Few homes or offices are without indoor plants. Some will be flowering pot plants, such as chrysanthemums, which are usually discarded after flowering. Others will be foliage plants for permanent display while they remain in good condition.
Often however such plants are of tropical or sub-tropical origin yet are placed in dark, cold or draughty
situations; others may be from the humid shade of tropical forests yet are positioned on a hot, sunny windowsill.
Indoor plants do need positioning with care and the following is a short list of plants to try in some of the more difficult conditions or situations which may be encountered in homes or offices.
AGM Denotes plants which have received the Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
Plants for a south facing windowsill (or for a conservatory in which daytime temperatures reach high levels)
Maximum ventilation should be provided wherever possible and plants should be checked twice daily for water needs in sunny weather.
Agave americana AGM, A. filifera AGM, A. victoriae-reginae AGM
Tradescantia fluminensis, T. pallida, T. zebrina AGM
Plants for a north or north-east facing windowsill (or in a shaded conservatory with low light levels)
A minimum winter night temperature of 10oC (50oF) should be maintained. Plants should be allowed to partially dry out before being watered, especially in winter.
Acorus gramineus – Pot best stood in 1cm of water at all times
Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’ AGM, C. comosum ‘Vittatum’ AGM
Cyperus albostriatus, C. involucratus AGM – Pot best stood in 1cm of water at all times
Plectranthus australis, P. oertendahlii AGM
Selaginella kraussiana AGM, S. martensii ‘Variegata’ – need humid conditions
Selaginella kraussiana AGM, S. martensii, S. unciniata
Soleirolia soleirolii (syn. Helxine)
Plants that require very moist conditions
Cyperus involucratus AGM, C. albostriatus
Selaginella kraussiana AGM, S. martensii AGM, S. unciniata AGM
Plants for growing near or around indoor swimming pools Indoor swimming pools often create difficult conditions for plant survival. The air temperature may be high and the atmosphere humid when in use. When not in use, conditions may be quite cold with a chill, damp atmosphere. Levels of chlorine in the atmosphere may vary considerably.
One may find that few plants will tolerate widely fluctuating conditions and higher levels of chlorine. Therefore, several criteria should be taken into account before planting begins:-
There must be adequate light (natural or artificial)
There must be sufficient depth of planting medium - either large pots or beds
Relatively constant temperatures, whether the pool is being used or not (minimum 10oC/50oF), should, where possible, be maintained.
A degree of ventilation should be provided as the level of chlorine in the air may affect growth of some plants, or may kill others.
Avoid planting climbers as they are often attacked by mealy bug, and they can drop leaves and flowers into the water.
Minimum temperatures 10oC (50oF)
Citrus aurantium, C. limon, C. sinensis
Clivia miniata AGM
Cordyline australis AGM, C. fruticosa
Fatsia japonica AGM
Minimum temperatures 10oC (50oF) (continued)
Philodendron scandens AGM
Schefflera arboricola AGM
Strelitzia reginae AGM, S. nicolai
Yucca aloifolia, Y. elephantipes AGM
Warm steamy conditions 25-32oC (80-90oF)
Ctenanthe lubbersiana AGM, C. oppenheimiana
Maranta leuconeura var. erythroneura, M. leuconeura var. kerchoveana AGM