For a concrete jungle such as Hong Kong, it is surprising how many homeowners love plants. There is no shortage of choice in this city. Even Giorgio Armani has opened a florist, the Armani Fiori in Central. But picking your favourite plants is the easy part, as it is just as important to know how to take care of them. Temperature, sunlight, water and nutrition are keys to the healthy development of plants. Different plants have their own requirements. Kalanchoe and phalaenopsis are popular as they make great ornamental plants. 'We usually put phalaenopsis in ventilated places and they should not be put under the sun,' says Joyce Cheng, shopkeeper at Joyce Floral Design. 'Kalanchoe usually blossom in autumn and winter. They are bright and mostly in red and yellow.' Watering plants is essential and it's not as easy at it seems. 'Sufficient water is critical for different plants,' says Keller Kan, marketing officer of FarEastFlora.com. 'For example, water-retaining plants should be watered once in two weeks. But some species, such as fittonia, need to be watered once a week.' However, despite the efforts required, plants bring a host of benefits to the home. Looking at plants makes people relax. Plants are also healthy as leaves absorb dust. Potted plants can stabilise indoor temperatures and the humidity. Skin may dry and crack in air conditioned houses. Through the loss of water vapour from plants to air, the room becomes humid and, with adequate sunlight, the process of transpiration increases. Some plants are carnivorous, consuming small insects. Popular types include nepenthes and Venus flytraps that ensnare ants and mosquitoes. For more traditional families, potted plants have special meanings. Some Chinese consider bamboo and asparagus fern to bring luck. Bamboo is thought to be auspicious because of its name in Chinese - 'wealthy bamboo'. Bamboo requires indirect lighting as direct sunlight hampers its growth, with leaves turning yellow. Asparagus fern is believed to help improve a child's academic performance. 'I love it when I see my plants grow,' says Mui Chiu-bik, a housewife who has been growing indoor plants for more than 10 years. She believes some plants will help her family members. 'I always check the condition of my son's asparagus fern. Although I don't think it really helps my son's studies, I still want to grow an asparagus fern for him.'