28/10/2016 8:16 AM AEDT | Updated 10/11/2016 4:54 PM AEDT

How To Keep Your Houseplants Healthy (It Starts Before You Buy)

Do this before you splash out on a shrub.


Let's get one thing straight: plants aren't cheap.

Which is why when you make such an investment, you want to be sure there is little risk involved.

Not that it's all about the money -- we're talking about a living thing after all -- but to give your little green guys the best shot at life, there's a few quick measures you should take.

Jamie Durie, horticulturalist and author of Living Design explains it is absolutely vital to ensure there's enough light in your chosen spot before purchasing your plant.

"You can do this buy doing a simple shadow test," Durie told The Huffington Post Australia.

"Hold your hand against a piece of white paper and if your hand casts a shadow you have enough light for most house plants," Durie said.

It's also important your plant gets some time outdoors if it's possible.

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Group your plants together and go for a variety of pot styles.

"All house plants need to spend some regular time outdoors to stay healthy, but don't leave them out in the direct sun or they may burn," Durie said.

It's also important to ensure they aren't deprived of the right nutrients, Jurie said you should be looking for slow-release fertiliser granules.

"Tuck them under the mulch and remember to remove any dust build-up from the leaves regularly," Durie said.

As for what kind of pot to go for Jurie said make sure it's big enough to allow for growth.

"Otherwise the plant becomes pot-bound -- this is when the roots of the plant become a tight bundle -- and inhibits further growth," Jurie said.

All house plants need to spend some regular time outdoors to stay healthy, but don't leave them out in the direct sun or they may burn.

Also, beware of pots without drainage holes which only intended for plastic plants. Without drainage, the roots will rot and eventually kill your plant.

When styling your new shrubs, Jurie recommends using different types of containers and grouping them in interesting ways to make a statement.

If you're struggling to make room for some greenery in your home, Jurie said hanging pot plants are a great option.

"They fill up superfluous space in the home and their planters are available in a variety of decorative shapes, materials and colours," Jurie said.

JPD Media and Design

Living Design is out October 31, head to Penguin to pre-oder the book.

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