As we are in a colder season now, I thought we should look at the myriad of opportunities obtaining beautiful house plants. Decorative, useful and easy to take care of, they bring a lot of good into our homes. Do think about where you want to put them. Some plants cannot stand draughty spots, others less sun and so on. This is very important to ensure you get the most out of the flowers and plants. As with outside plants, containers, soil and knowing when and how much to water or not is important. From succulents, which I love as they are so easy to take care of, to standing plants, what a variety we have to choose from.
Succulents prefer bright light, such as found on a south-facing window. Watch the leaves for indications that the light level is correct, as some species will scorch if suddenly exposed to direct sunlight. The leaves will turn brown or white as the plant bleaches out and the soft tissues are destroyed. Alternatively, an under-lit succulent will begin to stretch, with an elongated stem and widely spaced leaves. This condition is known as etoliation, When this happens, the solution is to provide better light and prune the plant back to its original shape.
Ideally, succulents prefer daytime temperatures between 70F and about 85F and night-time temperatures between 50F and 55F. Aloe Vera growing in small pots look lovely on a window sill, for example, and are very practical.Proper Watering
Succulents should be watered generously in the summer. The potting mix should be allowed to dry between watering, but do not under-water. During the winter, when the plants go dormant, cut watering back to once every other month. Over-watering and ensuing plant rot is the single most common cause of plant failure. Be aware that an over-watered succulent might at first plump up and look very healthy. However, the cause of death may have already set in underground, with rot spreading upward from the root system. A succulent should never be allowed to sit in water. As for other plants, also be careful never to over-water. They might look plump and attractive but soon the plants will lose their leaves, turn brown and yellow and look lifeless.
Some great flowers to plant for their ease are:
The easy-care peace lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) tolerates low humidity and low light. Its glossy, lance-shape leaves tip arching stems that surround the central flower spikes.
This versatile foliage plant’s dainty demeanour makes it suitable for hanging baskets or pots. It’s among the best houseplants for training on topiary forms or using as a ground cover beneath larger house plants. Place English Ivy (Hedera helix) on a mantel or shelf where the stems can hang down. The stems can grow quite long but are easily controlled with pruning.
The trailing stems of tradescantias (Tradescantia spp.) change direction slightly at each node, giving the plant a zigzag look. Grow in mixed baskets, hanging baskets or as a ground cover under larger houseplants.
African violets are among the easiest to grow flowering house plants. They bloom year-round with little effort. Choose from hundreds of varieties and forms, some with variegated foliage or ruffled or white-edged blooms. African violets like warm conditions and filtered sunlight. Avoid getting water on the fuzzy leaves; cold water causes unsightly brown spots.
There are many types of jasmine. Many-flowered jasmine (J. polyanthum, pictured) and Arabian jasmine (J. sambac) are two of the easiest to grow; just give them plenty of light and moisture. They’ll all bear fragrant pink to white blooms on vining plants.
Several types of geraniums are grown as house plants. Regal or Martha Washington geranium (pictured) has the largest, showiest blooms, but requires cool growing conditions.
These are a just few of the hundreds you can choose from. Have a great time growing and enjoying them in all their glory.