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Gardening

Throw Away Fake Plants, Grow These

 

Do you have fake plants or those dead decorative sticks in vases in your home? Do not ashamed to say yes but they have served you well and it is time to throw them away. This year, get rid of all artificial flowers even if they look real and start planting indoor plants.

Fake plants may be beautiful but not like the real thing. Most people shy away from adding greenery to their living rooms, bathrooms and bedrooms, thinking that plants belong outside, they may die or they require too much care.

However, having real plants in every room adds a touch of colour and helps to clean the air. If you have decided to try growing indoor plants, start with succulents. They are beautiful and they are unlikely to let you down.

Winnie Bwire, a plant lover says succulents are some of the most rewarding plants for indoor gardeners because they are tough, beautiful, and have interesting and varied foliage.

“My house plants have brought some sense of life into my home. They add warmth to the house and they don’t really require a lot of attention,” she says.

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Ms Bwire says plants can connect with people just like pets for instance, cats, dogs or ornamental fish.

“I believe one can connect with plants. When I am watering and pruning my outdoor and indoor plants, it is like feeding turtles, fish or a cat. The plants grow into you and after a while, they become a priority in your life especially when making decisions like travelling,” she says.

You can also go big with indoor flowers with large leaves like the Swiss cheese plant (monstera deliciosa) or Fiddle leaf fig or the giant white bird of paradise, which is a statement piece. Here are recommendations from Ms Bwire for beginners:

Aloe Vera

This plant is commonly used for medicinal purposes such as a skin moisturiser and to heal minor cuts and ease sunburn.

One important thing in the care of aloe vera is that they need proper light. The best soil for aloe vera is one that drains very quickly, and does not hold water so the pots should have plenty of drainage holes because the plants cannot tolerate standing water. There are different types of aloe vera so you can choose what appeals to your eye.

Jade plant

Even if you are the laziest gardener, it is hard to kill this plant. It is resilient and easy to grow indoors. With its thick, woody stems and oval-shaped leaves, jade plants have a miniature tree -like appearance. You will have to grow it in a small pot. They live a very long time, often reaching heights of three feet or more when grown indoors. These plants like warm, dry conditions found in most homes, they are not as drought tolerant as other succulent species, so keep the soil moist.

Mother in law’s tongue

This plant has stiff and very thick leaves.

They are also called Mother-in-Law’s tongue, snake tongue, and viper’s Bowstring-hemp.

It's called Mother-in-law's tongue because of its long, sharp, pointed leaves and because it lasts so long. These are long-lived, easy-care house plants.

The plant is tolerant of low light and it should be watered sparingly or it will rot.

Euphorbia ingens

It looks like cactus. So if you have naughty children, do not plant it or keep it away from their itchy hands. They are also called the candelabra tree, the cowboy cactus and the good luck cactus.

Place the euphorbia plant in a location that receives bright, direct sunlight and stays consistently warm and water them twice a week, letting the soil dry out completely between each watering.

Haworthia fasciata

Some people think this is aloe vera, but it is not. The Haworthia fasciata plant has green triangular leaves, with white stripes across it, giving it that “zebra” look. It generally does not grow flowers, but if the plant is grown under the perfect conditions it will shoot a long thin flower spike from the centre.

It is a great starter plant for your home or office or for those with a busy on-the-go lifestyle. The watering of the plants should be limited and prune these plants only to remove flower stalks or remove offsets.

Donkey's Tail

You will love this plant. It is showy and yet in a subtle way. Its leaves drape down a pot making it look like a work of art. It has rows of fleshy, tear-dropped shaped leaves. This plant is also commonly known as lamb's tail, burro's tail, or horse's tail.

They are easy to maintain, as they need direct light and limited watering.

Pencil cactus

If you grew up in rural areas, you must have had this pencil cactus grown by your parents or neighbours as a hedge. The plant releases cloudy/milky sap when cut. It looks old-fashioned and suited for outdoors but you can bring it indoors in an artistic pot. These plants require sun so they should be placed close to a window. Water it occasionally because it needs proper drainage to thrive.

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