Plant-Care Glossary

The world of plant-care is filled with specific terms and words that can sometimes be a bit confusing. We have put together a list of some of the most common lingo to clear things up and make looking after your indoor jungle as simple and rewarding as it should be!

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Getting To Grips With Plant-Care Lingo

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The world of plant-care is filled with specific terms and words that can sometimes be a bit confusing. We have put together a list of some of the most common lingo to clear things up and make looking after your indoor jungle as simple and rewarding as it should be!

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Blanched/Scorched Leaves

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In the world of houseplants, blanching doesn’t refer to a cooking technique, but the fading or crisping of leaves when they are over-exposed to sunlight. This is particularly common in plants like ferns and Calathea who prefer to be out of direct sunlight.

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Dormancy

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When temperatures cool down and there is less sunlight in autumn/winter, some plants go into periods of rest that enables their regrowth the next year - this is called dormancy. Leaf fall is normal in these times and you can reduce regular watering.

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Caladiums and Alocasia Polly are examples of plants that have dormancy periods each year. 

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Humidity

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Humidity is simply a measure of how much water vapour there is in the air. Indoor plants, especially those originating from tropical environments thrive in humid conditions, whilst others do not enjoy it as they cannot absorb water through their leaves in the same way. 

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Our top <a href="https://www.leafenvy.co.uk/blogs/planthacks/how-to-increase-humidity-for-your-houseplants">humidity tips</a> include misting, using a humidifier or place your plant on a pebble water tray. 

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Light Conditions

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Bright Light/Direct Sun: These are light conditions where direct sunbeams hit the plant for most of the day, such as on the sill of a sunny window. 

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Medium-light/dappled light/bright indirect: These terms pretty much mean the same kind of light conditions: out of direct sunbeams, or a shady spot with a few sunbeams that create a dappled effect. Plants that enjoy these conditions include Calatheas and Fiddle Leaf Figs.

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Low light: As you might expect, low light just means no direct sunlight! Crucially, this doesn’t mean zero light, just a good few inches away from a window. Plants that can handle these conditions include Pothos and Peace-Lilys.

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Over/Under-Watering

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It can be easy to harm your plants by overwatering them. This can involve simply adding too much water, but also can occur if your plant isn’t getting enough sunlight for the soil to dry out properly in between watering. 

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This can be avoided by making sure to water when the top few inches of the soil are dry, using a planter with drainage holes, and making sure your plant is getting enough sunlight.

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Underwatering is simply a matter of your plant not receiving enough water. Plants are pretty good at telling you when they’re thirsty, for example, if their soil is bone-dry and their leaves are sagging or drooping. 

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Our top watering tips are <a href="https://www.leafenvy.co.uk/blogs/planthacks/5-watering-tips-for-happy-healthy-plants">here</a>.

 

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Pests

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Unfortunately, indoor plants can sometimes attract small bugs that feed off your plant and can cause damage. 

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<a href="https://www.leafenvy.co.uk/blogs/planthacks/how-to-get-rid-of-spidermites-houseplant-pests">Spider Mites</a> and <a href="https://www.leafenvy.co.uk/blogs/planthacks/how-to-get-rid-of-mealybugs-white-powder-pests-on-my-houseplants">Mealybugs</a> are common houseplant pests that can be easily removed if you spot them in time. 

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Propagate

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Propagation is a rewarding way to grow new plant babies from your existing plant. There are three main ways to propagate: tip cutting, stem cutting and division, depending on the type of plant you’re working with. 

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Our simplified guide to propagating your indoor plants is <a href="https://www.leafenvy.co.uk/blogs/planthacks/how-to-propagate-your-plant">here</a>.

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Prune

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Pruning is a way of selectively cutting back parts of a plant to improve plant health and awakening buds on the stems so your plant grows bushier. 

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Repot

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As the word suggests repotting refers to upsizing the pot that your plant is in, but it can also mean just refreshing the soil or potting mix that surrounds the plant itself. 

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Spring is the best time to get repotting. Check out our guide to repotting <a href="https://www.leafenvy.co.uk/blogs/planthacks/how-to-repot-a-plant">here</a>!

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