Post-Christmas Houseplant Doctor

We’ve had a lot of questions about looking after houseplants at this time of year, so here are our post-Christmas Houseplant Doctor suggestions…

Firstly you need to make sure the plants are in the right position, receiving the right amount of light and within the correct temperature range. Nearly all houseplants come with care labels that provide this kind of information, but if you’re still not sure just ask one of our plant staff or use our plant doctor enquiry form.

All plants will need watering as and when the compost starts to dry out, or as otherwise needed. Regular watering is the best approach, but make sure you don’t over do it, most houseplants die from being overwatered. Flowering houseplants should be dead-headed once the blooms begin to fade and given a weekly to fortnightly feed with a flowering houseplant fertiliser that we sell. Both will encourage further flushes of flower and so prolong flowering. Nearly all foliage houseplants need high humidity levels around their leaves, otherwise they develop brown edges. You can do this by daily hand misting, or better still, standing the pot in a saucer filled with damp pebbles or hortag. Just make sure that the bottom of the pot isn’t sitting in water as this will lead to the roots rotting.

Although it’s due to be too cold outside for most pests and diseases to be active, temperatures indoors are just right and in some places those outdoors are too! Keep a close eye on plants in the house, greenhouse or conservatory for whitefly, red spider mite, aphids, scale insects and mealybug. In the greenhouse and frames grey mould can be a problem, so keep watering to a minimum, avoid splashing water about and ventilate whenever the weather conditions allow.