Ask the plant folk #1

Ask the plant folk #1

Being a plant parent can sometimes be tricky, but we are always here to help!

Founder, Jo, is on hand to answer some of your most commonly-asked questions.

I really want to get a houseplant, but I’m worried I might forget to look after it! What can you recommend? – Lucy, Reading

Whilst you may think plants require a lot of upkeep, there are many that are very low maintenance and even thrive on the occasional neglect. Whether it’s low light levels or if you’re prone to forgetfulness and don’t remember to water it for weeks, the Snake Plant will still be alive and kicking. It’s a very tough plant and virtually unkillable, so should fit seamlessly into your demanding schedule.

My houseplant’s leaves are turning brown and wilting – what am I doing wrong? – Belinda, Bristol

This is most often a sign your green friend is feeling thirsty and needs a little more to drink. It’s easy to remedy, so don’t panic! Create a watering schedule and only water when the top two inches of water feel dry to touch - you don’t want to end up at the opposite end of the scale. Aim for little and often.  

I recently moved my Weeping Fig and now I’m regretting it massively as it has started to drop its leaves – what should I do? - Sam, Oxford

Plants can be sensitive souls and dropping leaves is usually a sign of shock. If you suddenly change the conditions they are used to – this isn’t just location, but also temperature and lighting – it can cause them a great deal of stress. The majority of the time, the shock is only temporary and in good time, provided you keep an eye on it, your plant should return to good health.

My fiddle leaf fig is growing quickly, but also looking a bit sad. Should I repot it? – India, Stoke Newington

If your fiddle leaf fig looks like it’s outgrowing its pot, it might be time to size up. Remove it gently from its current pot, separate the roots, and set the plant in its new bigger pot on a fresh layer of soil. Surround with more soil and water. We recommend re-potting during growing season (April to October) and moving up one pot size (2cm bigger).

I am a serial plant killer and I think it’s due to overwatering – how much is too much? – Howard, Cambridge

It’s very easy to kill a plant with kindness, we’ve all done it. Before watering, do the finger test – push your finger into the soil as far as you can – if the soil is damp, leave it for a few days. Drainage is vital too, don’t let your plants get soggy – placing a saucer under plants will allow excess water to drain away.

My best friend has been having a hard time, what plant would be good for cheering her up? – Maeve, Deal

Sorry to hear that, the good news is – plants make people happy! Plants are mini super heroes – they have incredible powers to make you feel great, improving your mood, reducing anxiety and even lowering blood pressure. Try sending your friend a Boston Fern, Golden Pothos or Peace Lily; she’ll love being a plant parent!