Everyone loves some cute succulents or a forest of ferns to brighten up an office. But if you're like most people keeping them alive can be a struggle (see the Top 10 easiest indoor plants). And fake plastic plants don't look half as good, are sometimes more expensive and don't provide the same benefits of cleaning the air.
General Rule: Everyone is responsible for the plants on their desk.
If that is a worry – just let the designated person know who will take care of them as well as other plants in the common areas and do the seasonal activities like fertilising for all plants.
Here's a handy guide to help you on your path of plant ownership!
Watering: RULE OF THUMB for indoor plants: Water ONCE a week.
- medium plants, one full stainless steel water bottle (500ml)
- large plants, two bottles (1 litre)
- small plants, ½ a bottle (250ml)
Water near the stem of the large plants to stay within the inner pot
More plants are killed by over-watering than under-watering so check to see if your plant needs to be watered.
- The best way to do this is simply push your finger into the soil to the second knuckle, and if the soil feels dry, water the plant and if it feels moist, don't.
- If the tips of leaves are browning, chances are it is being over watered!
- Never let your plant sit in a saucer of water as it can kill the plant.
Dust: One of the challenges with indoor plants is an accumulation of dust on their foliage. A simple solution is to put them outside in the rain for a wash. Plants love it! Otherwise large leaves can be wiped over with a damp cloth.
Dead leaves: Please remove dead leaves etc. when you notice them – when we get a compost bin, they can be put in there.
Fertilizer: This will be done a few times a year with a solution that will take the place of the weekly watering.
Repotting: Will be done when necessary.
Pests: Scale and mealy bug. These are two common pests that affect indoor plants, particularly if the plants are under stress. Scale can be identified as tiny brown inanimate lumps. If only a few are present, they can be scratched/wiped off. However, if the plant is thoroughly infected the designated person will use “eco oil”.
The UoM Grounds Team have once again made available a steady stream of plastic plant pots for reuse. Staff and students are welcome to take the plant pots home. The pots are located in two wooden fruit crates on the side of Building 165: Chemical Engineering - near the Community Garden.