Plant parenthood 101


Every leaf supply plant comes with info and easy-as instructions so you can treat your new plant friend right from the get-go.
The tips & tricks below are more general and can be put to good use for looking after your entire plant gang. It's important to remember that even the hardiest of our foliaged friends is a living thing and therefore needs care and attention to keep it happy and healthy. It's by no means a definitive guide, rather some things we've picked up along the way as fellow indoor plant lovers. Hopefully if you refer to some of the following advice you're on your way to becoming the plant parent you were destined to be!

LET THERE BE LIGHT

As a general rule plants need light to live. Through the process of Photosynthesis plants use light along with water and carbon dioxide to create their food and release oxygen into the air. Of course different plants require different levels of light and picking a spot with the right light requirements for your foliaged friend will go a long way to keeping him happy.
Most indoor plants do best in bright indirect light. That is, not direct sun that can cause their leaves to burn. So keep them far away enough from a window to prevent harm.
If your space is lacking in the light department opt for a low light plant such as a Zanzibar gem or Devil's Ivy and try and give it a holiday to a light-filled spot when you can.

SPLISHY SPLASHY

When it comes to plant care one of the biggest mistakes people make is overwatering. You can very easily kill your precious plant babies with kindness!
But fear not, here are a few tips to help you figure out when it’s time to water, and how to do it...
As a general rule most of our foliage plants need a good drink once a week. It is best to let the soil dry out between waterings so that the roots don't become waterlogged. To check if your plant is thirsty, simply stick your finger in the potting mix toward the edge of the container. Most plants should be watered when the first inch of soil has dried out. Simple as that!
To water, gently lift your plant’s foliage and flood the potting mix with tepid water until a trickle appears from the drainage hole at the bottom. Let the plant soak up the water for 30 minutes, then empty any remaining water from the saucer.
It's a good idea to get in to the habit of checking in with your plants every 3-4 days to assess where they're at. Changes in temperature or conditions can affect the frequency at which they need watering. A lot of indoor plants hail from the tropics and do best with a certain level of humidity. If humidity is low, giving your plants leaves a light mist every few days can revitalise them.
For succulents and cacti the watering needs are very different. These guys need to be watered much less frequently as they store water in their succulent leaves. A lot of people make the mistake of spritzing or misting succulents but the most effective way to water is by soaking the soil and then letting it dry out completely before any more water is given. Fortnightly to monthly watering should do the trick particularly if the weather is particularly humid.

FEEDING TIME

Plants get minerals from the air, water, and their potting mix. They are nourished and energized by sunlight. It is not essential to fertilise your plants and many of them will get along just fine without it. Talk about low maintenance!
If you would like to give your plant babies some extra nutrients here are some tips...Liquid or slow release fertilizer is generally the best for indoor plants and try and go for an organic option where possible. With liquid fertilizers, err on the side of caution and dilute slightly more than the instructions specify to ensure you don’t burn the leaves of your favourite indoor plants. You can always 'up' the amount down the track. Slow- release fertilizers such as Osmocote are sprinkled on the soil and will leech nutrients into the soil over a sustained period of time. Generally, this will need to be done every 4-6 months but check packet instructions for exact timing.

PLANT DOCTOR

If you've done everything you can to care for your green buddies and they're still not doing so well you can always drop us a line at hello@leaf-supply.com and we'll do our best to offer some suggestions. It's a good idea to include some photos of the plant, both close up and in context so we can try and determine what might be going on.