A Basic Guide to Houseplants
Getting Started: Plant Placement
Step One: Light
Know your space; where will the plants live? Windows are the main source of natural light for indoor plants so which way do the windows face? If you live in the northern hemisphere, the sun will move in the southern sky which means that a window that faces north does not get direct sun; while an unobstructed southern window will get direct sunlight all day long.
An east facing window receives morning sun and a west facing window will see sun in the afternoon.
Step Two: Temperature
Plants, for the most part, will require a drop in temperature at night, why/ The nighttime temperature needs to be 8 to 10 degrees cooler than the day as during the day, the leaves of the plant manufacture their food and it is only the lower temperature at night that allows them to distribute it to the roots and other growing parts.
Step Three: Humidity.
House can become very dry especially in the winter time when the heat is on and plants will simply dry out. Humidity is the amount of water vapour in the air surrounding the plant; this affects how a plant transpires. Transpiration is how the leaves and stem of the plant give off water which then evaporates into the surrounding air.
If the air around the plant is dry, the plant will then give off too much water and may wilt.
Mist your plants on a regular basis especially in the winter and you will have few problems.
You can also arrange your plants into groups which will then increase their combined transpiration and humidity which will increase the water vapour.
I recommend buying a potting soil, preferably organic to grow your houseplants in; there are specialised soils for African violets and succulents for example.
You now have enough knowledge to get started. There is only one thing more to do and that is to determine how much time you have to devote to the indoor garden. There is work to do and if you start too big the chances of failure increase, start small, get used to the garden and then expand. I have seen a room go from 2 plants to be so full with plants that it was necessary to remove a chair and an end table.
This is fine if you can manage a garden of this proportion but a nightmare if it dominates all your time.
Indoor gardening is a great way to unwind; to slow down and enjoy, do not let your indoor garden outgrow you.