By David Miles
Sales Manager – Landscape and Commercial
There is no denying the benefits of indoor plants! Plants cleaning the air and atmosphere within the work and entertaining area provide a healthier and more beautiful office and home environment. A recent study by Richgro revealed that 58% of indoor plant owners admit to talking to them, while 29% give them names.
In Richgro’s national survey, which was undertaken by more than 500 people, almost all participants (98%) agreed that spending time close to plants and nature improved their mood.
Studies have shown indoor plants:
- Boost mood, productivity, concentration and creativity
- Reduce stress, fatigue, sore throats and colds
- Clean indoor air by absorbing toxins, increasing humidity and producing oxygen
- Add life to a sterile office, give privacy and reduce noise levels
- Are therapeutic and cheaper than a therapist
Most indoor plants are extraordinarily easy to look after. The most critical element is to use a good quality potting mix either as a base or as a top up – this is your plant’s whole world, make it count!
I can only recommend a quality potting mix that has been trialed and tested to have all the suitable raw materials and correct nutrients for the plant to live a happy life. Richgro’s Seaweed Premium potting Mix is our premium mix that has all such necessities to pot straight into and nothing else is required to add. The fertiliser will last up to 6 months, added wetting agent to hold onto moisture longer and extra trace elements to help the roots develop in the mix to full capacity.
Why can’t you simply use garden soil in a pot? Charlie Albone, TV Gardening Expert and Richgro Brand Ambassador puts it simply – Soil unlike potting mix has a mixture of sand, loam and clay and they are often not in equal measurements, in a potting mix you get the optimum combination of drainage and water / nutrient holding capacity so your plants get water without drowning. Along with this you get added fertilisers, nutrients and additional tonics like seaweed so your plants can perform in the restricted growing area of a pot.
Like most things there are levels of quality when it comes to potting mix, with the best ones having the red tick symbol on them, which is a way of letting you know they have passed a series of tests. The red tick should not be mistaken with the black tick, although these potting mixes still comply with Australian Standards, they do not meet the levels the red tick commands and will not last as long as the red tick.
What’s in a red tick mix? – well all brands have a different combination of ingredients but those red tick mixes get tested on wettability, air filled porosity, pH and they have to have a minimum of 12 weeks worth of slow release fertiliser in them to aid in feeding your plants.
Plants that have a short life span such as annuals are fine to use in black tick potting mixes, they will exhaust the nutrients in the mix before their life cycle is complete and this can be added back in after the plants are removed. However for longer growing plants, you want the benefits of the red tick for on-going plant health. The use of such a premium potting mix will actually save you money, time and effort in the long run so well worth the investment up front.
Richgro supply to many professional growers in the state and all have particular ingredients and different nutrient requirements. These growers can range from small succulent plants, to natives, veggies, indoor, trees and all types of flowering plants. All this knowledge of different types of conditions has allowed Richgro to manufacture a mix that can suit all needs. Hence, Richgro’s Seaweed Potting Mix mentioned above.
Five basic maintenance rules for indoor plants:
- Water and feed them correctly. Most indoor plant deaths are caused by overwatering.
- Most plants need a winter rest with less water, less feeding and less heat.
- Treat any trouble immediately. Bad doses of pest and diseases are hard to cure.
- Choose the right plant for the right place. Put it where it grows best not just where it looks best.
- Avoid extremes or sudden changes in temperature and light.
Some different categories of indoor plants:
Bright – Goldfish plant and Madagascar Periwinkle – both lovely flowers and shiny green leaves
Dark – Peace Lily and Parlour Palm – can be grown in fairly dimly lit rooms
Warm – False Aralia, Temple bells and Velvet plants can all be grown in areas where the temperatures are quite high
Cool – Abutilon, Begonia and Prayer plant can be grown in cooler, tougher areas
Climbers and trailers – Grape Ivy, Chestnut vine and Sweetheart Plant are great to see grow along any support
Big and office – Dracaena, Canary Date Palm and Umbrella plant are great ‘showy’ plants that need some space
Unkillable – Umbrella Plant, Ficus Benjamina and Yucca – can all survive on neglect and inconsistent watering
Scented – Jasmine, Gardenia and Stephanotis all have lovely fragrance when flowering
Damp – Arum lily, Club moss and Kris plant – don’t mind having wet feet if overwatered