Garden Action

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House Plant Care

Autumn to late spring are good times to give your house plant some care. A good leaf clean, altering the feeding frequency and a weekly spray will help keep your houseplants in tip-top shape.

Cleaning the Leaves

Wipe the leaves with a damp cloth or tissue to remove any dust and insects. Use soft water if possible, because the lime in hard water may leave marks on the leaves. Remember to wipe the underside of the leaves as well as the top. Specially formulated leaf shine can be bought from most garden centres. It brings a glossy shine to the leaves, though it is not necessary.

Increase Humidity

One key factor in house plant care is the central heating. In late autumn through to spring it will significantly reduce the humidity levels in the house. The easiest way to combat this is to spray the plant weekly as shown in the picture to the right. Hold the sprayer about 5 cm (6 inches) from the plant and spray all over. Again, use soft water if possible. Do not spray in strong sunlight, and do not spray any flowers on the plant.

Feeding in Autumn and Winter

Reduce the level of feeding for your houseplant to about a third from November to March. If in doubt, don't feed. It is always better to slightly underfeed than to overfeed. Never feed a sickly plant.