Being the only shrinking resource, land is increasingly becoming scarce and most Kenyans, being the very adaptive species that they are, are embracing the gated community and apartments style of habitation at a fast rate.
This mode of living translates to smaller spaces that one can consider personal, but hey! this does not necessarily mean a death knell to having personalised indoor gardens and creating a small tranquil haven within our pads.
How do we achieve this? Before you decide on which plants to bring to the house, it is important to find out more about the species.
Find out if it requires lots of water and care, especially if you have little time to spend in the home tending to it.
And how about spending a few moments with your florist getting advice on the right plants for your home environment?
This will ensure that you give your plants the best environment and your garden stands a chance of standing out.
It is always good to choose a plant that is almost the size that you have envisioned.
This is because it may take long to mature and can be at times frustrating to buy a small plant and wait for it to grow.
Survey the overall selection of the nursery and get a general view of what is on offer.
You will know the plants are well taken care of by looking at the general appearance of the garden.
Avoid plants with broken parts as this may be a potential problem as plants sometimes never recover from disease.
Remember to carry some fertiliser from the florist for your maintenance chores at home.
Look for function more than form when searching for plant containers. Long-lasting plant health depends on the size and the type of pot, as well as proper care.
Each container has a visual impact and works with the plant to alter the environment of your home.
When choosing containers, go for those that allow for drainage. As you buy the pot, select a drip saucer as well and avoid buying this later so that you are able to chose the right size and one that is compatible with your style.
Also, choose the container that best suits the size of your plant at the moment and plan to re-pot every year as the plant grows.
These pots are popular and inexpensive. They absorb moisture and permit important air circulation.
It is also difficult to overwater a plant in a clay pot, although it is not impossible.
They also make it easy to notice excess mineral salts on the plant by forming a white crust on the outside, an indication that you may be over-fertilising your plant.
They come in assorted sizes and shapes. The earthy colour of the pots blends well with almost all furniture styles and does not overshadow the plant, hence a good choice for your interiors.
You, however, have to be careful with them because they easily break.
Also easily available and come in all manner of shapes, colours, and sizes. They are easy to clean... and are light. Some have dull colours while others are bright.
They are more durable than the clay pots if dropped or bumped. Despite being handy, they hold moisture and do not “breath” as the clay pots.
As such, water does not evaporate from the sides, resulting in lack of air circulation and excess moisture, which often spells trouble for the plant from overwatering.
Low light plants
Before you get your plant, consider how much light it will enjoy in the environment you are taking it.
Enough light is the greatest challenge in home gardening, so it is important to let your florist know how much light you have.
The beauty of this information is that they will be able to supply you with a plant that does not need too much light to thrive.
Do not be fooled by the size of the plants as you buy. Take time to find out if they will survive in a low-light area and how much care they need.
If you are a busy person and rarely have time for your plants, go for easy care varieties.
There are those that will not need much attention as they grow and will do well even with a little neglect, while others are perfect for that not so bright corner in your house.
Some of these plants include the Dracaenas, most ferns, the snake plant, golden pothos vine, and lucky bamboo.
All plants need light to grow and the amount of light needed will vary from one plant to another.
The amount of light also received by plants varies throughout the day, depending on where they are placed and the different positions of the sun during the day.
If your plant does not receive enough light, consider providing artificial light to supplement the natural light.
The indoor light is always weaker compared to the outdoor light. It sometimes lacks the warmth of the sun depending, on where the plant is placed and the light is sometimes filtered by the shears or window dressings.
Trimming the roots a bit will also facilitate growth, though some plants are more sensitive than others to root disturbance.
Top dressing with a fresh layer of soil or compost may rejuvenate a plant.
And just as your furniture needs regular cleaning, routine grooming for plants goes a long way to ensure your plants are healthy.
Regular trimming, adding support and controlling size and shape will enhance the health of your plant.
Finally, if your plant is doing badly, it is probably time to discard it and start all over again.