So many people tell me they have 'brown thumbs' when it comes to looking after indoor plants. Well, guess what...there is no such thing! It just means that you've not had the right advice or knowledge to get it right.
You just have to remember that indoor plants are living things so they have some basic requirements for their survival.
A lot of indoor plant varieties originate from rainforest/jungle areas hence the ability to cope with being indoors and not in full sun. A lot of varieties grow naturally at the base of large trees as an understory so only receive filtered light in the natural environment, as well as enjoying a humid environment. So it makes sense to try and mimic this environment where possible. Here are some basic but essential care tips for these types of plants. (note this does include Cacti or Succulents which come from arid areas and have different requirements and will be touched on in future posts.)
(particularly in a dry winter environment with heating/air conditioning).This can be done in a couple of ways: lightly spray the underside of leaves
sit a bowl of water near the plant (I take this away in Summer as I don't want to attract mozzies)
if you have quite a few plants, group them together if the styling works. This increases the humidity.
Indoor plants with non furry leaves can get covered in dust over time, which is normal. Plants 'breathe' through their leaves so gently wipe them regularly with a damp cloth holding the underside of the leaf whilst you do it so that it doesn't break.
Make sure there is adequate light for your plant. Different plants have different light requirements so ask for advice when you buy them. If not possible a general guide is not to have indoor plants in full sun as this is too harsh, but instead filtered light. Some plants can cope with a lot less light than others.
OK, so this is the one that stumps most people and the cause of a lot of plant pain. "Doesn't look well so I'd better water it" Sound familiar? This is a classic in offices where each person empties their water bottle on the office plant! Get familiar with your plant (you know what I mean!). Stick your finger into the soil and test it; look at the colour of the soil, look at the leaves of the plant. If this still doesn't help then get yourself a moisture meter from the hardware. These are inexpensive and can tell you how moist the soil is around the roots. Not rocket science but plants require more water in Summer than Winter.