Going back to work and worried about how to care your houseplant? Here are 7 simple tips to make sure your plants stay alive while you’re gone. 

75% of 16-24 year olds are now houseplant owners. Indoor plants are thought to have a positive effect on mental health and wellbeing, and a snapshot of greenery is a sure way to get you some Instagram likes. But if you’re one of these new plant parents during lockdown, you might be worried about keeping your new leafy family alive when you return to work.

Keeping your plants healthy, growing and blooming can be a challenge while you’re away, so apartment rental brand Essential Living has rustled together 7 healthy houseplant hacks to keep your plant alive and thriving on your return to work (even if you lack a green thumb). Read on to find out how to care for your houseplant post-lockdown:

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1. Give your plants the correct amount of water

The obvious answer to how to care for your houseplant is to ensure that’s it’s getting the correct amount of water. When returning to work an obvious solution to keeping your plants hydrated would be to overwater. Doing this can potentially damage the plant’s root and prevent growth, so as an alternative we suggest your soil is moist, but not wet. 

If your plant leaves begin to turn brown and wilt, this is a clear sign of over watering. To check your plant’s hydration level, place your finger into the soil –  if there is a lot of soil sticking to your finger, then the plant doesn’t need watering and if there is no soil on your finger, this suggests your plant needs more water. Simple! 

2. Choose a plant that’s easy to care for

If you are yet to pick the perfect plant for your home, then choosing a plant that requires minimal effect is the best solution. There are a large variety of indoor plants that don’t need regular attention, for example the snake plant and spider plant. Find an indoor plant to match your busy work schedule. 

3. Remember to clean your houseplants

On return to work you may find yourself with a lot less time to focus on your plants, they may even begin to catch dust. Dust on your plants prevents sunlight from reaching them, which will have an impact on growth. 

Using a damp cloth or fluffy duster, clean your plant leaves once a month but remember to be extra cautious, you don’t want to damage the leaves through being heavy handed. 

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4. Make sure your home is the right temperature

You may find that when returning to work the temperature of your home may alter, heating systems have the tendency to dry the air. And although most indoor plants prefer slightly warmer surroundings, being placed near a heating system can cause plant leaves to dry up and go brown. 

An easy way to increase the humidity for your plant is to create a pebble tray. Add clean pebbles into a shallow water-filled tray and place your plant on top, the water will gradually evaporate around the plant. Ensure that you never leave your greenery on or near a heated radiator! 

5. Find the perfect plant location and keep it

When returning to work you may begin to worry about the exposure of sunlight your indoor plant is getting. Plants have the ability to acclimate themselves to their surroundings, so it’s more safe that you don’t move them around a lot. Each plant classification is different, so research into your chosen plant to find their ideal living environment. 

6. Avoid using common fertilisers

While you’re working and have less time to care for your indoor plants, it’s best to keep them growing as slowly as possible. Fertilisers increase the growth speed of your indoor plants. If however you do want to see results fast, then consider creating a makeshift greenhouse by watering your plant thoroughly and covering your plant with a clear plastic back with holes in for circulation.

7. Reduce light exposure

Try moving your plants away from windows when you return to work, so that photosynthesise is reduced therefore the plant will require less moisture. However don’t move your indoor plant into a dark corner, just move a little back from the window. A great location to store your plants in a bathroom, as it provides humidity and moisture for your plant. 

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Nick Woodward, Head of Lettings at Essential Living said: We have seen an increase in apartment living amongst younger generations as they seem to recognise the potential lifestyle and financial benefits of renting. We encourage our residents to make their apartments as comfortable as possible and this has been even more important during the UK lockdown.”