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Expert Gardener Answers the Most-Searched Houseplant Questions

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Sustainable brand, Wave, has used Google Trends data to find out what Brits need to know about looking after houseplants and has spoken to an expert gardener, Adam Kirtland, from View From The Potting Bench, to find out exactly how to care for your houseplants. 

Adam said: ‘Houseplants bring so much joy to any home, no matter how small or large your space may be. Aside from the fact that they’re cool, look good and make your house look amazing – it’s been proven by science that they improve your mood, reduce stress levels and, as a result, make you happier and healthier.’

According to Pinterest Predicts, biophilic design is the latest trend to combine interiors and wellness. Millennials create living rooms by bringing nature into their homes and utilising houseplants to create a mindful place to sit back and relax. 

But with the popularity of houseplants consistently increasing, Brits want to know how to look after them properly. 

Here are Adam’s top tips to keep your plants happy and healthy: 

What to do with amaryllis after it blooms?  

Once your amaryllis has passed, it’s best to chop off the spent flower from the stem and let the stem start to die back, but make sure to leave the rest of the foliage on the plant to put energy back into the bulb. Make sure to leave about an inch or so of the stem to help put this energy back in! Do continue to water but not too much – keep it moist. You can put the plants outside for a bit of a holiday and let them build up the strength to flower again next season.

Why is my aloe vera plant turning brown?

Because aloe vera plants are succulents, they retain moisture well so can usually throw a wobbly when they’re too wet. To prevent this, let them dry out a bit to help them spring back into life.

How do you re-pot an aloe vera plant?

The best tip I can give for aloe vera is to use a terracotta pot. This allows the soil to dry out more than in a ceramic or glass container and provides the aloe with the conditions it enjoys most. They love light, but not direct sunlight, somewhere near a window where they’ll get this without sitting in the baking rays of midday.

You’ll know when an aloe wants to be potted on when it has filled its current home. Grab a pot that is a bit bigger than the one it’s in and fill it about ⅓ of the way full with good potting mix. Gently tap out the plant from its pot, place it in the new one, and fill in around the plant with more potting mix and give it good water.

It’s good to provide it with water in the sink and let the water drain through the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot. When the water stops running out, you can move it to where you’d like.

How do you grow amaryllis indoors?

My top tip is to get the biggest bulb you can find and afford. The bigger the bulb, the more flowers, and the happier you’ll be with your amaryllis. You’ll want to make sure you’ve got a wide pot to contain yours, as the flowers can be quite lofty, and this will stop your pot toppling over.

Give your bulbs a good drink of water when you plant them at first, but after that, keep the soil slightly damp to avoid rotting the bulb. My top tip, though, turn the pot around by about a quarter every other day – this will help to grow a tall and straight stem that won’t lean one way or the other.

How often should you water a peace lily? 

Peace lilies are great at telling you when they need a top-up of water by dropping leaves, but if you don’t want to wait for it to get that extreme, then follow the ‘knuckle test’. If it’s dry, give it a drink, but if it feels wet, leave it for a bit. Once a week is a good shout here, but only if it needs it. You can pull back once every two or three weeks.

For more expert tips from Adam, visit Wave for more ways to keep your plants healthy.

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