The simple act of placing a pot of delicately-flowered Cyclamen (Sowbread) on a table or hanging a basket of silver-leafed Wandering Jew in a kitchen window or adding a bright green potted Sago Palm (Cycas) to an empty corner instantly transforms a room into a relaxing oasis. Indoor plants bring the soothing colors and scents of nature into our homes.
With little effort, you can pick up a few potted plants at your local garden or home center and quickly turn an ordinary room into a veritable indoor garden that will provide year-round comfort and delight.
Growing plants indoors is easy; follow these tips:
- Light. All plants need sunlight, but light needs vary. Place plants that require a lot of direct sunlight, like succulents and Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera), in south-facing windows. Shadier north windows are perfect for large-leafed plants like Bromeliad. African Violets (Saintpaulia) and Kimberly Queen Ferns (Nephrolepis) thrive in east- and west-facing windows. On dreary days, turn on a nearby table or floor lamp to augment natural light. Plants that thrive in indirect light such as Just Add Ice Orchids (Phalaenopsis) should be placed deeper into the interior of a room. To promote even growth, give plant pots a quarter turn once a week.
- Soil. Garden soil is too heavy and dense for indoor plants. Indoor plants should be planted in potting soil, also called “planting medium” that is formulated for indoor use. Potting soil contains materials, such as perlite, that create air spaces in the soil that promote good drainage and allow plant roots to breathe. Specialty potting mixes are available for orchids, violets and cacti.