Humidity. A Necessity. A Want. A Need. A Must!

Humidity. A Necessity. A Want. A Need. A Must!

Cosmos Plant Club's basic guide
to Humidity

Despite the misted up windows in your house on a winters morning - our homes are not so very plant friendly, particularly as we crank up the central heating and stoke the fire. 

Dry air suits only a few of our indoor plants pals. Particulary those plants that are native to arid climates. They retain much of their moisture in their stem or by having very few leaves. 

Cacti. A great example, breathing through its stem. Then plants such as Aloe Vera and Crassula that have really moisture thick foliage. These often waxy leaves or hairy stemmed plants allow them to retain their fluids and be almost self sufficent - which is a great bonus for the part time plant owner that is a bit lax with a care routine!  

A really common dry air lover is the Kalenchoe. This is probably why they last and last and last and you can almost neglect this little thing and it will still stick around to try and please!

Buy A Mister

We've just had a drop of Kalenchoe 'Croco'  at Cosmos Shed-Quarters. A more contemporary plant to some of its brothers and sisters. Check out its fab green combs - in our shop. One of our favs, a nice eye catcher!

So how can we improve the humidity in our homes? 

Well, there are some organic ways we can do this, without contributing to our energy tariff and straining our planet. Or stretching the purse-strings (we'd rather you spent that buying more plant pals!) Some may encourage leaving the pan lids off when you cook, some articles may be persuasive in purchasing humidifiers. 

The good thing is that more of us dry our clothes inside in the winter months,  so use airers rather than a tumbledrier. Start positioning your clothes drier nearer to you jungle pals, thus improving their humidity and cutting down on the energy and cost of the 'lecky bill'.

Another simple way is to leave the bath water in for a bit or the washing up water. Once you've finished don't drain off the waste water until is gone completely cold. The warm air evapourates and increases the humidity in the room. That's why so many plants love to be sighted in bathrooms and kitchens. Please take care if you have young children in the house, unattended water spots can be hazardous* 

Release the steam from your bathroom into the house too, this will increased humidity throughout your home. 

If you don't have young children or pets, you can place bowls (non plastic) of water near to heat sources, then the moisture evapourates slowly into air as the water warms. As a florist, I also suggest that you fill your home with beautiful cut British flowers! These flower vases can also provide a slow humidity release into your home.

Pebble Trays... are often given as a solution to improve humidity around a group of plants  or a needy patient. How much extra humidity it provides is questionable though as the water vapour disperses in all directions. Extra care is also needed here, to not let the plant sit in water. Pebbles need to raise the plant above the level of water you put in. Pebble Trays can be decoratively pleasing though and a nice feature to your jungle groovers.

Misting...again temporary humidification. It gives the plants an instant hit, but it's a bit like a sweety fix for a child. No sooner has the sweety gone that you're back to having a needy, still wanting customer! 

The lovely thing about misting is YOU are forced to slow down. I love to mist, as it provided valueable time to observe my plant lovelies and really appreciate each one for its individual structure and beauty. Use this time to look for any problems, to remove any dead or damaged leaf, or more pleasantly see new growth appearing! Misting gives me quiet contemplation time and I have often been caught talking to my little greenlings too at this time!

Don't get me on terraniums and aquariums... we'll save that for another time.

Article for Cosmos Plant Club by Lionne the lady in the shed

What is Neem Oil?

What is Neem Oil?

Cosmos Plant Club's basic guide
to Neem Oil

When I first started out on my plant journey, I hadn't heard of Neem Oil, just reached out for the supermarket sprays to wash over my planty problems.

But, You wouldn't spray any nasties over your kids before reading up on the product and I doubt you'd cover them in chemicals without proper sound advice either, so why do this to your plant pals? Keeping them in tip top organic health is key too.


Neem Oil, is a natural oil pressed from leaves, fruits and seeds of the evergreen tree, Neem (Azadirachta Indica) It's a powerful organic pesticide and has been used for hundreds of years globally to control some pests and diseases.  Neem has many uses and has a long history in folklore and traditional medicine for its use for health and harmony.


The great properties it has for maintaining our plants health is our focus here.
It's safe for us and our pets or wildlife around us.

Buy neem oil

A biodegrable, non toxic pesticide that degenerates quickly under sunlight or rainfall.

It wont create a war zone and kill everything in its path like some synthetic pesticides do. Neem targets leaf sucking insects and the pesky nibbling type critters, ridding our plant pals of problems at all pest development stages. Say 'Goodbye' to Thrips, Fungus Gnats and Mealybugs; Whiteflies, Spidermites and Aphids (well over 100 species infact).

Our little Earthworm will thank you for Neem too, as it encouarges their activity in our garden soil. So you can use this little bottle of power and put Neem Oil on your lawns aswell! It will kill fungus on plants, it will protect your fruit trees, your veg plants and your lil' herb garden!


Hurray for Neem! A Biodegrable, Non-Toxic, Non pollutant, Trustworthy, Super Hero and new best friend! 

Like all new beautifying and skin products though, do a test patch on a leaf, wait 24 hours to check its response!


Neem has got quite a pungent smell though (there's always a down side folks)! So take care to be in a well ventilated spot when you use it, no inhaling or ingesting please! This is natural but it's still a pesticide!   

To mix a batch -

1.5 teaspoon pure organic cold pressed Neem oil

1 teaspoon of mild liquid soap

1 litre room temp tap water left to stand for 24hours (or rain water where poss)

Just simply mix them in a spraybottle, a good shake and spray the underside of leaves, or apply directly to soil to deter insects from even stepping foot on your plants! Shake before use every time as the oil will separate.

I'd take the plant to the sink to do this, to avoid water damage to surrounding areas, as you want to really drench the leaves. It's ok too to add a droplet of Neem when watering too, especially useful if there's an infestation of fungas gnats.

Article for Cosmos Plant Club by Lionne the lady in the shed

A step-by-step guide to a healthy plant collection

A step-by-step guide
to a healthy plant collection

Cosmos Plant Club's basic guide
to houseplant health.

Could there be unwanted hitchhikers living on your houseplants? This guide will help you prevent, identify and treat those pesky pests.

 A Step-By-Step Guide to A Healthy Plant Collection

Some of the most common houseplant pests include thrips, aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, scales and fungus gnats. Once any of these pests begin to reproduce it becomes difficult to control, especially if you have a large collection of plants that are assembled closely together. 

Read the steps below to help your urban jungle flourish. 

The most obvious place to start is the leaves. Some leaves have beautiful markings and variegation that can easily distract one’s eye, but do not be fooled, and be sure to check all around the leaves of the plant. If you can see white thin webbing around the network of leaves, and or brown spots on the leaves’ surface it is likely that the plant is now home to spider mites. Certain plants such as calatheas present their unhappiness very well in the colouration and texture of the leaves. An indicator that a pest is causing the upset is if substantial portions of the calathea’s leaves are going brown and crispy.

TIP: If you spot this, cut away the leaves that are affected and treat the plant with diluted neem oil spray (1: 3 ratio of neem oil to water).

You can purchase neem oil here.


Buy neem oil

Furthermore, some sellers alter the aesthetics of plants to attract sales. Such alterations can involve fake flowers, artificial colouration and some even trap the roots under a fake plastic top with glue. Whilst this can look beautiful, it can severely stunt the growth and hinder the health of your plant. Therefore, at Cosmos Plant Club we strongly believe that it is best to let nature reveal her organic beauty.

Are any of the bottom leaves showing yellow colouration? This could mean that the plant has been particularly overwatered or underwatered, which could affect its ability to grow into a healthy plant. How to know for sure if your plant has been overwatered? Check the roots.

 The roots play an imperative role in distinguishing healthy viable plants to those that are coming to the end of their circle of life. White thick roots suggest a healthy growing plant, that has been sufficiently watered. Brown and sometimes “mushy” roots indicate that the plant that has been severely overwatered. If the browning is only on a small scale, perhaps only on the bottom portion of the root system, you can cut the parts that are of this description off before repotting your new plant in a well-aerated soil.

With Cosmos Plant Club, you will have your indoor houseplants delivered directly to you! So here is what to do when your plant arrives.

Don’t be so quick to display your plants amongst its plant brothers and sisters. If possible, shower your plant with room temperature water to ensure any pests that may be hiding are well and truly gone. This is an especially good deterrent for spider mites because they thrive in very dry conditions and is good practice to install monthly with all your houseplants.

TIP: Do this for all plants both indoors and outdoors as a good preventative method,
as water disrupts most pest environments and so ensures they can never
reproduce to the extent that it becomes an issue.

Additionally, you should quarantine your new plant in an area that is away from your other plants and observe closely for 40 days. This may seem like a long time but dealing with an outbreak of pests in your plant collection will be much longer.

TIP: On the days you tend to all your plants, be sure to sterilize any shared equipment and wash your hands before moving on from your quarantine plant to the others. This is to prevent pests such as spider mites from using either the tools or yourself as vectors to their next victim. Hydrogen peroxide or more commonly used sterilisation fluid by Milton's is great at combatting this!

It is important to check all parts of your plants before giving them a permanent place in your home and knowing what to look for can save much heartache later. Following these preventative steps can ensure a smooth plant keeping journey but it sure takes a lot of unavailable time and commitment. Let Cosmos Plant Club take care of it for you and subscribe today because we've got you covered!

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Article for Cosmos Plant Club by Cream Muenprom


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