger in the potting mix before you water the plant, so you can develop an understanding as to how ‘thirsty’ it is.
#3 Don’t forget to fertilise! We created our custom line of indoor plant food because we realised so many of our customers were not aware that they needed to be fertilising their plants to keep them happy and thriving. Using quality products like Indoor Plant Food in conjunction with Soil & Microbe Boosters provides the plant with all the nutrients it would otherwise draw up from the soil if it was in its natural environment.
The best plants for beginners to incorporate into their homes
Devil’s Ivy – There is a reason every plant parent has this plant. It looks unreal, it tolerates neglect and provides so much foliage! Devil’s Ivy is fine in bright indirect light as well as low light spaces. Water when the top few centimetres of soil is dry, and fertilise fortnightly. They’re also a great plant to propagate.
Monstera deliciosa – The epitome of the jungle vibe. Monstera’s reward you with big, lush foliage and lots of growth. They’re not too fussy either – keep out of direct sun, keep the soil moist (but not wet) and treat it to an occasional plant spa by cleaning its leaves with some Neem Oil.
Peace Lily – One of the few ‘indoor’ plants to reward you with a flower (well, it’s actually a modified leaf called a bract), Peace Lilies are low-maintenance and a great low-light plant. They’ll let you know when they need a drink too, as you’ll see their foliage start to visibly wilt when it’s thirsty. After a good drink, it’ll perk right up again!
Inspired to keep growing on your indoor plant journey? Let’s be real, the best part is shopping for your little leaves—here’s our top picks to keep you rolling in the green.
Watering Can ‘Terracotta’
Shakira White Vase
The Plant Runner
Plant Care Booster Kit
How to Raise a Plant and Make it Love You Back
Santana Black Plant Stand
Mist Sprayer in Copper
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