For the last couple of months I’ve had the urge to turn our apartment into a little oasis of indoor plants, kind of necessary when you live in a dense and hectic city like Hong Kong. I guess even if you live in the country – it still feels nice to bring the outside in. Having a little bit of greenery in the house makes you feel so good, and even perhaps freshens the air. In the past I’ve had a knack for swiftly killing  everything green that entered our house, so I recently did a bit of research about how to get the most from your indoor plants – without killing them in two seconds flat. Here are a few things I learnt.
  • Choose the best plant – If you’re prone to killing your plants, the best thing to do is to choose one that is the most hardy and won’t be too sensitive to mistreatment (ie over/underwatering, putting it in the wrong place etc). I’m told by my man at the Kowloon Flower Markets that a few tolerant plants to pick from are the Jade Plant, Devil’s Ivy, Snake Plant, ZZ plant and of course, all types of cactus and succulents. 
  • Put it in the right place – Different plants will have different lighting requirements, and lack of light is what often kills plants. Either ask your plant seller or google your plant type to work out if it belongs on the window sill in full sunlight, or in the corner of the room in the shade. When in doubt I go for more light than for less.
  • Don’t over (or under) water –  The amount of water your plant needs will again be determined by the plant type, but in general, plants with lots of bushy foliage will need more water than plants with with waxy or leathery leaves. I love cactus and succulents as they usually only need to be watered once a week. Remember that overwatering can be worse than underwatering so be careful – if the leaves are turning yellow you might be overwatering.
  • Experiment with pots – Try out all different types of pots – boxes, dishes, watering cans, tins, buckets etc, but make sure the pot has drainage holes so water can get out. 
  • Maintain your plants – Make sure to trim your plants and clean their leaves regularly.
  • Don’t forget about them – A few times I have actually completely forgotten about my plants for weeks at a time, and haven’t noticed them until they have started to turn brown. I find that by watering at the same time every day/week you create a routine which is harder to break.When in doubt go for cactus or other more difficult to kill plants.
And there you have it – a few very small pointers for creating your own indoor oasis. Would love to hear from any green thumbs out there – what have I missed? Enjoy a little bit of inspiration for how your new green oasis could look!
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