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Top tips for happy house plants

Written by Sarah Loker

Here at The Studio, we love our plant pals, and we know that you do too - our members love the peaceful, jungle vibe the greenery gives to The Studio, helping them feel relaxed and calm as they enter the space, setting them up for their class or private session.

Below we share some top tips and tricks for caring for your house plants, and how to keep them as healthy as possible...

  • Get the light right

Plants need sunlight in order to convert this to energy via the process of photosynthesis. So placing your house plant in a dark corner will probably not bring about its best growth. Bearing that in mind, it's important to note that different plants like different levels of light, with shade loving plants like ferns preferring that relatively darker space in your home, whereas other plants, such as cacti and succulents, prefer bright direct light.

  • Don’t forget the temp

Just as with light, different plants require different temperatures in order to be happy. Many plants will not thrive if permanently kept in the hot, dry atmosphere created by central heating. The majority of house plants are tropical, meaning they can only withstand very short spells at lower temperatures. If you live in a cooler house, consider having house plants from cooler climates. If your house is warmer - maybe it has a conservatory or summer room - then consider more tropical, heat-loving plants.

  • Give them room to grow

To ensure your plants stay healthy and keep growing, it’s important that they have enough space to do this. This means it’s important to pot on plants into larger pots and containers. If plants are left in the same container for an extended period, the roots of the plant have nowhere to go, meaning they become pot-bound and wrap around themselves, reducing their efficiency in extracting water and nutrients.

Potting on and repotting plants also means a refresher of the soil or compost, adding fresh nutrients for the plant to feed on. If plants are kept in the same soil, eventually the plant roots exhaust the main nutrients and this can impact the plant’s growth and health.

  • Too much water can be worse than too little!

Forget a message in a bottle, here comes the house plant in a bottle…se plants need. This can sometimes lead to mindless watering, where we end up drowning the poor plants. But it’s worth bearing in mind that too much water can be just as bad, if not worse, than a lack of water. It’s safer for the plant to wilt slightly before watering than to be kept soggily wet. If in doubt, place your finger 1cm into the soil - if it feels dry or hardly damp , give your plant some water.

  • Forget a message in a bottle, here comes the house plant in a bottle…

As modern home environments can be impractical for the growth of house plants, a great way to overcome this is to create your own mini self-contained environment for the plant. Placing plants in a glass bottle or terrarium maintains a humid micro-climate. Water vapour released by the leaves and rising from the damp soil condenses on the sides of the bottle and trickles back to the roots, with very little escaping - this means you create your own self-sufficient ecosystem!

In our next wellness workshop, Plant Repotting Party, you will learn loads more tips and tricks for keeping your house plants healthy. Join us and learn how to propagate and repot your plants, to ensure they look and feel their best. Bring along your own plants in need of some TLC, or help care for The Studio’s jungle. Taking place on Saturday 8th July, 12-2pm at The Studio, Bartlow. £10 per person or FREE for The Studio Ultimate Members. Head to our website to book on!


The R.H.S Encyclopedia of House Plants, Kenneth A. Beckett (1995)

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