How to Create a Maintenance Schedule for Interior Landscapes
As an interior landscaper you perform general maintenance projects all year long. When you water client’s plants you also check for pests, dust and the general health of the plant. These are important habits, but there are also times throughout the year when more thorough maintenance is required.
Make a list of all the plant care that should be completed quarterly. January is a perfect time to implement a thorough maintenance regimen. January is also a great time to check in with clients that provide their own maintenance for installed plantscapes.
You probably dust your plantscapes regularly with a feather duster or cleaning mit, but a more meticulous dusting can be performed to keep foliage healthy and thriving.
Some plants can be sprayed with water and then wiped clean. Plants with stiff foliage that are a manageable size may be entirely submerged in water. You can dip them in a basin full of water or place them under a light, steady stream of water. Gently wipe the plants clean and dry after they have been rinsed.
You can also apply a leaf shine or dust removal product to appropriate plants. This works best for plants with sturdy, glossy foliage. Take care when using these products with tender foliaged plants and only use them as specified. Removing dust not only improves the health and appearance of the plant, but also removes harmful allergens for people.
While you are dusting the plants you can perform a search for pests. Take time to look in all of the cracks and crevices that may go unnoticed. Look on the bottom of leaves and in the leaf axils to make sure there are no pests such as mealybugs or scale. Managing pests when there are just a few is much easier than trying to remove an infestation. Get our free Professional’s Field Guide to Plant Pest Control to learn how to identify and treat 7 of the most common indoor pests.
Plants that have roots peaking from drainage holes or bulging up through the surface of the soil or pots that dry much too quickly may indicate it is time to repot. Each species has different requirements for how much space they need in a pot, but most potted plants eventually need fresh potting medium and more space to grow.
Some species also have new growth that needs to be separated. If you have been considering using sub-irrigation, repotting is a convenient time to implement a new system. For the plants that do not need to be repotted examine the top dressing. It may need to be freshened or replaced.
Check in with clients that provide their own maintenance and see how their plants are looking. Ask them if they have any care concerns and offer tips and information on topics such as dusting and repotting. Even if you are not contracted to provide these services it is important to make sure your clients have the tools they need to properly care for their plants. Clients that are satisfied with their plantscapes will provide more business for you.
Using a System
Implementing a specific system to provide thorough care for all your plantscapes will ensure that your clients will be highly satisfied with healthy, attractive plants. Whether you or a technician provide maintenance having a checklist and a plan for management will ensure that no plant is overlooked and no aspect of maintenance if forgotten. Start the year off right with well cared for plantscapes.
What maintenance tasks do you commonly forget? What methods do you use for keeping track of plant maintenance?
Photo “indoor plant” courtesy of Nicolas
Featured image by photosteve101 via https://www.flickr.com/photos/42931449@N07/6812481635/
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