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The Pothos, the Ficus beniamino, the numerous types of Orchids, or the more exotic apartment Palms, such as the Cocos nucifera, take on the role of elegant and refined furnishing accessories. Most of these have been donated to us by relatives or friends and, having been particularly welcome, are the object of special concerns on our part. Despite this, they sometimes suffer, or even die, for reasons that are almost inexplicable. The causes of this are manifold and often due to errors in their management which are completely avoidable. It would be enough to know better the characteristics of each plant and reserve the most appropriate treatment for it. Even more so, when we buy the plants for our apartment personally, there are some things we should definitely consider when choosing. The entry into the home of the new plant should preferably take place at the end of the summer, in September, when the domestic heating has not yet started working and the climate is the ideal one for their adaptation to the new environment. It is necessary to decide a priori in which room and at which point they will be placed and according to the environmental characteristics choose the variety that can best adapt to them. For example if we have to decorate a rather dark corner and away from the window it would make no sense to opt for a plant with strong demands in terms of light, since in that corner it would surely suffer. We should discard from the beginning those that show that they have lost several leaves or that they do not look healthy. Then we should also take into account the size of the environment since a large room can logically accommodate larger varieties than a small room where they would be disproportionate. There are species suitable for all rooms and a few tricks, a good soil and frequent cleaning of the leaves will be enough to keep them healthy.
The Placement of Plants
For entry rooms, which are generally not very bright, the choice is certainly less wide. In these cases it is better to opt for less demanding species in terms of light, such as the Philodendron or the Pothos, of which it will always be better to choose the lightest specimens. Even the Sansevieria and some ferns could adapt to this type of environment, but even the common ivy, perhaps collected in a wood and allowed to acclimatize, can last a long time; however, it is necessary to have the foresight to periodically move the vase for a few days in full light. Ideal for the kitchen are colorful and lively varieties such as the numerous cacti and euphorbias. If the room is very spacious and well lit, it is well suited to accommodate plants, but you will have to be very careful not to overcrowd it. Plants must in fact be dosed and placed in balance with the environment that hosts them. In modern living rooms, slender-looking plants such as Ficus or Diaffenbachia are used. If you have an antique furniture remember that this will tie more with species with delicate colors such as tropical ferns or palm trees. All flowering species, such as cyclamens, hyacinths and begonias, will also work. Even in the bathroom, plants can easily be inserted as a strong decorative element, provided that it is taken into account that it is a humid, warm and usually not very bright environment. In the bedrooms instead it is always better to avoid putting plant species except with some small exceptions, for example for the Ionian Saintpaulia, commonly called African violet, or at most for the cyclamens.
What to do instead when in our house one of those plants finds a home so hard? Better to avoid it absolutely or is there any chance of being able to make it survive? When we talk about difficult plants, we generally refer to exotic plants with colorful foliage, with high decorative qualities. For these seedlings it will be necessary to observe a certain rigor following the cultivation advice referred to the single species. In general we can say that the varieties with colored foliage are particularly sensitive to light and, if they were deprived of them, they would first lose their coloring, for which they are appreciated. As a result the more light they will receive, the more vivid their colors will be. The flowering species, if they were found in conditions of insufficient light, would even stop flowering.
Prepare a terrarium
If you then wanted to decorate the house with original and striking floral compositions, you could use so-called terrariums, or miniature terrariums. The greatest advantage of the tanks used for the terrarium is that they can be moved at will without the plants inside suffering from it. Before composing the mini-greenhouse you will have to evaluate the temperature of the room in which the terrarium would remain predominantly. You will then have to choose the plants at a well-stocked nursery and establish the shape and size of the container that will be used to house them. Obviously the plants will have similar needs, since they will occupy the same micro-habitat, as regards temperature, watering and light. Among the seedlings that are most suitable for this use we find the Saintpaulia, the herb misery, the small Pothos, which will be placed on a soil rich in organic substances previously dampened. Then spread a couple of centimeters of gravel over the soil and plant the seedlings. Everything must obviously then be exposed to strictly indirect light.
Another way to have a house rich in plants, lush and in good health, is to grow them using the hydroculture technique. This system, allowing the total absence of land, turns out to be rather "clean". To arrange a plant in hydroponics, you need to get a glass container, better if chosen among those specifically created for this purpose. These containers are equipped with a light bulb to heat the water and a grid to fix the plants. If instead you will use a different container you will have to place in the upper part of it a sort of perforated lid, in plastic or, better, in cork that will have the same function as the grid. Always use rainwater or, if you could not get it, let the tap water settle for at least 24 hours, then fill the container for 2/3 of its height. Then take the seedlings, remove them from the earth and wash the roots thoroughly. Insert them gently into the holes of the support cap, so that they are immersed in water, which will be suitably enriched with nutrient salts. Obviously, the evaporating water will be periodically reintroduced. The most suitable plants for this type of cultivation are the young specimens chosen from Ficus, Pothos, small Palms or Filodendri. Whatever way you choose to surround yourself with greenery and nature, the little effort this will require you will be amply rewarded.