My Five Favourite Houseplants
Gardening is a joy and a great way to unwind and get a way from it all. There is no reason that when the outside gardening season comes to an end that you need to forgo this activity, you simply move it inside.
Indoor gardening can bring you pleasure and joy as you experience a new plant breaking the soil and emerging into the light. Indoors you may actually be able to watch the plant develop as you witness each stage.
There are five houseplants that I suggest anyone who is beginning to create an indoor garden obtain. Or, if you are already an indoor gardener and looking to increase the size of your garden, give some thought to these five.
They are, in no order of importance; African violet, peace lily, red emerald philodendron, spider plant and Christmas cactus.
The African violet is relatively easy to care for and will reward your attentions with many years’ of beauty. The African violet (Saintpaulia species) may well be one of the most popular houseplant and one that grows and flowers under light conditions found in the average home or under artificial light. Many different varieties, types, and flower colors exist.
The red emerald philodendron or Philodendron Red Emerald as it is properly called was first introduced as a houseplant during the Victorian era. They do not need direct sunlight and as it is a climber can fill a corner that is crying out for life. A trellis placed in the container will provide the plant with something to climb.
When it comes to watering the leaves will need regular misting in the winter.
Propagate this plant in summer when the conditions are warm by taking stem cuttings.
The peace lily or Spathiphyllum is another plant that will do well out of direct sunlight, as long as it does not get cold in winter. The peace lily does not like draughts. Regular misting will help and be sure to keep the potting soil moist but reduce the watering in the winter months.
The spider plant or Chlorphytum is a very popular houseplant. It grows fast and makes a great plant for a hanging basket. The spider plant will grow in either sun or shade, warm or cool conditions. This plant has a 200 year old history as a houseplant.
The spider plant will need occasional misting during the summer months.
The Christmas cactus or Zygocactus truncates is an ideal choice to add a touch of beauty and grace to the holiday season. It will bloom in white, red, pink or purple blooms between mid-November and late January. It is also the most demanding of the five.
If you are going to succeed with your Christmas cactus you will need a potting mix that is well drained and has good aeration. I make my own from one part potting soil mixed with two parts peat moss or compost, and one part sharp sand or perlite.
Christmas cactus do not mind being pot bound and will need repotting only once every three years. In midwinter the plant enjoys full sunlight, but during the summer months, filtered light is better.
That is it, my list of the five houseplants that can transform your indoor garden and move you from a beginner to a serious gardener and all with relative ease.