Learning how to keep our houseplants alive is a never-ending process. Even once we've successfully nurtured our best indoor plants for an extended period of time, certain types can prove tricky to look after. British gardening expert Mony Don has shared some simple but effective advice to keep our house plants thriving.
- See also: 13 beautiful indoor garden ideas – how to bring nature into your home
On his blog (opens in new tab), he explains that people often go wrong when watering their plants, leaving them without the right levels of moisture to grow healthily - but it's not as simple as just watering them frequently enough.
'By and large, the biggest mistake people make with their houseplants is to overwater them,' Monty begins. 'In fact,' he continues, 'that can be qualified - or refined - by saying most are overwatered at the roots but under-watered in the air.' He says that the single most useful thing is you can do is to get hold of a good mist sprayer 'holding at least a litre of water and with a trigger action.'
'Use this twice a day,' he says, 'to give your plants a really good spray so the foliage is running with moisture.' As he points out, this will mean plants need to be positioned in a room where humid air isn't going to damage any soft furnishings. Therefore, he suggests putting houseplants in a bathroom or kitchen with natural light might be more practical than in the living room. If you're thinking of expanding your house plant collection, look at our 11 easy house plants and how to care for each type piece.
As for when to water plants, he reminds fans to only water when the compost is completely dry, and to soak them in a basin for 15 minutes, before draining them and returning the pot to its usual spot. If you fancy heading outdoors, our garden design ideas piece is full of inspiration.
The gardening guru comments that evergreen plants from tropical regions, such as a Bird of Paradise or Fiddle Leaf Fig, are happiest in a cool spot away from direct sunlight. They'll be better off here than a sun-flooded room right by a radiator, he explains.
There are so many benefits of houseplants - they look great and they're known to make us feel more relaxed - not to mention their air-purifying powers. Next time we water our plants, we'll remember to give them a good spray, too.