Alan Titchmarsh advises gardeners on watering their plants
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Houseplant popularity boomed during lockdown with searches up by nearly 100 percent compared to this time last year, according to Uswitch. But as radiators remain on and open fires burn, there is a risk that Britons’ homes could be killing houseplants. RHS Flower Show judge and expert Tom Brown has shared his top tips for looking after houseplants during the winter months and which plants are best for which rooms.
The plant expert and Head Gardener at West Dean Gardens, said houseplants are not as difficult as people think they are to look after.
He continued: “Our homes have become increasingly important to us and a space which has a big impact on our mood and wellbeing.
“Houseplants offer us so much and they’re not as difficult as you might think to look after.
“Good insulation and a consistent temperature are important when growing plants in our homes, if you think about it – their needs aren’t much different to our own.
“During the winter months, our homes and indoor spaces become even more important to us.
“Houseplants offer a huge amount of benefit to us in many ways from improving air quality, boosting our mood and wellbeing as well as increasing our productivity as we work from home.”
Mr Brown said many Britons have had house plant “horror stories” but that it’s all about understanding how they work and what they need.
He said the most common way Britons kill their houseplants is by “killing them with kindness”.
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He added: “Over-watering during the winter is the biggest killer.”
The gardening expert said the best way to gauge whether your plant needs watering is by putting your finger into a pot.
“If it feels moist – don’t water, it’s easy to revive a dry plant, almost impossible to resurrect a sodden one,” he added.
So what are the best plants for your kitchen?
Kitchens are often the brightest and coolest room in the home, so a plant has to be hardy enough to survive the cooler temperatures and bright light.
Mr Brown said the plants need to be sun-lovers that don’t get too thirsty.
He also said they need to be happy on a well-lit windowsill and tolerant of higher temperatures and humidity that comes from cooking.
The gardening expert said the best plant for the kitchen and the easiest to look after is a Pothos plant.
Next, he suggested a Spider plant, followed by herbs, Aloe vera and a money plant.
What are the best plants for the bathroom?
Bathrooms tend to have low levels of light but higher levels of humidity.
They are often smaller rooms where plants are crammed between toiletries.
Mr Brown recommended the Mother in laws tongue as the best plant for the bathroom followed by the Pothos plant.
He then suggested ivy, a Peace Lily and a Moth Orchid.
Sarah Broomfield, an energy expert at Uswitch.com, said when the weather is cooler, it’s best to try and heat your home efficiently.
She explained: “During cold weather, it is important to heat your home efficiently but taking care over how you use your heating could have the added advantage of helping your houseplants to thrive too.
“Also consider if you really need to set your thermostat so high. Keeping the temperature down by just one degree could reduce your bills by £80 a year.”
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