For those of you who are frequent users of social media, you will have noticed that there is a resurgence of indoor or house plants being used as effective and “must have” decorator items in our homes. Many will remember this craze in the 1970’s but only had magazines to inspire us.
Plants used this way come in many forms which in their natural environment have evolved because of their need for water or other nutrients or protective characteristics for survival. For example a cactus, has a plump structure allowing it to store water and expand – this can be a measure for the house plant owner to use when assessing frequency of watering. Owners of house plants may not be aware that the position of the plant is not so important in terms of its decorative value but more about its survival in an unnatural environment.
Make sure that you understand the needs of the plants you buy. Lots of customers new to gardening are attracted to plants because of the “hype” generated through social media and don’t consider the important aspects of plant care. This can be expensive and require replacement of plants sooner than expected
or that the hip pocket can cope with.
When considering location of your house plants, the sunlight (direct or indirect), warmth, humidity, drafts and air flow, size and ease of watering or feeding all need careful thought and planning. If you are placing your plant in the kitchen, be mindful of the heat build up when cooking and the changes in room temperature. The bathroom will provide humidity for ferns (fishbone fern, asparagus plants, spider plants, weeping fig or palms) but there needs to be a good light source as well. Don’t place thorny or spikey plants in your bathroom – for obvious reasons!
A living room is usually light and warm so provides a great spot for your new house plant, small indoor tree (palms) or a lush collection of plants with colour in winter (hippeastrums) providing an interesting display.
Most house plants have care instructions which need to be followed carefully. Choose plants that suit your budget, have enough space for growth, and can be displayed decoratively in a suitable pot that enhances the plant and style of the room.
By Ian Rogan