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Care Guidelines for House Plants

The majority of house plants are bought by chance: you see a plant you like, and in that moment you purchase it and bring it home. Now that you have this beautiful plant in your home, you begin inquiring how to take care of it and what conditions it needs to grow. You need to find a place for the plant to get enough light and warmth, as well as emphasize the beauty of the plant.

Light is necessary for plants; it can be natural or artificial. It's better to use point source lamps or soffits. Keep in mind, however, that they give off a lot heat. To test, turn the lamp on and place your hand over the nearest plant leaf -- if you feel warmth, it means that the plant is situated too close to the lamp.


Plants are bought to brighten a boring room with color or to bring life to a particular area. When you bring plants home, try placing them in different spots to know where the plants create a better impression.


Choosing a background


The best background for the majority of plants is an ordinary wall of a fair tone. This is especially true for green plants with decorative leaves, and for plants with bright flowers.


Dark backgrounds are more suitable for poecilophyllous and flowering plants with numerous pale flowers.


Small leaves will get lost in the background of wallpapers with a large-scale pattern. Place plants with such leaves near a smooth, plain wall. Place plants with big, broad leaves near walls that have patterned wallpaper.


Choosing a place


On the floor


The suitable place for a big single plant is on the floor, as the huge flowerpot will look too bulky on a table. Usually people take plants with an attractive top and place them on the floor to decorate some empty corner or to divide a room in parts. Palms, false palms and other treelike plants are most often used for such purposes.


High flowering plants or high lianas with big leaves (philodendron, ceriman and others) also look good if standing alone. A single plant should be carefully chosen. High, narrow plants will visually increase the height of ceilings while low, broad plants will create the opposite effect.


The most suitable plants:


Araucaria diversifolious, tuftroot, dragon tree, palms, fatsid, rubber plant, waringin, philodendron bipinnate, cyperus, yucca.


On a windowsill


Choose plants whose beauty can be emphasized by the incoming light; for example, hypoestis or bloodleaf. Undoubtedly, you should choose plants that harmonize with the environment: a small, plain plant on a big windowsill will not look beautiful. A south window needs shading during summer months. Check the soil more often as it will dry out when sitting in the hot sun or during winter months. If being able to see out of your window isn't important for you and if you don't need much light, then think about using a suspended ornamental flowerpot.

Hanging from a ceiling


There is no better arrangement for a climber than to plant it in a container hanging from the ceiling or on a corbel in a wall. A single hanging plant can visually animate a boring wall or a window. But taking care of a hanging plant isn't easy; watering it is more difficult than watering plants standing on the floor or on a windowsill.


Placing in a hanging basket


Some house plants with long, flowing stalks look unattractive if standing on a table or on a windowsill. Such plants should be placed in a hanging basket.


Such plants include:


Zygocactus, columnea, sword fern, chlorofitum.


Placing on a wall


To decorate a smooth, fair wall with color, people use plants with decorative flowers and lianas. Flowerpots used for these purposes are generally small; plants need to be watered often because they are situated so high that it's difficult to determine when they need it. If your plants are situated in a similar way, choose solid (but not too motley) containers with big and deep trays.


Grouping plants


Composition of potted plants


Potted plants are plants in flowerpots or in containers put closely to each other to reach the effect of a big green spot. A composition of plants creates a strong impression -- more so than each of the plants being placed separately. Back leaves can be elevated to increase the height of the composition.


Plants with small leaves (such as a climbing fig, maidenhair, helksina or spiderwort) look bad if placed separately, but they can be very beautiful near the big leaves of other plants within a composition.


It's easier to water plants when they stand close to each other than it is when they stand separately in different corners. Abundant foliage and evaporation from big areas will increase air humidity.

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