Love those greens but can’t figure out how not to kill them? TIHG to the rescue! We bring to you 4 Green Experts sharing all their care tips for a plant that they cherish. Replete with practical advice, these tips are your invaluable cheat code into growing healthier greens and making your home even more refreshingly energizing.
1. Ann Mathew (@geeksofgreen )
My Green: Stromanthe Thalia ‘Triostar’
The stunning Stromanthe Thalia ‘Triostar’ is among one of my favourites as it has the loveliest foliage with patches of cream, pink, and greens. Every leaf of this plant can move based on sun exposure. It spreads out its leaves to soak the morning sun. The leaves become upright when the midday sun is too harsh. As the evening sets in, it closes up revealing the stunning red undersides of the leaves. This plant is as finicky as it is beautiful so here are a few tips that have helped me grow a healthy Triostar.
Humidity: Ensure you keep this plant in a humid spot. If you live in a dry city, it would be a good idea to set it on a tray of pebbles filled with water or set a few jars filled with water around it so that the water evaporates around the plant making the spot it sits in more humid. If you take humidity very seriously, you could even invest in a good humidifier.
Light: Keep it away from direct light. Indirect bright light or direct light filtered through a sheer curtain or windowpane is all this plant needs. Too much light and the leaves will crisp, too little, and you might lose the striking variegation.
Water: It is best if you water this plant with soft water. If you are using tap water, it is best to let the water sit overnight to let the chlorine evaporate. Ideally, you could use distilled water or reverse osmosis filtered water. Keep the soil moist and not overly wet and let the top layer dry before you water again.
Keep these conditions met and, your Stromanthe Triostar will have very little to complain about, and it will thrive under your care.
2. Sarthoki Erica Banerjee (@botanigurl )
My Green: Calatheas
One of my favourite plants are Calatheas. They have beautiful foliage, one of the best in the business. With paint-like strokes and vivid colours, they are a showstopper plant irrespective of where you place them. Taking care of them can be tricky but with the right routine, they can be tamed.
Soil: A well-draining mix of potting soil and coco peat will be optimum. Add some perlite if available as Calatheas don’t like to sit in waterlogged soil.
Light: They prefer medium to low indirect sunlight. Do not keep them in direct light as it will burn their leaves.
Water: Keep the soil ‘moist’ but not ‘wet’. Avoid waterlogging. A good soaking once a week seems to work well for Indian weather.
Food: Fertilize once a month during spring and summer. Do not use fertilizer during winter months.
Propagation: A Calathea can be propagated most successfully through root separation. Separate the secondary plant from the mother plant and repot in a small pot. Keep indoors till the sapling acclimatizes.
To avoid issues with your Calatheas, be alert while purchasing them and check the plants for these problematic signs:
Brown edges- Underwatered
Pale or drooping leaves–Overwatered
Other than that, you need to prune the plant regularly for healthy foliage. Cleaning the leaves with a wet cloth allows the plant to breathe and shine. And repotting can be done once a year.
3. Shelley Caruana (@shelleys.indoor.jungle )
My Green: Maranta Leuconeura
– The Maranta Leuconeura as an indoor plant is a fast grower with gorgeous, colourful foliage.
– It is a prayer plant, so at night it folds up its leaves like it’s praying, and during the day, it’s leaves droop down
– They are not too difficult to maintain. They don’t like drying out too much and don’t like direct light. Ideally it should be placed in moderate-bright light, a few feet from a South or West-facing window.
– It is susceptible to pests so check foliage regularly just in case
– It is very easy to propagate in water or directly in soil if you take a cutting below the node – check out some YouTube video tutorials on how to do this.
4. Raina Kashyap (@amateurplantlady_ )
My Green: Zz Plant
Soil: This plant likes very well-drained soil and it likes to stay on the dryer side. Using perlite and sand in the soil mixture works great as they drain the soil well and don’t keep it moist for a long time.
Water: They store water in their root bulbs for a longer period and so they are recommended to be watered once 10-12 days. It will also survive if not watered for 15-17 days and they like to stay in medium to low light. Overwatering will kill this plant by root rot.
Speciality: It’s the best plant for someone who likes to travel and wants to keep plants but is scared to keep them. Zz doesn’t need any care, a very well-draining soil, medium-light and thorough watering only when the soil is dry completely. It’s a slow-growing plant but when it shoots new stem, it’s worth the wait.
Propagation: This is one of the easiest plants to propagate. Just take a healthy stem cutting (leaves too) and put the bottom 2-3 inch into water. Change water in every 4-5 days. It takes couple of weeks to show signs of white roots and months to show bulbs but it’s worth the wait? Wait till the bulbs are formed completely and a new shoot starts showing up before repotting it into soil.