A rising number of HDB home owners are hopping onto the urban farming bandwagon and growing their own plants at home. Urban gardening is set to be a huge trend this year because more Singaporeans are becoming interested in eating healthier, organic food.
Beyond growing your own produce for food, some plants can also improve air quality and usher in a sense of peace and natural scenery into your home. Super Farmer’s Cynthea Lam recommends 10 easy plants to grow in your HDB flat or along the corridor and how to care for them:
5 Best Indoor Plants:
These plants, especially the Sanseviera and Areca Palm, have properties that help filter the air in the household by removing the harmful oxides and formaldehyde present in the air we breathe.
Make sure you have these air-purifying plants around when you have projects like installing carpets or painting walls as these activities release chemicals that pollute indoor air.
Basic Care Tips:
- Air plants can survive on moisture in the air. However, they would still require regular misting once or twice a week. Occasionally, give your air plants a bath by dipping them in water before slowly picking them up to dry.
- If air plants live in an air-conditioned environment, they would need to be soaked in water for 2 hours every two weeks.
- For the rest of the plants on this list, they only require basic TLC. Bring them closer to the window every now and then for some filtered sunlight and water them at least three times a week sparingly.
5 Best Outdoor Plants:
“For this list, I’m picking herbs for outdoors because I’m a farmer!” gushes Cynthea. “As with all herbs, sun is necessary especially for rosemary that thrives in full sunlight.”
A huge perk of growing these herbs right in your own residence is being able to use them when preparing food. After all, food is always better when properly seasoned with herbs and spices.
Growing plants outdoors, however, will require more time and effort for homeowners. Although there is a wide selection of plants you can have in your outdoor garden, you also have to remember that there is a limited square footage by your corridor, and you don’t want to invade your neighbour’s space.
Basic Care Tips:
All these plants are easy to care for as long as the watering is done thoroughly.
- At least once a day, water the plant until it gushes out of its pot (and into the ground, or else, onto catchment trays below) to ensure that all parts—most especially the roots—have received hydration.
- Once every 2 weeks, fertilise with natural fertilisers like worm castings. Be careful though not to overdo as you don’t want the roots to burn. Place fertiliser on the top of the soil, and through constant watering, the roots will receive the required nutrients in right amounts.
- Important reminder: Never stir the fertilisers into the soil!
- Pinching the herbs also helps them grow bushier and taller as it allows them to divide and produce even more leaves. Pinch from the top and pinch off some big, mature leaves but leave some big leaves intact as they act as solar panels that capture sunlight for photosynthesis.
READ MORE: 5 Ways To Beautify Your Home With Plants
Expert Tip: Water from your fish tank is actually an excellent fertiliser for your house plants, so don’t throw out the water when changing it.
“All my plants that have been watered using fish pond/tank water have thrived much better than those who only received normal tap water. And if you can, always leave the tap water out in a pail for 24 hours before using it to allow the harmful chlorine, fluorine, and chloramine to first dissipate before using it,” suggests Cynthea.
Text: Jerni Camposano / Additional Reporting: Elizabeth Liew
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