New Year, New Houseplants: Makeover Your Inside Space
If you want to freshen up your home as we move into the new year, houseplants are an excellent way to do just that. They bring life, colour and even oxygen into interior spaces, helping them to feel less stuffy during the colder months.
Houseplants don’t have to be a lot of work. Succulents are a low-maintenance option and will often cope well if you forget to water them for a day or two – some actually prefer to go for long periods without water, if their natural habitat is quite dry.
Let’s look at some of the ways you can use houseplants to makeover your inside space, giving your home a fresh new feeling for the coming year.
Pick a Poinsettia
The large red blooms or ‘bracts’ of a poinsettia have become synonymous with Christmas, but they are houseplants you can keep all year round with a little care and attention. Poinsettias must be kept away from draughts, in a steady temperature of around 15C.
After the Christmas blooms have faded, use a high potash liquid feed monthly throughout the year. Water quite sparingly – only when the soil surface has dried out – and combine this with lightly misting the leaves twice a week to keep them in better condition.
Poinsettias need extra attention to encourage them to flower again each year, but you can help this process by increasing the temperature to a consistent 18C in November, and moving the poinsettia into a dark location for 12 hours a day. This will mimic the shorter days of winter and ensure your plant flowers in time for Christmas.
Oxygenate Your Air
Plants naturally take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the air, but some are better oxygenators than others, so if you want to breathe more easily in your home, find an oxygenating houseplant that you like the look of.
Bromeliads are one option. They release oxygen overnight, making them a great companion for your bedside table. A bromeliad will also grow one or more ‘pups’ towards the end of its life, which you can pot separately for a never-ending supply.
Pots and Planters
You’re not restricted to traditional terracotta or plastic plant pots. Interior pots and planters can have even more decorative finishes, as they’re not exposed to the elements like their outdoor equivalents.
Choose a pot that matches well with the appearance of your plants – bright white contrasts well with deep green foliage, for instance – or let the pot do the talking by choosing something brightly coloured that works with the wallpaper, paint or cushions in your room.
Repotting Old Plants
New houseplants give interiors an instant lift, but older pot plants can benefit from being repotted too, so you can change the look of their plant pot and give their roots some fresh soil and room to grow.
Incorporate some good-quality repotting mix into the soil and choose a pot that’s the right size for your plant, and you could find even tired-looking old houseplants spring back into life as the year progresses.