Houseplants bring a little bit of nature indoors-a beautiful touch of green that's not only soothing but that softens hard lines and glaring light in home or office. They can even improve indoor air quality.
"Houseplants can be a natural way to decorate your home," says Bayer Advanced™ garden expert Lance Walheim, who is a regular contributor to Sunset magazine and who has authored or contributed to more than 30 books. "They can last for years if you provide the proper care".
• Match plants with light conditions. Houseplants vary in their light requirements. Some prefer strong light found right next to a south-facing window. Others thrive in the soft morning light of an east-facing window. For more information on choosing houseplants for various lighting situations, visit http://www.bayeradvanced.com/garden/gardening/house-plants/.
• Use quality potting soil. Good potting soil (never use regular garden soil in containers) promotes healthy roots by providing a balance of proper aeration, nutrition and moisture-holding capability.
• Water properly. Houseplants need frequent watering. Stick your finger into the top two inches of soil. If it is dry, it's probably time to water. Water thoroughly, so the entire rootball is wet and the excess water runs out the bottom of the pot. Don't leave standing water in the catch tray for more than a day or two because that can promote root disease.
• Fertilize regularly. The frequent watering required by most houseplants leaches nutrients out of the soil. Be sure to fertilize regularly.
• Increase humidity and avoid drafts. Keep plants away from heater vents, doorways or drafty windows. Increase humidity by setting plants on trays layered with small pebbles and filled with water. Or place them in naturally humid areas like kitchens or bathrooms (but only if there is adequate light).
• Keep the foliage clean. Dust that accumulates on the leaves of houseplants will block light and harbor insect pests. Clean leaves by wiping them with a moist towel or, in mild winter areas, take plants outdoors and hose them off.
• Control insect pests. Many insect pests, including aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs and scales, can quickly get out of control on houseplants. You can keep them at bay with Bayer Advanced™ Dual Action Rose & Flower Insect Killer. Its two-way action kills insects on contact and keeps on protecting for weeks. One 24-ounce container treats 34 medium-size plants.