Most plants are quite happy indoors, provided you can give them the right conditions (although, there are a few that will tolerate dimly let rooms and barely any water – here’s looking at you pothos and sansevieria). Visit your local nursery for a range of indoor plants.
As a general rule of thumb, position plants in a well-lit spot, out of direct sunlight, like behind a window with a sheer curtain. Constant direct light, especially from the hot afternoon sun will cause your plants to wilt and suffer. In saying that, each plant will have different light requirement, with a few being able to tolerate low-light rooms, so check the plant label for specifications.
Indoor environments can be quite drying for plants, even more so when you have the heater on during winter. For plants that originate in humid climates, like ferns and calatheas, it’s ideal to spritz their leaves regularly with water or consider placing them in the bathroom to help increase moisture around the plants.
Depending on the size of the plant you purchase, you may not need to repot straight away. After a couple of months or when the plant begins to outgrow its container, then you’ll need to repot. Ensure you use a good quality potting mix, like Yates Specialty Potting Mix Plants & Ferns which is suitable for growing most indoor plants. If you have cacti and succulents, use Yates Specialty Potting Mix Cacti & Succulents, or use Yates Specialty Potting Mix Orchids for orchids.
Plants can often show the same symptoms for over- or under-watering (limp, yellowing leaves), so you can’t always rely on them to tell you. However, you don’t need any fancy gadgets to tell you when you need to water – simply insert your index finger to the second knuckle into the potting mix. If it’s dry, water, but if it’s moist, you can leave watering for a few days. As a general rule, water once every week (until water runs out of the drainage holes), but extend this to 7-10 days during the cooler months.
During the warmer months, when plants are actively growing, it's a good time to feed your plants. For most indoor plants, use Yates Thrive Indoor Plant Liquid Plant Food. This no-odour product is fantastic for providing plants with the right amount of nutrients to support healthy growth. To feed orchids, use Yates Thrive Orchid Liquid Plant Food. It's specially formulated to promote beautiful blooms. Apply these products regularly as directed to give your plants the nourishment they need to grow and flourish.
For a no-mess, no-fuss approach to feeding, use Yates Thrive Plant Food Spikes. Each spike contains slow-release nutrients to feed your plants for up to 2 months. You simply push, feed and forget! For most indoor plants, use Yates Thrive Plant Food Spikes Plants and Ferns, for cacti and succulents, use Yates Thrive Plant Food Spikes Cacti & Succulents, and for orchids, use Yates Thrive Plant Food Spikes Orchids.
Indoor plants are not usually perturbed by pests. But, occasionally, you may find sap-sucking insects, like mealybug, thrips, or mites on the foliage. The good news is that you can control them by thoroughly spraying with Yates Nature’s Way Vegie & Herb Spray. Always read the label prior to application.
Your plants may also be affected by fungus gnats. Adult fungus gnats are annoying tiny black winged insects that fly around the house. They lay eggs in potting mix which hatch into larvae that can damage plant roots. Create a barrier against fungus gnats by applying a 3 cm layer of Yates Gnat Barrier, made from specialised abrasive granules, over the surface of the potting mix.