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Indoor plants are on trend

On trend: Indoor plants

The biggest gardening trend of the moment is not taking place outside

It’s happening inside our homes and is the rediscovery of indoor plants. Back in the 70s, indoor plants were all the rage, but they lost favour over subsequent decades when they were replaced by an obsession with silk plants and flowers.

Good-looking, healthy indoor plants add personality to your space and create a vibrant place to live.

It’s not just about aesthetics, however, scientific studies show that indoor plants have significant benefits on air quality within our homes reducing the level of indoor generated air pollutants which are harmful to human health.

Other benefits include reducing dust, aiding humidity levels, and temperature and noise control. Plants also have a positive effect on our wellbeing with a marked improvement in our mood and concentration, creating feelings of relaxation, inspiration, and positivity.

A trip to your local nursery or garden centre may leave you feeling overwhelmed with choices.

So where do you start, particularly when space is limited?

When choosing a plant to grow inside your home understand that the conditions inside are not like any natural environment due to the combination of a lack of fresh air, household heating and cooling, and obviously reduced sunlight.

While there are many wonderful plants that grow well indoors, the trick is to match the plant to the conditions of the room. Remember there is no ‘indoors’ in nature and when we bring plants inside, they can be out of their comfort zone.

Light level is one of the biggest factors when it comes to plant selection because most plants prefer bright (though indirect) light to grow well.

Watering is another issue, while most indoor plants do not like wet feet they can also suffer if they are allowed to get too dry; they should be watered thoroughly when the surface feels dry and then not again until the surface dries out.

Keep their leaves shiny and dust free by wiping them with a damp cloth occasionally.

Here are my favourite indoor plants for a limited space…

Spider plant

Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is a very hardy plant with attractive ribbons of variegated foliage. It makes a great hanging basket plant and while it’s old fashioned, it is making a comeback due to its hardiness. They can look full and lush in a 140mm pot cascading and spreading more than 600mm high and wide. The spider plant can also be grown in larger containers or hanging baskets up to 250mm, where they will spread further again.

Devil’s ivy (Epipremnum aureum or Pothos) gets its common name from being hard to kill. There are forms with green or speckled leaves. These climbing plants can either be trailed up a totem or frame or allowed to hang gracefully from a basket or high place. They can be grown well in 140 –170mm pots and their climbing stems reach several metres in length. When they do need repotting, don’t overpot, just go up one or two pot sizes.

Zanzibar gem (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) looks like a palm with long succulent-like upright stems with pairs of waxy shiny leaves along them.

It will tolerate quite dark conditions however it will do best in bright light out of hot sun, eventually forming an upright clump of foliage 500 – 800mm high. Plant in a 140 – 200mm pot.

Peace or Madonna Lily (Spathiphyllum) has lovely glossy green foliage and beautiful white flowers.

While it will grow in quite a dark place, it will flower better if it gets more light.

Plant in a 140 – 200mm pot and expect the Lily to grow 200 – 700cm in height depending on the variety.

Good Lives Magazine

This article was published in Good Lives Magazine – Issue 12.


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