Houseplants, once overlooked Cinderellas, are now seeing a comeback. Many of the younger generation living in flats in cities are greening their homes/ living spaces with house plants. Such urban gardening is now a popular trend and indoor jungles are becoming increasingly fashionable.
In recent years the Royal Horticultural Society has been campaigning for the greening of our cities with plants. Plants remove pollutants from the air and provide oxygen. They create cooling shade as well as promoting well-being with their soothing greens. We all need to bring the countryside into our steel, concrete and paved cities. Tree-lined streets are always favourites with estate agents. More green roofs are appearing, often in surprising places while green parks act as the lungs of our towns and cities.
We also need to be greening our homes with indoor plants. I certainly do.
Plants always do better when put together in groups. It creates a moist microclimate. They take up less space that way too. I like to stand the pots in damp trays that can then be moved, if need be, when the grandchildren come, including Mungo the dog who even eats raspberries off the bushes in the garden when no one is looking!
Streptocarpus are an essential. They’re always a reliable and long flowering option. I always try to have a few gloxinias also.
The creative indoor gardener will have to have a cuttings corner. The motto is buy one plant and then propagate 6 more for free! Some can be grown from seed. Cuttings often root better standing in a jar of water and a cheap plastic dome makes a simple but effective and accessible terrarium. The mist water sprayer is an essential.
In the past some of my houseplants did so well that they out-grew their space and had to find other larger homes. The cheese plant is well named Monstera, for it soon becomes a monster in size and Ficus elastica will reach the ceiling if we let it! Beware of the triffids! But the fear of them need not put us off. In general, if we look after our houseplants they will look after us. If they’re happy we will be too. Growing plants in our home is good for us and for our health and well-being.
For some photos of other indoor plants I have grown in recent years see the post ‘My Tropical Plants’.