The Royal Horticultural Society Horticultural Advisory Leaflet Number 95 February 2000




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The Royal Horticultural Society

Horticultural Advisory Leaflet

Number 95 February 2000


Indoor Plants: for difficult situations


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.

(v) variegated

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

Aloe arborescens, A. humilis

Beaucarnia recurvata AGM

Bougainvillea

Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’ AGM, C. comosum ‘Vittatum’ (v) AGM

Citrus

Crassula falcata AGM, C. ovata AGM, C. schmidtii

Echeveria agavoides AGM, E. derenbergii AGM, E. harmsii AGM, E. secunda var. glauca

Ensete ventricosum

Fatshedera lizei AGM



Gynura aurantiaca ‘Purple Passion’ (syn. G. aurantiaca hort. ) AGM

Hedera

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

Hoya lanceolata ssp. bella AGM, H. carnosa AGM

Justicia brandegeeana (syn. Beleperone guttata) AGM

Kalanchoe beharensis, K. blossfeldiana, K. daigremontiana, K, tomentosa AGM, K. delagoensis

Lantana camara

Musa acuminata

Nerium oleander

Pelargonium

Persea americana (avocado)

Phoenix canariensis AGM

Plectranthus thrysoideus

Sansevieria trifasciata

Sedum sieboldii ‘Mediovariegatum’ AGM

Sempervivum tectorum

Solenostemon hybridus (syn. Coleus hybridus)

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.
Small plants

Acorus gramineus – Pot best stood in 1cm of water at all times

Carex morrowii

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

Soleirolia soleirolii, (syn. Helxine)

Tradescantia fluminensis
Medium and taller plants

Aglaeonema commutatum, A. crispum

Asparagus densiflorus ‘Myersii’ AGM, A. densiflorus Sprengeri Group AGM, A. setaceus AGM

Aspidistra elatior AGM

Begonia rex, R. metallica AGM, B. masoniana AGM

Bromeliads (e.g. Aechmea, Billbergia, Neoregelia)



Cissus antarctica AGM, C. rhombifolia AGM

Cordyline fruticosa

Dracaena fragrans Deremensis Group, D. marginata AGM

Epipremnum aureum (syn. Scindapsus) AGM

Fatshedera lizei AGM



Ficus benjamina AGM, F. elastica

Hedera helix, H. canariensis hort.

Lapageria rosea AGM

Monstera deliciosa AGM

Peperomia obtusifolia

Philodendron scandens AGM

Pilea cadierei AGM

Pteris cretica AGM

Sansevieria trifasciata

Schefflera (syn. Heptapleurum) actinophylla AGM, S. arboricola AGM

Syngonium podophyllum AGM
Plants to try in areas with low light levels and fluctuating, often extreme temperatures e.g. centrally heated by day, cold and draughty at night.
Chamaedorea elegans AGM

Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’ AGM, C. comosum ‘Vittatum’ AGM

Cissus antarctica AGM, C. rhombifolia AGM

Epipremnum aureum (syn. Scindapsus) AGM

Fatshedera lizei AGM



Ficus elastica

Soleirolia soleirolii

Philodendron scandens AGM

Sansevieria trifasciata

Senecio macroglossus ‘Variegatus’ AGM

Syngonium podophyllum AGM

Plants for bathrooms or areas where the temperature can be cool and often humid
Climbing/Trailing

Cissus antarctica AGM, C. rhombifoila AGM

Epipremnum aureum (syn. Scindapsus) AGM

Hedera helix

Philodendron scandens AGM

Plectranthus australis

Syngonium podophyllum

Tradescantia fluminensis, T. zebrina AGM
Larger Shrubby types

Fatshedera lizei AGM



Ficus benjamina AGM

Monstera deliciosa AGM

Schefflera (syn. Heptapleurum) actinophylla AGM, S. arboricola AGM
Small plants

Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’ AGM, C. comosum ‘Vittatum’ AGM

Saxifraga stolonifera AGM

Selaginella kraussiana AGM, S. martensii, S. unciniata

Soleirolia soleirolii (syn. Helxine)
Plants that require very moist conditions

Acorus gramineus

Carex morrowii

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:-


  1. There must be adequate light (natural or artificial)

  2. There must be sufficient depth of planting medium - either large pots or beds

  3. Relatively constant temperatures, whether the pool is being used or not (minimum 10oC/50oF), should, where possible, be maintained.

  4. 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

Phalaenopsis

Philodendron scandens AGM
Periods without heat

Bamboos (Pseudosasa japonica AGM, Pleioblastus auricomus, Fargesia nitida AGM)



Camellia japonica, C. williamsii (many named cultivars)

Clivia miniata AGM

Crinum powellii AGM
Plants for growing in cold conditions but where minimum winter night temperatures are kept above freezing
Cacti/succulents

Aeonium arboreum AGM, A. haworthii AGM, A. tabuliforme AGM, A. undulatum AGM

Agave parryi, A. utahensis

Aloe humilis, A. variegata AGM, A. vera AGM

Cereus uruguayanus

Opuntia cantabrigiensis, O. compressa, O. fragilis, O. polycantha

Sempervivum arachnoideum AGM, S. calcareum, S. ciliosum AGM, S. tectorum AGM
Climbing/Trailing plants

Ampelopsis glandulosa var. brevipedunculata ‘Elegans’

Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’ AGM, C. comosum ‘Vittatum’ AGM

Cissus antarctica AGM

Fatshedera lizei AGM



Hedera helix

Jasminum mesnyi AGM, J. polyanthum

Saxifraga stolonifera AGM

Tolmiea menziesii AGM

Tradescantia fluminensis, T. zebrina AGM
Shrubs and perennials

Araucaria heterophylla AGM

Aspidistra elatior AGM

Aucuba japonica

Buxus sempervirens AGM

Campanula isophylla AGM

Euonymus japonicus

Fatsia japonica AGM

Grevillea robusta AGM

Shrubs and perennials (continued)

Pelargonium

Schefflera actinophylla AGM

Soleirolia soleirolii (syn. Helxine)

Trachycarpus fortunei AGM
Ferns

Adiantum hispidulum, A. raddianum AGM

Asparagus densiflorus ‘Myersii’ AGM, A. densiflorus Sprengeri Group AGM, A. falcatus

Asplenium bulbiferum AGM, A. nidus AGM, A. scolopendrium AGM

Cyrtomium falcatum AGM

Nephrolepis exaltata AGM

Pteris cretica AGM, P. tremula

Compiled by

Wisley Laboratory Advisory Service

The Royal Horticultural Society’s Garden,

Wisley, Woking, Surrey GU23 6QB

The mention of any product, supplier or service does not constitute an endorsement by the Society.



RHS - not to be copied or reproduced without prior permission.
THIS LEAFLET IS FREE TO RHS MEMBERS Printed on paper from a sustainable source




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