By Mark Hoskins, Nursery Supervisor at Thorngrove
The weather is turning colder and we’re all spending more time indoors, but we needn’t be without our plants.
There is a great range of house plants that can be grown in conservatories and most places in the home. Some will love a sunny windowsill, others are great for a shady corner.
If you want flowering house plants, there are plenty to choose from, but there is a couple of things to bear in mind. They tend to need more light, so a brightly lit spot or a conservatory will suit them. Flowering house plants tend not to be as long lasting as foliage plants and can often be viewed as temporary plants and discarded after they’ve finished flowering.
One of the most exotic houseplants is Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (the rose of china) they have huge, flamboyant flowers with long stamens and dark blotches in the centre. The flowers only last a day, but they produce more and more each day. They like good light and humidity, so keep them in a light place and mist them with a hand mister once a day.
For a shady spot, Anthuriums are great, a very tropical looking plant with lush foliage and unique waxy flowers. They dislike cold, so a warm room away from draughts will suit them best.
Cyclamen are great plants for a cooler spot. They originate from the Mediterranean so are happy in lower temperatures and don’t like to be too wet, so be careful not to over-water and try not to splash they’re lovely silver marked foliage and they’ll happily produce their graceful flowers throughout the winter.
Remove any dead flowers as they fade to ensure more flowers are produced and make sure you remove the stems right down to the base of
A fun plant to grow in most places in the home is the Amaryllis. Plant the huge bulbs in the pot with the compost usually provided with them and water them sparingly at first, then watch the flower spikes quickly grow and burst into huge velvety flowers in a great range of colours. If you dead head them and feed the bulbs you can even save them again for next year.
Foliage plants are a more permanent addition to the home, providing some relaxing greenery and even a bit of oxygen! They need less light than flowering plants but, as they often originate from tropical rain forests, they do like warmth and humidity. A good way to keep the humidity up is to stand the pots on a tray of gravel and keep the gravel moist, the water evaporating from the tray will provide a humid atmosphere.
Ferns, rubber plants, aspidistras, crotons and Swiss cheese plants will all thrive in these conditions.
Enjoy your indoor gardening!