I never had indoor plants before. Are there disadvantages to having indoor plants in a dusty environment?

If the plant is a creeper, is there a way that I can clean its leaves? Probably by spraying water on the whole plant, but that might spoil the walls!

Whenever we have to put water in the flowerpots are we supposed to take it out of house every time?


The only disadvantages that occur to me are: (1) they require regular attention (feeding and watering), (2) need someone to take care of them when you are away on holiday, (3) outgrow their pots, become root-bound and need to be potted on, and (4) sometimes flourish so well that they eventually require a pot that is too large for the situation in which they are placed (eg a narrow window shelf).

Certainly, the leaves of some species, such as aspidistras and rubber plants, need to be cleaned occasionally, because they are fairly broad and accumulate dust, and this is easily done by wiping them gently with a damp cloth. Spraying before removing the dust is not a good idea, as the dust won't all be removed and, over time, is likely to form a 'skin' on the leaf surface, which will reduce the amount of light it receives.

It's important to water pot plants thoroughly (until water drains out of the bottom of the pot), otherwise they will be encouraged to surface-root in search of water and become stressed. You can stand your pots in the sink to drain them after watering and then place them on trays or, if small pots, on saucers.

When I started keeping house plants, I found the following guide invaluable; I would strongly recommend it - if it isn't available where you are, you could probably order it online: "The New House Plant Expert", by Dr.D.G.Hessayon (pbi Publications). The one I have was published in 1996, but there is likely to be a more up-to-date edition. Good luck with your indoor gardening!

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    I would probably add keeping an eye for disease/pests from new plants. Also, overwatering is far too easy to do. Jun 25 '11 at 19:10
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    @Anisha 'outgrow their pots' means that they grow too big for their pots;'become root-bound' = if you allow a plant to grow for too long in a container that is too small for it, its roots become tangled and grow in circles; they take up the entire space in the pot and so are unable to find the necessary food and water in the potting compost (=special soil mixture used for indoor plants) for the plant to grow normally. The plant needs to be 'potted on'(= moved into a larger pot). I assume that by 'mud' you mean 'potting compost', which you can buy at your local garden centre. I hope this helps. Jul 3 '11 at 1:21

Creepers could be a problem if you are trying to grow one without support and not in a hanging basket, as they would get untidy/cover the item they are sitting on.

Oh, just saw your question about watering.

I don't think that people typically move plants outside to water them. Myself, I have a drain tray (cannot remember the precise term) below all of my indoor plants. This allows me to water so as to allow some water to exit the bottom without immediately soaking the surface it's on. Other people I know will bring their plants - usually the large tree-type ones - into the bath to water them.

You just want to make sure that your plants are not sitting in the water that drained out of them. There are exceptions to this, as there are plants that prefer to be quite wet, but it's generally a good to to keep an eye on. You will otherwise risk root rot.


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