5 secrets to keeping your plants alive from Plant Love Afrika

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Sediye Machaba, owner of Plant Love Afrika shares a few tips that will help make plant parenting a whole lot easier.
Sediye Machaba, owner of Plant Love Afrika shares a few tips that will help make plant parenting a whole lot easier.
Supplied/Sediye Machaba

The joys of plants go beyond adding a stylish touch to your home – they are also good for your health.

Studies have shown a bit of greenery can boost your mood, reduce stress and fatigue, ease sore throats and colds, cleanse the air from toxins, as well as increase humidity and oxygen in a room.

There are so many reasons to become a plant parent, but maybe you’re afraid you weren't born with green fingers. 

Help is on its way, as Drum chats to the owner of Plant Love Afrika, Sediye 'Mma'mablomo' Machaba who shares some foolproof tips to make your plant-growing attempts a success.

From providing the right amount of light to choosing the best plants and watering techniques, here's what you need to know.

Only buy plants you love

The fastest way to kill your plants is to overwhelm yourself with too many. Resist the urge to buy every plant you see at the supermarket.

If you see one you like, take a picture of the name, research its care and growth requirements. If you think you can provide for it fully, then buy it.

Very often people buy plants they later forget about because they just can’t keep up with their care needs or they realise the plant doesn’t quite fit into their home décor style. Adequate research beforehand will help you select only plants that you absolutely love.

Water less, love more

Many new plant parents are so eager to care for their green babies that they end up over-watering. Little do they know that plants are likely to die more from over-hydration than dehydration.

Before you pick up the watering can, make sure the plant is actually thirsty.

Check if it’s time to water by inserting half your finger past the topsoil. If there’s damp soil that sticks to your finger, postpone watering by a few days. If your finger comes out dry, then this is a good time to water. 

Read more | Why self-care is important - plus tips

Open the windows and curtains

Plants need light to grow but most indoor plants don’t like to be placed in direct sunlight. They prefer bright, indirect light.

Place your plants in an area close to or opposite a light source. Artificial light works too, but nothing beats the warmth and phytochemicals from the sun.

Opening the windows will also ensure good air circulation so your plant can purify the air.

Clean your plants

A good way to ensure you don’t have pest problems is to add cleaning to your plant care routine.

Cleaning your plants is easy – a simple microfiber cloth with some water will go a long way in keeping pests and dust at bay.

If you encounter pests, remove them immediately with some liquid detergent or neem oil.

Learn how to grow your own plants

The technique of creating new plants from your existing plant collection is called propagation.

It’s a relatively easy procedure that can be achieved using just water or soil. Take a stem cutting, place it in water or soil until roots develop, and then plant the rooted cutting into a pot or the ground.

It’s a satisfying journey that will allow you to personally witness the beauty of growing and cultivating your very own plants.

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