How to Take Good Care of Your Condo Plants
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals explored new pursuits or revisited and rediscovered old hobbies.
Of the many passionate ventures we have seen, none of them have been trendier and more sustainable than taking care of plants. Unfortunately, for those of us that live in high-rise buildings such as a condo in Pasig, we are not at liberty to plant in free soil as we wish. However, this should not deter us from indulging in the hobby. After all, this is precisely what indoor plants are for.
To make your little green friend thrive, you need something a little more than just a keen interest in the activity itself. Luckily, that is what this article is for. Below are some of the most common tips, hacks, and tricks for keeping all of your pants alive and thriving—even when you live in a condo. Before that, however, you need to understand that your plants have different needs. More importantly, understanding these needs is key as it will result in reduced stress, cleaner air, and a happier environment. If you have been playing around with the idea of becoming a plant parent, below are just some of the failsafe techniques that would help you in this endeavor:
1.) Get the right plant
Regardless of how diligent you are in taking care of a plant, there are just some plants that do not grow because of where you are. In the Philippines, it is pretty impossible to grow plants found in areas with cooler climates. That said, some plants are doomed the moment you bring them into your homes—not because you lack proper green technique, but because you lack foresight and that they are a terrible fit.
When it comes to buying plants, always remember this mantra “right plant, right place.” Miniature roses may look perfect for your social media posts, but they do not do well when kept indoors. That said, ask your local garden for a plant that does well indoors. Also, be sure that the plant you choose will thrive and bloom in your climate as well as in the lifestyle you have. If you like low-maintenance plants that do not require much attention, cacti and snake plants can hold up well in neglect. Be sure to mention any pets as some animals may get ill from lilies or daffodils.
2.) Make sure there is enough light
Keep in mind that plants require different levels of sunlight. To illustrate what this means, there is full sun, partial sun, dappled sun, and shade. Full sun means being directly hit by sunlight; the partial sun could apply to areas with blinds or hallways. However, if your condo unit is permanently ensconced in the dark, then plants like ferns will flourish in your kind of setting. Also, you may wish to choose spider plants and give them the shade they crave.
3.) Be consistent with your plant
Any kind of change is bad for your plant. They are sensitive to change and very slow to adapt to new environments, so even if they are doing seemingly well, changing even the slightest thing such as the lighting or height of the plant can already affect it negatively. Keep in mind that if you are planning on growing a giant plant, be sure to start in an area where it is free to grow when it gets big.
There are times that you may need to transfer to a new location or apartment. While the sudden change may affect your plant, you can make the transition easier. Do this by slowly allowing them to be exposed to the elements until you leave the plant outdoors overnight and move it to its new location permanently. Once you have a good grasp of your new routine, make sure you have someone who can keep up with what you have already done when you are out of town.
4.) Make sure your pot is not too small
The plant chooses the pot and not the other way around. That said, you need to select the right pot for your plant to help it grow in the right direction. Plants often outgrow their homes which is why choosing pots that are too small may stunt their growth. Also, growing plants in too small containers may lead to plants having roots that are pot-bound and soil that is dry. Once a plant’s roots start growing out of its drainage hole, or if it is starting to overflow on top, you may want to switch your pot and get a bigger one.
5.) Be particular with your soil
Always choose quality dirt. Common soil contains weeds, fungi, or pests. Potting soil coming from a certified garden center contains a mixture of materials that can include organic matter and peat moss. When you report your plants, always be sure that your dirt is slightly moist so that the roots can begin working and absorbing the nutrients they need for growth.
6.) Keep plants healthy. Cut the dead stuff
Keep your leaves growing by regularly cutting and trimming the dead ends. Other people may find pruning a little bit tedious, but for some individuals, the activity can be quite calming and therapeutic. Make sure to snip at anything that is already brown or spotted. Bear in mind that even just a layer of dust on forgotten leaves can already block sunlight, so give your plants water regularly and wipe them down with a dry cloth.
7.) Give them enough water
Give your plants enough water, but never overwater. A novice mistake most beginners make is overwatering their place. Unfortunately, your plants have different needs. Succulents only need to be watered once a month. Parlor palms and creeping fig fare better when their soil is as dry as possible. The proper watering technique would be to water the base and not the leaves to stimulate plant growth. Also, be sure to test the water’s temperature. Lukewarm water is best for watering plants as cold water can shock and damage roots.