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How to care for your LARGE House Plants

Taking care of your indoor trees from the offset!

Taking care of your large house plants from buying until they're many years old, is easy when you know how, we'll let you know what to look below.

In our earlier article we covered the most popular varieties of large house plants or 'Indoor Trees' if you missed that article CLICK HERE to read all that useful information

Must Know care tips 

In order to know how best to look after your indoor tree first look at the colour of the indoor tree’s leaves. As with all house plants the more variegated the plant, the lighter its position needs to be. Let us explain if the leaf is all green it has more of an area to produce chlorophyll, this is the what makes a leaf green and produces the energy a plant needs to grow and be healthy.  So if the leaves are all green it can cope with less light, where as if the plant is varigated if it has the white parts in the leaves, they adds to the beauty of the plant but these white, cream or yellow parts do not produce the chlorophyll - so they need to be in a sunnier spot so the green parts have enough light to produce all the energy needed for the whole plant.

Foliage plants should never be placed in direct sunlight otherwise the leaves will scorch, this does rather depend on the time of year and how strong the sun, but consider how you'd feel if you were in the position your plant is consantly would you scorch?

The larger and thicker the trunk, the easier the plant is to look after. As with any tree the trunk stores water - too much moisture can even lead to the trunk rotting. Generally speaking the plant should be watered regularly with water at room temperature, and standing water should be avoided. A shower in the form of some rain is an option in spring and summer by placing the plant outdoors briefly. After all, that’s what happens in nature.
Leave any yellow or ugly leaves to dry out and then remove. If an indoor tree has become too tall or less attractive, it can be pruned, preferably during the months when there is less sunlight. They can sometimes also flower, particularly if they are subjected to some ‘loving neglect’ it's your plants way of saying look at me, i'm beautiul give me attention and don't let me die, this can be used to your advantage with some plant - such as getting orchids to reflower after a stage of dormancy, however with your houseplants that aren't grown for their flowering it's a 'tap on the shoulder' to reconsider their care routine before it's too late.

Houseplant food once a month is recommended to help indoor trees last a long time.

Just to be totally clear, indoor trees are purely decorative and not for consumption.

What to look for when buying indoor trees? 

  • When buying plants with trunks it’s important to check how well the plants are rooted in the pot. In general the roots must have grown all the way to the bottom of the pot to have a successful, healthy plant.  

  • Also check the pot size in relation to the number of heads per trunk or trunks per pot, the shape of the trunk, the height/length of the plant and the age of the plant. Apart from Beaucarnea commonly know as the elephant's foot for obvious reasons, which is supplied in a pot which is only slightly larger than the plant, the other indoor trees need a pot with some growing room.

  • Most plants on trunks come in various forms: single trunk, top cutting, clump (several plants of one species in a pot), branched (2 or more side branches on main trunk), with underplanting, stump or mummies (coarse natural trunk shapes).

  • There should be no dried (brown) leaf tips longer than 5 mm. 

  • The plant needs to be free of diseases and pests: with these kinds of woody trunks look particularly for mealybug, brown scale and scale insects, and possibly banana moth (larvae) in the trunks. Look at the underside of the leaves, does anything look wrong, can you see scales? do the leave appear to have soot on them? are they sticky to the touch? is there a cotton wool type apprearance on the plant at all? and of course can you see any pests? these are all tale tale signs of diseases, pests and problems

  • The top of the trunk must be sealed with wax or something similar in order to prevent rot from moisture or the penetration of water. Most indoor trees are sensitive to cold – don’t let the temperature drop below 12-15°C. 

Production of indoor trees 

Most ‘greenery on a trunk’ is produced in Central America in countries like Guatemala and Costa Rica; some also comes from China. The trunks are shipped to the Netherlands in sea containers, after which they are ‘finished’ at a nursery. Often there are virtually no roots on the plant when it arrives. Within a few months the plants will have grown roots and produced a fabulous array of foliage at the top in many colours, shapes and sizes, depending on the species and cultivar.  

Do you know

  • Many plants with trunks have air-purifying qualities, particularly when the indoor tree is quite substantial. They really do make the room a better place to be, and not just because they make it look better!

  • The strong shape, appearance and easy care mean that plants with trunks are an all round fabulous additions to many places, they're really striking and as we've already mentioned they're improve the air quality of a room, they're particularly good in a office. 

  • To make indoor trees more attractive, the trunk can be somewhat ‘dressed’, obviously the plant is ideal just as it is, however should you wish the wooden trunks can be given all sorts of colours with natural paint, lending a trendy look to the indoor tree, particularly when combined with an attractive container. 
How to care of your house plants
Taking care of your indoor trees from the offset!

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