Greening your home to fight the winter blues.


By Rachel Gleeson
for The Village Observer May 2021

It is my opinion that you can never have too many plants in your home! I find that plants are a wonderous ever changing part of my surroundings that make me feel comfortable and at one with nature (without having to step outside!)

For many of us the winter months can be quite challenging in regard to how much time we are able to spend outside. It is often too dark, cold, rainy or just downright miserable to be out there which can sometimes feel quite depressing.

This is when indoor plants come into play. It is a fact that plants contribute to sustaining our air quality and also positively contributing to our state of mind!

Many people seem to think that growing plants inside their home is a difficult task. This is not so. There are many suitable plants that can overcome the challenge of air conditioning/heating, low light levels and even neglect.


Most plants that thrive indoors are species that originate from tropical environments. They thrive in shade/bright light and enjoy similar temperatures to us humans.

Make sure you do a little research on what plants would suit the unique conditions of your home. Dont just go by the label as often these are very vague and include as many aspects as possible so as to sell more plants! Ask for advice at your local nursery or if you are unable to do this there is a lot of information online.

Light level/aspect... All plants need light to grow. Most shade/indoor plants thrive in high levels of indirect light. If you are unable to provide this for your plant, you can use artificial light provided by LED lighting in your home. Simply position under a decorative lamp or a spotlight for a minimum of 12 hrs a day (use a timer if necessary). The LED light will provide the necessary spectrums of light that the sun naturally provides (blue and red). These will enable your plant to grow.

Airflow... Good airflow keeps a plant dust and bug free. In nature the wind and rain wash away pests and keep leaves clean. To mimic this regularly open doors/use fans to create airflow. Wipe the surface of large leaves clean to remove dust and keep an eye out for bugs especially on the underside of leaves. Mealy bugs are a very common pest that occur on indoor plants (look like small white cobwebs on the underside of leaves.) Remove with a cotton bud or spray with white oil/mild soapy water.

Watering…On average most indoor plants require watering once a week. You can extend this time by using pots with ‘water wells’ which have a reservoir of water in the base, which is great if you travel, are time poor or simply forgetful! These are a great time saver!

Fertilise your plants every couple of months by adding soluble fertiliser to your watering jug.

happy gardening!