Do your homework on indoor plants

Outside plants are headed towards dormancy. They are doing their best to shed their leaves and hopefully will become bare sticks for the upcoming season of cold and snow.

Learning the plants’ needs will ensure beautiful flowers and greenery to enjoy all year long

Outside plants are headed towards dormancy. They are doing their best to shed their leaves and hopefully will become bare sticks for the upcoming season of cold and snow.

That doesn’t mean that the world has to be grey and white. Green can be very prevalent in the form of indoor plants.

Many of the same rules apply to growing plants indoors as out. Know the plant’s requirements and match them with the perfect environment.

Plants that require indirect light do best close to a north window or in the interior of a bright room.

They will not thrive in a south or west window unless sheers diffuse the light.

Place plants that require the direct sunlight in the window.

There are many plants such as a corn plant that will thrive with very little light. These plants brighten up darker corners of the home.

Knowing how often and how much to water a plant can literally mean the difference between life and death of a plant. People tend to water one of two ways.

The first method is to give the plant a small amount of water at least a couple times a week. With this method the plant will produce a large number of roots near the surface that will absorb the moisture.

The other method is to give the plant more water on a less frequent basis. All the soil will become wet and excess water will run out the bottom of the pot.

There is less salt build up in the second method but both methods work well as long as the person that waters is consistent.

Problems occur when both methods are mixed together as the plants are alternately flooded and left to become too dry.

Research has shown that more plants die from too much water as opposed to lack of moisture.

To avoid over watering plants, test for moisture below the soil surface before watering.

Fertilize indoor plants when they are actively growing which is usually between March and September. Choose a balanced fertilizer and follow the instructions on the package. More is not better as it can burn the plants roots.

Pre-packaged potting soil differs with the brand and label.

A number of companies are now including a content list which makes purchasing a coloured bag less of a gamble.

Outdoor planter mix that contains compost, peatmoss and vermiculite or perlite also works well for indoor plants. Compost gives plants a continuous source of nutrients and helps with water retention.

Indoor plants produce more top growth and flowers if they are in a small pot as opposed to a large one. Plants that are in large pots put their energy into producing roots.

Once the roots reach the pot the plant will then put out top growth and flowers.

Temperature can be an issue with some indoor plants but most will grow well in the average home or office. These plants do well in temperatures that are between 50 to 80F (10 to 25C).

Plan ahead for plants that require different temperatures requirements. If the plants specific requirements can not be met, leave the plant at the store.

Flowering plants are often seen for sale in large masses in many different outlets. These plants are forced into blooming into large greenhouses and considered throw away plants.

Once the initial flowers die the plant is rarely attractive.

The climate that is needed to get the plant to bloom again is usually beyond what is available in a regular house.

Indoor plants will grow well when they are given the correct growing conditions.

Take time to know what the plants requirements are before making a purchase and enjoy greenery all year long.

Linda Tomlinson is a horticulturist and educator living in Rocky Mountain House. You can contact her at your_garden@hotmail.com

Just Posted

Officials report some headway on wildfires, but thick smoke hangs over B.C.

Wildfire crews report some headway was made over the weekend battling hundreds… Continue reading

WATCH: Central Albertans learn about farm life at Sunnybrook Farm Museum

Pioneer Days Festival in Red Deer Saturday-Sunday

Raising awareness for Bikers Against Child Abuse

Second annual Raise A Ruckus Against Child Abuse was held at the Red Deer Radisson Hotel Saturday

Number of seniors who play bridge in Red Deer growing

Red Deer Bridge Club has been around for close to 60 years

Central Alberta Yogathon cancelled Saturday

Due to air quality concerns the fourth annual event will take place Sept. 15

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Police chiefs want new data-sharing treaty with U.S. as privacy questions linger

OTTAWA — Canada’s police chiefs are pressing the Trudeau government to sign… Continue reading

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the… Continue reading

Ottawa announces $189M to extend employment insurance for seasonal workers

ESCUMINAC, N.B. — Ottawa has announced $189 million for an employment insurance… Continue reading

Trudeau formally announces he’ll run again in next year’s election

MONTREAL — Justin Trudeau will run again in the 2019 federal election.… Continue reading

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

VANCOUVER — More smoky, hazy air is expected to blanket much of… Continue reading

Anti-pipeline protesters released days before weeklong jail sentences end

MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. — Several pipeline protesters were released from a British… Continue reading

All eyes on Andrew Scheer as Conservative convention set for Halifax

OTTAWA — After a week of internal caucus squabbles, Conservative Leader Andrew… Continue reading

Trump says his White House counsel not a ‘RAT’ like Nixon’s

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his White House… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month