I have enough plants, said no one ever! And so we started adorning our interior space too with plants, to be close to nature year-round. However, indoor gardening brings with it a lot of queries about what plants to choose, where to place them, and how to care for them. So here we are with our workshop based on indoor greenery.
Want to grow your own indoor plants? Then dive into our Workshop on “Indoor Plants and their care” with our speaker Sanni Kumar, an enthusiastic plant lover who developed this hobby in search of a companion in his empty house. You can learn more about him through his Instagram page:
Sunny and his tips for growing indoor plants:
“Hello, everyone. Welcome to another workshop by TAOS. Today we have with us Mr. Sunny Kumar, who will tell us today about indoor plants: suitable plants for the same, how to take care of them, etc. So, let’s start without any further delay. So, how did your journey start?”
“Well, most people would say they inherited it from their parents or ancestors. So, my case is also the same. My father used to grow veggies, fruits, and even flowering plants. I started growing seasonal plants and vegetables from there. In 2019, I shifted to Mumbai, where I learned about indoor plants. Gradually I kept growing more plants, and I have spent more than two years growing indoor plants now,” said Sunny.
“How did your father react to this concept of indoor plants?”
“He is not very aware of indoor plants, but I keep sending him pictures occasionally, and he is also happy seeing so many plants in my house.”
“So, which plant are we starting with today?”
“The first plant I grew here, Philodendron Squamiferum. I propagated many from the mother plants as well. They need indirect sunlight; I have been growing this one for two years. This plant is not very common in people’s places like Pothos. So, this can be a good addition. It is very easy to grow and can be grown hydroponically as well.”
“Did you use anything to grow them hydroponically?”
“I used leca balls for the purpose. Last year only, I learned about hydroponics, and since then, I have grown quite a good number of plants in this method.”
“Do you use any liquid fertilizer?”
“People generally do, but I don’t. I use some nutrients with the water, and that serves the purpose.”
“What if someone is not having that? What other alternative can he use?”
“There are liquid fertilizers available online, such as the seaweed fertilizer. I won’t recommend fish fertilizer since it will keep smelling.”
“When growing in Leca, should we like put the cutting in Leca, or wait for the cutting to grow roots in water and then transfer them to Leca?”
“Some people do directly put it in Leca before rooting. However, I wait for the sapling to grow roots first in water and then transfer them to Leca.”
“Now, if you are growing indoor plants, keep certain things in mind:
- What plant you are willing to grow.
- What is the light condition in your house, etc.
Here I have a kind of Pothos, Marvel queen, that I have grown in Leca balls. The growth of this plant will depend upon the amount of light that you will provide it. If you find problems like brownish leaves or reduced growth, try shifting your leaves to better lighting conditions.”
“Do you use grow lights?”
“Not really. I have good sunlight in my place. Additionally, I have normal led lights, which is enough for the purpose.”
“How long do you give your plants exposure to this artificial light?”
“About 10-12 hours a day.”
“Let’s move on to the next plant,” said Ishika.
“The next one in line is also pretty common, Zi-zi Raven. The green variant of the plant is also very common. You can grow this plant in any corner of your house. You can keep them in very low light, and still, it will sustain. However, the growth will be slow.”
“All the plants that you have shown so far can be propagated?”
“Yes, all of them. You can grow the ZiZi plant from just a single leaf. In about a month and a half, it’ll start forming a Rhizome, and then roots will develop. You will have a new plant in about six months.”
“The next plant is Calathea Burle-Marx. It is also similar in growth pattern to Zi-Zi. It is again a common plant that you can find in a nursery and grow easily in any corner of the house. I have propagated this plant.
Apart from Zi-zi, I have also propagated a fiddle-leaf fig plant from a single leaf, and it is almost one year old now. Many people propagate it from its stem. In the case of a leaf, just cut a small part of the stem as well, and put it in a propagation jar. You will start getting results in about a month.”
“Please do tell us about the plants that are kept behind you,” said Ishika.
“Sure. The first one is an Anthurium Magneficum hybrid. Anthuriums need slightly high humidity, so it is best if you can provide that. I grow it on my balcony. In winter, I shift them indoors and use humidifiers on them. Currently, it has a single leaf since I have cut the previous ones as they had become old. It is better to remove the old leaves since it will then focus its energy on growing new ones.
Now, I have an Alocasia plant, which is also propagated. When it gets old, you will find many baby plants around it. I have grown it hydroponically from one of those baby plants. You can see that I have kept it in a small transparent container. Now, algae may develop in sunlight when you are growing them in Leca. You can also grow it in soil.”
“You have purchased these plants from Mumbai itself?”
“No, I have bought most of them online, actually.”
“Which indoor plant did you start with?”
“I bought a Philodendron Squarmiferum from a nursery which is still with me. I had a dieffenbachia at that time. I had as well bought a palm-looking indoor plant at that time as well.”
“Can we judge ourselves which plants will grow well indoors? Are there any criteria which are similar in them?”
“There are no specifications like that. There are no plants that are solely indoor plants. It is just that they are able to grow indoors. So, do collect information on the plant, whether it is capable of growing indoors or not. If suppose they are in needed f too much sunlight, you can’t grow them indoors. You might even need to experiment and observe how well a plant is adapting to a given situation; that is also important. After all, every house has a different environment.”
“You also have terrariums. Which plants do you prefer for terrariums?”
“There are some very common plants that can be made into a terrarium. Such includes all kinds of ferns, figs, fittonia, small orchids, etc. Any plant which likes high humidity can grow in a terrarium.”
“How often do we need to change water if we grow them in Leca or water?”
“I do not change the water. I let the Leca soak the entire water, and then I add more. I use nutrient water, which the Leca would soak. So, there’s no need to change it at all.”
“Okay. So, let’s move on to the next plant.”
“The next one is an Angel wing Begonia, named after the pattern of its wings. It is commonly found in nurseries and can be grown hydroponically. I grow it on the balcony, where there is good lighting condition. In low light, the size of its leaves will shrink, and its growth will be stunted. There is a snake plant I have, which is naturally a slow grower. It is a succulent that can grow in low-light areas. Then, I have a begonia maculate, which is a bit rare in India. For this plant, never let the soil run dry,” said Sunny.
“You have mentioned you have many plants at your home. What schedule do you follow for their maintenance?”
“I maintain this statement that if you have many plants at home, do not have fixed schedules for your plants. I spend some time, around half an hour, to an hour, with my plants in the morning and also whenever I get time throughout the day.”
“Any special tips to take care of your plants if you are on vacation?”
“I categorize my plants based on their water requirements, and then I would ask my housekeeper to take care of the plants for that duration. Alternatively, you can shift them to hydroponics because then you can chill,” said Sunny.
“That was a great session. Thank you for joining us today.”