3 Indoor Plants and Gardening Tips to Spruce up Your Westchester Office

If every office plant you’ve ever owned has gone to that big greenhouse in the sky, read along as we ask Harry Fellows, co-owner of Hasting-on-Hudson’s Mossy Fern, for his top tips on indoor gardening.

The Way of Water

“You need to use your sense of touch to get to know when you need to water your plants,” says Fellows. “The most common question we get at Mossy Fern is ‘When and how often do I water my plant?’ Our answer is always when the plant tells you it needs it. Everyone’s house or apartment is different. Also, the difference between our indoor environments in winter and summer can be drastically different.

“Some people have the heat at full blast while others keep the house at 60 degrees,” notes Fellows. “People need to use their hands to dig into the soil to feel the moisture level. With plants like cacti, snake, and ZZ plants, the soils should feel dry halfway down the pot before you should consider watering. Most tropical plants need to dry two to five inches from the surface, depending on pot size, before watering.”

Refresh Your Plants

“Remember to refresh soil or repot your plants to a larger pot every two to three years,” says Fellows. “The best time of year to repot your potted plants is the month of March. Soil loses its ability to retain moisture over time. Take a plant out of its pot and remove the old soil from the root system and refresh with high-quality potting soil with natural additives like mycorrhizal fungi.

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“You could also cut back one third of the root system to keep the plant from growing to a point that it needs to be repotted into a larger pot,” adds Fellows. “This is a more advanced technique that is akin to the art of Bonsai. Fertilization should stop about the month of October and begin again at the end of March.”

Get to Know Them

“Learning the Latin names of your plants and using that name to search online for the care of your plants will give you lots of great information about your plant and its maintenance,” says Fellows. “Also learning where the plant grows in the wild often helps with understanding the care it wants. Lastly, plants are living creatures that can’t be treated like decor or furniture. People should be prepared to move their plants throughout the year to the place that gives them the best chance for growth.”

Not-so-needy Plants

Resident expert Harry Fellows of Mossy Fern reveals his top three plants ideal for the office.

Sansevieria (Snake Plant)

“This is a large family of plants that is very hardy,” notes Fellows. “Bright, indirect light is best for their health but they can survive in lower light. They’re forgiving to the owner who forgets to water regularly. These plants need for over half the pot to dry out completely between watering.”

snake plant
Adobe Stock / Jcsmilly

Pothos

“These plants are troopers,” says Fellows. “They are difficult to over water and they will wilt and show the owner that they are thirsty when under watered. It some cases florescent lights will be enough for them to survive in an office or a light-deprived area.”

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Pothos plant
Adobe Stock / Aperturesound

ZZ Plant

“Also known as Zamioculcas zamiifolia, these plants really want to be left to dry out between watering,” explains Fellows. “They only need medium to low, indirect light.”

ZZ Plant
Adobe Stock / New Africa

Related: Kamili Bell Hill of Plantblerd Is All About the Power of Plants

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