Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Best Indian Indoor Plants

I have been growing plants since childhood, thanks to my mom who has always been my inspiration. I wouldn't say I've mastered the art of growing all types of plants but I've gained enough confidence and a little bit knowledge to grow them indoors as well as outdoors without killing them. And today I'm sharing what are the best indoor plants that are easy to grow and how to care for them. You can watch the complete video on my YouTube channel (Click Here).

Houseplants


The question then arises, "Why to grow indoor plants"!!  
Let me share my experience. Grow indoor plants to bring nature inside your home. Houseplants can perk up any dull space instantly by adding cheer and liveliness. One more reason to grow indoor plants is that houseplants purify the air by removing toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, toluene and xylene that are the dangerous molecules to inhale and by increasing humidity. Indoor plants create a relaxing and calming environment. The last but not the least, growing indoor plants can be a satisfying and rewarding experience. You can share your experiences in comments below. I would be happy to know!
In India, we have a variety of climatic zones from tropical to temperate and alpine. Depending on the climatic zone of your region you should select the plants and care for them accordingly. Plants that are native to that particular region grow best without putting extra efforts. But if you want to grow a variety of plants then there are certain things to keep in mind as a rule of thumb and they are; well-draining soil, right amount of sunlight (which should be bright indirect sunlight or maybe artificial light) and right amount of water  and feeding your plants time to time with a good fertilizer. Below are some best indoor plants and I have added details of their light, water and food requirements. In my view, you can grow any plant as an indoor plant but then remember that you should keep it in sun everyday or every alternate day for 2-3 hrs.  

1. Pothos/ Money Plant:

Houseplants


Grow it in water or soil, whether it is climbing or cascading, pothos never fails to add cheer to your indoors. It comes in a range of leaf shades from green to golden and variegated. Grow it in well draining soil. Money plant is quite a hardy plant and can do well in bright as well as low light, Watering is the most important thing to keep it alive. Water it only when the 1-2" of soil appears dry. Overwatering will rot the roots and the leaves will turn yellow. Whereas if the leaves are wilting and turning brown then know that you are watering it less. Fertilize it with 20-20-20 fertilizer once in a month. Pothos cleans the air in the room. 
Toxicity: Pothos is toxic to humans and pets (when ingested). 


2. Areca Palm: 

Houseplants

Areca palm is the most common and beautiful indoor plant with feathery fronds. Keep it indoors to give a tropical feel to your living room. It loves moist soil and indirect or filtered sunlight. Bright sunlight may burn its leaves. Being a tropical plant it enjoys high humidity so water it regularly to keep the soil moist in summers and in winters allow the 1-2" of the soil surface to dry. Pot it in a fairly large pot so that it grows well and repot it after every 2-3 years. Fertilize it monthly with balanced liquid fertilizer in summers. Areca palm is an air purifier and cleans the toxin from the air. 
Toxicity: Areca Plam is not a toxic plant.


3. Spider Plant: 

Houseplant


Spider plant or chlorophytum comosum is the easiest to grow houseplant. This is an excellent plant for those who have a brown thumb and wish to start an indoor garden. Like other indoor plants, plant it in well-draining soil. Place it where it receives bright indirect sunlight. Keep the soil moist in summers and allow it to dry a bit in winters. Spider plant looks lovely in hanging baskets. It can easily be propagated by planting the spiderettes that grow from the main plant. Spider plant is also a good air purifier and can be kept in bedroom as well. 
Toxicity: Spider plant is non-toxic to pets.


4. Song Of India/ Dracaena Reflexa:

Houseplant


Song of India or dracaena Reflexa is the most popular, easiest to grow and very low maintenance plant. Keep the bit dried. It loves less water and diffused sunlight. It grows well in a warm climate but excess sunlight can burn the leaves. Overwatering or moist soil will cause the root rot and plant will die. So always allow the soil to dry between watering. Song of India can be propagated easily from cuttings. This houseplant also purifies the air.
Toxicity: It is slightly toxic to pets.

5. Croton & Coleus:

Indoor Plants


Croton and coleus plants are often grown outdoors but can be grown indoors as well. They come in a range of leaf colors and shapes. Their amazing colors make them an excellent indoor plant. Like Areca Palm, Croton & Coleus are tropical plants and love humidity. So keep the soil moist constantly. Since these are tropical plants they enjoy bright light so place them near a window. Fertilize them every 2-3 weeks. Croton & Coleus can be propagated by stem cuttings.  
Toxicity: Croton is toxic to humans and pets.

6. Arrowhead/ Syngonium:

Houseplant

Arrowhead, American evergreen, Elephant ear plant and butterfly plant are some common name of Syngonium. I love this plant for its fuller look and low maintenance. It is also a tropical plant and loves bright light and high humidity but do not keep it in direct sunlight as it will turn the leaves brown. Keep the soil moist in summers and in winters water only when the soil appears dry. Feed the plant 2-3 times in a month.
Toxicity: Arrowhead is a poisonous plant


7. Snake Plant/ Mother-in-law's Tongue:

Houseplant


Oh! what a funny name it has got, isn't it!! But contrary to its name it is the beautiful and really a very good plant. This plant is tolerant of a variety of light conditions but prefers to be in indirect sunlight. Water it less because it doesn't love overwatering also, don't water the leaves while watering. A small amount of fertilizer during summers is all that it needs. It is known to be a great bedroom plant because unlike other plants it gives off oxygen at night. It also cleans the air by removing harmful molecules of xylene, toluene, formaldehyde and benzene.
Toxicity: Snake plant is toxic to humans and pets.


8. Shamrock Plant/ Oxalis Triangularis:

Houseplant


Shamrock plant or Oxalis comes in a variety of shade from purple to green, orange to yellow. It is an attractive plant because of its clover-shaped leaves which folds up at night and opens up during the daytime. Purple Shamrock is called oxalis triangularis which grows pink flowers and has beautiful purple leaves. I have a green variety called Oxalis Stricta which is a rampaging weed but I love its leaves and delicate flowers so I love to grow it as an indoor plant. Shamrock plant enjoys sunny spot so keep it near the window. It can be grown well in a compact pot. It goes dormant in summers. Do not over water Purple Shamrock. Always allow the soil to dry between watering. Fertilize it once in a month in growing season.
Toxicity: Oxalis is a slightly toxic indoor plant.


9. Aloe Vera:

Houseplant


Aloe Vera (Ghrutkumari or Gwarpatha in Hindi) makes a wonderful houseplant. It is a succulent and stores water in its leaves so do not over water. It can go a long time without water which makes it a fuss-free plant. Make sure the pot has enough draining holes so that water doesn't accumulate inside the pot and cause the roots to rot. Aloe Vera loves bright light so ideal spot to keep it would be near a window. You don't require to feed Aloe Vera with fertilizer. It can be propagated by division. Remove the offsets or babies from the mother plant and plant them in a different pot.
Toxicity: Though it has medicinal uses but the outer skin of it when ingested can be harmful as it is slightly toxic.

Some more houseplants are Boston Fern, Dumbcane, Peacelily, Philodendron, zeezee plant, arelia, Bamboo Plant and some more succulents. You can find a complete blog on indoor succulent garden here. This brings me to the end and I really hope that this blog and video help you to create your own wonderful indoor jungle.

See you all soon. Till then connect with me here:


















































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Friday, May 4, 2018

Home Tour: Ashima Sharda

I must say that Army wives decorate their homes in the most beautiful and unique way. I have great respect for them and always fall for their aesthetic sense. The nomadic life they lead, packing and unpacking constantly and moving from city to city can be a daunting task for us all but army wives become quite adept not only at moving house but also at transforming it into a home. Today I am showcasing one such home of an army wife.
Dear readers, please welcome Ashima Sharda, a journalist, writer and an army wife who opens the door to her eclectic bohemian home for us all. Come on in!! Here's a tete-a-tete with Ashima.


Indian Home Tour

"I am a trained journalist and writer by profession and home decorator and stylist by choice. Ever since I got married to an army officer and started making my home in every part of the country every few years, I began experimenting and trying out new home styles."

Indian Home tour

It is quite evident that Ashima has a thing for various kind of paintings. Walls in white create a perfect backdrop for all the colourful paintings that have found their rightful place in Ashima's home. And mind you that all these paintings are done by the talented lady herself. Proud of you Ashima! 

Indian Home Tour

Ashima's home appears to be reflective of world travels. Here is how she cultivated well travelled home.
"Every place I went to – Jodhpur, Wellington, Kashmir, Tripura, Manipur have had a big influence in my home decorating style. There is an essence of every place that I have lived or travelled to, in my home. Both my husband and nine-year-old son love our home décor, which I keep changing almost every two months because I get easily bored of one style."

Indian Home Tour


Ashima is a globetrotter and has travelled to many places which led her to start a travel blog "Come Lets Wander Together" to journal her travel stories and experiences.


Indian Home Tour


Upon asking how would she define her decorating style, Ashima readily says,
"My home decorating style is a mix of eclectic bohemian and traditional. I love putting up gallery walls and filling them with pictures and my art. Also being an artist, I love painting on acrylic and mostly all the art hanging on my walls is done by me."


Indian Living Room Decor

I love the wall of masks (y'all already know that) and when Ashima showed me pictures of her mask wall, I was stunned to see her huge and appealing mask collection. Here's what she says about her mask wall. 
"Also being an avid traveller, I have curios and souvenirs from all parts of the world. I am also a collector and have a huge collection of masks from all over. Be it Korea, Japan, China, Bhutan, Nepal or even Venice and Africa, one wall in my house is always dedicated to the masks that I love immensely."

Indian Living Room Decor


"Most of the small curios in my home are animals and birds, rhinos, elephants, pigeons, swans and cats. These curios are bought keeping in mind that I am an animal lover and like to keep nature close to me."

Indian Living Room Decor

Ashima loves to collect and that's what makes her home a curated one.
"I get inspired daily by nature and of course the internet. Being active on Instagram has helped me
connect with like-minded individuals from across the world whose work I admire and try to encapsulate in my style as well. I pick up accessories from anywhere and everywhere. From a flea market to an upscale home store, I have been very generous when it comes to buying things. Being an impulsive buyer, many times I have also improvised on my décor items which I liked in a shop but couldn’t figure out how they would be used in the house."

That's all my dear readers. I hope you enjoyed this lovely home tour and will be leaving some sweet notes for Ashima in the comments. Thank you Ashima so much for letting us take a peek inside your eclectic bohemian home and for inspiring us. Wish you love, luck & sunshine!!
You my readers, you must have seen my recent Video on Renters Friendly Wall Decor Ideas, if not then click right here to watch it!!!
See you all soon. Till then connect with me here:

P.S: All the images are Ashima's and subject to copyright. Please seek Disha's or Ashima's permission before using them.









































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