Plants produce O2 while lungs produce CO2. One’s production is other’s consumption. We need lungs as well as plants. Lungs purify air inside our body. Plants purify air inside our environment. It is thought provoking that every necessary item demands care. Without proper care and management, we cannot sustain them well.
By Muhammad Ramzan Rafique
It is no use to mention: lungs provide fresh air for breath. Obviously the plants also, but with an antagonistic approach, plants absorb CO2 while Lungs absorb O2.
Plants produce O2 while lungs produce CO2. One’s production is other’s consumption. We need lungs as well as plants. Lungs purify air inside our body. Plants purify air inside our environment. It is thought provoking that every necessary item demands care. Without proper care and management, we cannot sustain them well. Today, I will tell you tip regarding care and management of indoor plants: the plants inside your house, in corridor, galleries and other vacant area of your dream residence. Few things should be considered while caring and managing as, plant type, “water, light, humidity, repotting, fertilizing”.
This order may change, but ultimately with some plus, minus these are the key points one should bother for them. Before discussing all these points one by one, you should know about handling and care for newly bought plants. Never settle them as soon as you brought them into house. Give them break or rest period. I suggest you that such plants should kept for a day in your house. It will help them to acclimatize in your house. After that you may place them wherever you want (knowing the plant type and its requirement at that place).
For indoor plants watering is much important factor. Mismanagment in watering (too less and too much) will kill your plant. So keep in mind that most memorable point for watering “Never too wet and never too dry”. Hence soil of the pot should evenly moist. Whenever you see the excessive water flowing through drainage hole (hole under the pot partially blocked with a crock) then stop watering. It is quite easy to know the thrust of plant for water. 1st by visual observation of the soil in the pot tells you whether it need water or not. 2nd, by inserting your finger into soil. If inserting finger get some moisture, it mean immediate watering is not required. If it is dry then water the pot. The simple or tab water may be used for watering purpose. In some case, if water of your area is salty, newly chlorinated then water in bowl should place for a night. The salt may gather in the bottom then you may water. There is difference in summer and winter watering. In summer month more water is required as compared to winter month due to less evaporation and less usage. There is no hard and fast rule for amount of water. As it depend upon type and size of plant. In all case water them according to their need but keep in mind, soil should be evenly moist and it should never be too wet nor too dry.
Light is another factor, some plant experts discuss light and temperature under different head but here both are discussed under the “light”. Plant varies in their light and temperature requirements. Some plants, need more light, some need less light. Normally most of the flowering plants need more light so they should be placed in southern or western windows. But no worry about it because in local nurseries, there are not so many indoor flowering plant that to make to keen more about light. The plant like Auracaria, Agave, Yuka, Sansaveria need more light. So they should be placed near window. But avoid from direct light. There is difference between direct light and bright light. The light near the window, where sun do not fall directly is bright light area. Avoid from direct light that will bruise the foliage of many precious plants. These are very few plants that can survive under very low light these include Aglonema and Aspidistra (cast iron plant). In many house natural light is not available but plants can also survive there in the presence of artificial light. Tube light is considered as best artificial light. It is found that mixing of both bulb and tube light meets with the optimum requirement more efficiently. If natural light is present then 8 – 10 hours light is enough, but if you are depending only on artificial light then provide light for 14 – 16 hours daily.
In our homes most of the time we do not bother about their light requirement. After a particular span of time a plant placed in low light should be placed in bright light. Changing of plants regularly from low light area to bright light areas provide them good opportunity to fulfill their light requirement.
In our house normally there is enough humidity to maintain its level. Simple reason is washing floors. But in modern humidity level is not the same due to efficient use of heaters in winter. Plants may damage or lose their shape due to low humidity level. So what to do, first of all try to place indoor plants in groups, so they will make their own micro – climate conducive to their suitability. 2ndly place gravel tray underneath the pots and keep these trays moist. 3rd a simple humidifier or hand shower may be used to wash and humidify the plants. But try to manage it early in the day, so the leaves of that particular plant may dry during daytime. If you will not let them dry in the day, the burning of the leaves may occur.
It is also among major health care of indoor plants. Normally the plants become deficient in nutrient due to usage of that particular soil present in the pot. The soil in that pot had a limited quantity of minerals and nutrients; those are used with the passage of time. After a fixed span of time this soil of the pot should be changed or repot Nutrients should be given to that plant. So fertilizing the plants is much necessary. Normally plants need nitrogen, Phosphorus, potassium (NPK) for their proper growth. 20: 20: 20 NPK ratio is recommended for indoor plants. Many of the nitrogenous Fertilizers have these nutrients. But this raise up is artificially present with the trade name of “Garden soil” “Garden fertilizers” having same contents. So take such fertilizer and give a teaspoon per month on an average. Keep in mind that over fertilization will kill your plants, they foliage of the plant may bleach or burn. Low fertilizing tend plants to grow weak, the lower leaves turn yellow and overall stunned growth of plant.
As earlier mentioned that the pot soil become deficient in nutrients, and in many conditions the plant become pot bound. Pot bound is a term used to denote a condition in which excessive roots are present in pot but less soil or root become so excessive that they come out from pot from underside and try to get nourishment from the soil below. But in homes, there is nothing below the pot, so the plants turn yellow or ultimately die. So such type of plants should be repotted. If you feel that growth of your indoor plant has stopped at a particular stage, then repot it. For repotting the most important thing is potting media. In our field condition we use 50% leaf … and 50% Bhal for pot media. Also remember that media should be porous and have water retention capability. If you use ordinary soil, that will turn into a hard feature with no porosity. Ultimately plant roots have no space to grow and could not have water-soluble nutrient. So use of Bhal make it more porous, which will enhance root growth. While repotting an old plant handle the earthen ball carefully, do not damage it. The excessive soil outside the earthen ball should be replaced with new and more nourished soil in the pot. Put a broken part of pot or stone to cover damage hole. It is called “Crock” which is necessary to maintain drainage from drainage hole. If it would not be placed, there would be excessiveness of water, which may harm the plant. Put some soil on the crock underneath the earthen ball. Keep the plant in the center and affix it by putting more soil into it. Left some spare at the top of pot for watering purpose.
Management of indoor plant is not a Herculean task. It needs only your attention. Plants are living entity so they require proper care and management. If we will not care them properly, ultimately they will die resulting in the failure of lungs of your house. If there would be a air providing system without purification, definitely health of the residents is on the risk. So, don’t take a risk care your plants hence care your lungs.