Best Plants for a warm room

If your room is warm choose some of the plants listed below. But if you have central heating make sure there is enough humidity for them, they all need moisture.

Asparagus is not really a fern. It is, in fact, as you can see by its fine feathery leaves closely related to vegetable asparagus. It needs moisture, and a reasonably warm situation, and benefits from a spell in good light during the summer.

The Bromeliads (Air Pines) are a large family, of which the pineapple is one, whose striped and coloured leaves grow in a stiff rosette or crown forming a cup in the centre. Put water in this central cup, and keep the soil damp. They are epiphytes (living on trees and roofs) so can be grown in small pots and do not need repotting. They are happy in sun or shade, although the more light they receive the better the shadings of their leaves, and they do not mind too much if they are neglected for days on end. The three types of Bromeliad mentioned below ideally should be put somewhere low so that their stiff sculptural shapes can be seen from above.

Bilbergia Nutans has long, narrow, dark-green leaves and an unbelievable flower cluster of green, blue and red.

Cryptanthus are dwarf bromeliads with-out the central cup; they are flat like tabby starfish, striped silver and purple, tolerant and easy-going if kept in a moist atmosphere.

Neoregelia Carolinae Tricolor forms a large flat rosette, has long narrow sword-shaped leaves striped cream and pink and is happy in shade.

There are many varieties of Dieffen-bachia (Dumb Cane), some of which have ornamental leaves with yellow or cream patterning and green edges. All must be sheltered from draughts.

Ferns vary as to the amount of warmth they need, but they all need very little light and a moist atmosphere. This, unfortunately, makes a lot of them unsuitable as house plants. But here are two which are reasonably easy to grow in a warm room as long as they do not get too much light.

Adiantum (Maidenhair Fern) is somewhat delicate but so attractive and ornamental that it is well-worth taking trouble with. Keep it away from draughts – which it particularly dislikes – and make sure it is not in a dry atmosphere. Either spray it once or more a day or stand the pot on an inverted saucer in a bowl of water. Keep the soil as well as the atmosphere moist.

Asplenium Nidus (Bird’s Nest Fern) has bright green leaves with dark mid-ribs. It is happier in a rather warm temperature and, again, must be kept moist.

Sinningia (Gloxinia) with its large dark leaves and velvety bell-shaped flowers is one of the most attractive house plants and flowers throughout the summer.

Schefflera Actinophylla (Umbrella Tree, Sunray Plant) is a shrubby plant with glossy green leaves which divide into between three to seven ‘fingers’. It grows quite tall – between three and four feet – and does not mind a semi-shaded position, but must be kept moist. (It will shed its leaves if it is allowed to dry out.)

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