Put them out or keep them in, but do look after them, says Ruth

I know we are in the full glory of summer and all our attentions are directed towards the garden, but that’s no excuse for neglecting our houseplants.

Like their outside relatives, they will be growing and thriving now so they need just as much care. They are also vulnerable to pests taking advantage of open windows and the safe havens of our homes, so make sure yours are strong and healthy.

Here are a few quick top tips for happy houseplants:

Keep deadheading houseplants and they will create more buds

Plants are growing and flowering so keep them tidy and healthy, and blooming for as long as possible, by removing spent flowers and brown leaves.

Houseplants are just as susceptible to pests as their outdoor cousins, so keep them safe and healthy

Pests are a threat so check plants and remove colonies by hand or use a spray if infestations are bad.

Sit houseplant pots on a bed of gravel that is kept constantly damp to raise humidity around the leaves

Standing a plant on a tray of damp gravel helps keep pests at bay, especially glasshouse red spider mites that thrive in still, dry conditions.

Spider plants are easy to propagate and are great for helping purify the air

Spiderplants help purify the air so use the offshoots to make more – they’re a great gift for university students in your life! Pot them up in compost and either keep them attached to the parent or cut them free, and they will soon root.

Wiping the leaves removes dust and pets and maximises their access to natural light for photosynthesis

Wipe off dust and debris from the plant leaves and spray with tepid water every few days to create a humid micro-climate and deter sap-sucking pests such as glasshouse red spider mites.

Misting plants with water helps create healthy humidity around the leaves

Some houseplants can be moved outside for the summer, where they will be washed by the rain and will thrive in the natural light and warmth. Acclimatise them slowly, started them somewhere shaded before moving them into sunlight.

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If they start to react badly, bring them back in and remember – they will be just as susceptible to garden pests as any other plant so keep an eye on them and treat anything untoward immediately.

 

Let’s keep gardening!

One of the great things about lockdown was that more people discovered the joy of gardening and growing things and we greatly hope that this won’t wear off now that ‘normal’ life has resumed.

This blog is an insight into what the AG team is up in their gardens, what we like to grow, what we pick and harvest, what’s worked for us and what hasn’t – because like everyone, things go wrong for us too!

Our gardening ‘agony uncle’ John Negus is also still working hard. Send him your problems and questions, with pictures if you can, and he will get back to you with an answer within 24 hours, as he has been doing for decades. Contact him using the AG email address at: amateurgardening@futurenet.com

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We already have thriving Facebook page but are also on Twitter and Instagram. These sites are a brilliant way of chatting to people, sharing news, information, pictures and just saying hello –we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Best of all, as gardeners are generally lovely folk, more interested in plants, hedgehogs, tea and cake than political shenanigans and point-scoring, so the chat is friendly and welcoming.

You can find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/AmateurGardeningMagazine

Twitter: Twitter.com/TheAGTeam

Instagram: instagram.com/amgardening_mag

So please drop by, follow us, ‘like’ our posts and say hello –we will reply as soon as we can. Happy gardening!