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How to care for your Aroid Plants

Aroid plants are a diverse group of plants that belong to the Araceae family. They include many popular houseplants, such as peace lilies, anthuriums, philodendrons, monstera, and more. Aroid plants are known for their attractive foliage and unique flowers, which consist of a spadix (a spike of tiny flowers) surrounded by a spathe (a leaf-like bract). Aroid plants are native to tropical and subtropical regions, but they can also be grown successfully in Melbourne with some care and attention. Below are some tips on how to best care for your aroid plants in Melbourne.

Tip 1: Choose the right variety for your conditions

Not all aroid plants are suitable for Melbourne’s climate, which can experience cold winters and hot summers. Some of the best aroid plants for Melbourne are those that can tolerate lower temperatures and less humidity, such as peace lilies, dieffenbachias, aglaonemas, and some philodendrons. These plants can also adapt well to indoor environments, where they can enjoy bright indirect light and consistent warmth.

Some of the more exotic and rare aroid plants, such as anthuriums may require more care and protection in Melbourne. These plants prefer higher temperatures and humidity, and may suffer from frost damage or sunburn if exposed to extreme conditions. These plants are best grown in pots or containers that can be moved indoors during winter or placed under shade cloth or netting during summer.

Tip 2: Provide adequate light and water

Aroid plants need sufficient light to produce healthy leaves and flowers. However, they do not like direct sunlight, as this can scorch their leaves and cause them to lose their colour. The ideal light for aroid plants is bright indirect light, such as near a window with sheer curtains or under a skylight. If your plant is not getting enough light, it may become leggy, pale, or drop its leaves.

Aroid plants also need regular watering, but not too much or too little. Overwatering can cause root rot and fungal diseases, while underwatering can cause wilting and leaf drop. The best way to water your aroid plant is to check the soil moisture with your finger before watering. If the top inch of soil feels dry, water thoroughly until water drains out of the bottom of the pot. If the soil feels moist or wet, wait until it dries out slightly before watering again.

Tip 3: Fertilize and repot your plant

Aroid plants are heavy feeders and need regular fertilizing to maintain their growth and flowering. You can use a balanced liquid fertilizer that is suitable for flowering plants, every two weeks during the growing season (spring and summer) and every four weeks during the rest of the year. Alternatively, you can use a slow-release fertilizer that is applied once every six months.

Aroid plants also need to be repotted every one to two years, depending on their size and growth rate. Repotting allows you to refresh the soil, remove any dead or diseased roots, and provide more space for your plant to grow. The best time to repot your aroid plant is in spring or early summer, when the plant is actively growing. Choose a pot that is one size larger than the previous one, and use a well-draining potting mix such as the Dig Aroid mix that is hand made in store.

Tip 4: Prune and propagate your plant

Aroid plants do not need much pruning, except to remove any dead, damaged, or diseased leaves or stems. You can also prune your plant to shape it or keep it compact if it becomes too large or unruly. The best time to prune your aroid plant is after flowering or in late winter or early spring.

Aroid plants are easy to propagate from stem cuttings or division. Stem cuttings are taken from healthy stems that have at least one node (a swollen part where leaves emerge) and one leaf. Cuttings are placed in water or moist soil until they develop roots. Division is done by separating the root ball into smaller sections that have at least one stem and one leaf each. Divisions are planted in fresh potting mix.