Plant care

Fertilising 101

Fertilising 101

Just like your vitamin enriched, kale packed, turmeric dusted smoothie makes you want to yodel from the top of Mt. Everest, fertiliser gives your plants a boost! You may think your plants have an easy life, sitting there looking pretty, pouting their leaves, but they’re hard at work photosynthesising, purifying our nasty germs and pollutants, giving us fruit to eat, producing nectar for bees and magically sprouting flowers too. It’s exhausting work! And over time it depletes their reserves. All we need to do is give a little back in return. Easy does it Fertilising is highly effective, but in...

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Re-potting 101

Re-potting 101

Time to get dirty! Re-potting a plant doesn’t necessarily mean changing the planter it’s in, but replacing and refreshing the soil, which is essential for houseplant survival. Most plants need re-potting every 12 – 18 months, while slow growers can go for up to two years quite happily. Why re-pot? As plants feed on nutrients from the soil, the potting medium becomes depleted, leaving your plant looking emaciated, sad and just generally unable to grow. In the wild, or even the garden, there is plenty of soil and underground nutrients for the plant’s roots to absorb. But not in a...

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How to care for your succs and cacti

How to care for your succs and cacti

You may have once heard some smarty planty pants say: "All cacti are succulents but not all succulents are cacti." But what did they really mean? 'Succulent’ is a broad term for a group of plant families including Cacti, Agaves, Euphorbias, Sedums, Echeverias and Aloes. All of them have succulent type properties. In other words they contain sap because they evolved in arid conditions to retain water in thick fleshy leaves or stems. ‘Succulent’ comes from the Latin word sucus, meaning sap or juice. Each family has different properties. For example, with cacti the fleshy sap is stored in the...

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The essentials of humidity

The essentials of humidity

Most houseplants with their sultry leaves that make our lives feel tropical and fabulous, originate from jungles and rainforest environments. Think exotic holiday destinations like Panama, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. If you’ve ever been to Thailand (or even Durban) and noticed your hair frizzing and going wild – well, that’s humidity for you. The average humidity of a rainforest is 77-88%. Most houseplants need humidity levels of 60%, like the Chinese Evergreen, which originates from Sri Lanka and the tropical forests of southern China, and the Begonia Rex, hailing from southern India. Desert plants such as cacti and succulents...

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Sunlight

Sunlight

As much as water is the source of life, so is sunlight. All plants need light to survive and grow – and light bulbs do not count. We mean natural sunlight!                    Plants need sunlight for photosynthesis, which through metabolic reactions, creates sugar (food & energy) for plants. Luckily most houseplants come from the understories of jungles and forests, and are used to living in low light conditions. But, bear in mind:                                          ...

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Watering 101

Watering 101

Isn’t H2O wonderful? It’s the joy of letting fresh raindrops fall on your cheeks, plunging into a gin clear mountain stream, or drinking an ice-cold glass of lemon water on a hot day. There’d be no life without it. Water comprises almost 60% of an adult human’s body weight. For a plant, it’s 80 – 90%! But, that doesn’t mean plants need litres and litres of water every day like we do. In fact, the quickest way to kill a houseplant is to overwater it. The dreaded root rot problem. Most plants like a porous soil, allowing room for water and air...

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