TEXT ALICE SPENSER-HIGGS PHOTOGRAPHS UNSPLASH.COM

Indoor plants, like flowers, bring a room to life, but with the bonus of lasting longer. More importantly, they purify the air, creating a cleaner atmosphere. Here’s how to best care for yours

When using plants as indoor decor, make sure that air can circulate, which keeps them healthy.

Keep in mind their light requirements and make sure they’re accessible as you don’t want to clamber over sofas to reach them. Don’t fuss over them too much either. Overwatering, rather than under-watering is usually the killer.

Make watering a routine; pick a day of the week to check the plants, like Saturday morning, while sipping your first cup of coffee.

Invest in a plastic spritzer bottle and spritz the whole plant; it cleans the leaves, knocks out pests and improves the humidity, which most indoor plants love as they are tropical by nature.

Can’t be bothered to fertilise? Buy a packet of Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food Spikes and push two or three (depending on the size of the pot) into the soil after watering. They are effective for up to three months.

Fats from the kitchen settle on the leaves, which then attract a layer of dust, effectively suffocating the plants. Smaller plants should be taken outside once a week and hosed down. Wipe down the leaves of larger plants with Wonder Wipes or clean with a mist spray.

Change the soil mix after three years and replant the plant in a bigger pot. Adding fertiliser to worn-out soil will result in a build-up of salts and damage the plant.

Keep plants out of draughts and away from heaters.

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