Tuesday 8 July 2014

The Houseplant Hotel

I will be the first to admit that plants don't last long in our house.  Not only that, but we make sure they are really, really dead before we finally chuck them out.  I could say something about loving the look of dried flowers, but the reality is that we lead busy lifestyles and the plants often get neglected.  

Every year, we in Britain throw away £829 million pounds worth of house plants that are still alive (this is definitely not me, mine are 100% dead), purely because we can't be bothered to revive them, especially following a holiday.  We have no problem putting the dog in a kennel or asking someone to check in on the goldfish, but our poor plants get neglected.  

The Joy of Plants have commisioned TV presented Charlie Dimmock to give plants another chance at life with the very first houseplant hotel.  For this week only, The Houseplant Hotel has been specially created to keep plants pampered during your summer escape, and to raise awareness of the issues around Britain’s foliage failures.

This week, the service is completely free for Londoners, but if you want to see it continuing, then head on over to the facebook page and tell them about your plant that needs pampering!  If you have a summer holiday planned then take a peek at Charlies's top tips:

* First of all – it’s worth the effort! Most houseplants can survive being left for a couple of weeks with some preparation
* Remember that generally plants will need more watering more during the spring and summer growing seasons than in the winter dormant seasons
* Water all pots thoroughly just before you leave home
* Leave plants that are housed in large pots in a shady room
* Those in smaller pots, the very pot-bound and plants that enjoy humidity will do better in the bath, lined with an old towel soaked in water
* If direct sunlight falls on your bath, shading the window will also help
* Don’t leave plants standing in a sink or bath full of water – most houseplants are in fact killed by overwatering
* If you do leave your plants in the bathroom, make sure you haven’t recently used harsh cleaning chemicals, as these can stop healthy plants from breathing
* If you’re going to be away for longer than a week give a trusted relative or friend a key so that they can pop around and check on your plants: ask them to water them as required, allow some light in to the room and dust the leaves

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