Perhaps the most difficult time for indoor plants is the settling in period immediately after they have been purchased, when they are introduced to room conditions. Therefore it is important in the beginning that they should enjoy the best possible location in the home, for the first few weeks at least. The averagefor offers light and airy conditions that are ideal for cyclamen, cinerarias and such like, and for the more delicate foliage plants warm, shaded and moist conditions are the order of the day.
So it is important to check the requirements of plants being purchased in order that conditions as near the ideal as possible can be provided when plants are introduced to their new home. Over a period of three to four weeks most plants will adapt to the new environment and can then be moved to less suitable areas. But to place plants immediately after purchase in rooms that are totally alien to their needs will almost certainly result in them doing much less well than might be expected.
For foliage plants that have enjoyed the warm, moist and shaded conditions mentioned earlier, the warm, steamy bathroom is one of the best places to keep them during their initial few weeks indoors. It is, however, important that the temperature in the room should be maintained in the region of 18°C/65CF with reasonable consistency throughout the 24 hours of the day, as fluctuating temperatures can be particularly harmful to newly introduced plants.
Besides being an ideal home for new plants of a delicate nature, and a convalescent home for flagging plants, the bathroom with its warm and moist conditions is far and away the best permanent home for many of the more temperamental plants. In this respect almost all
Plant for the bathroom
the plants in the vast aeroid family would be suitable and some of the exotic ferns from tropical forests, although care would have to be exercised when selecting plants to ensure that aeroids with potential growth suited to the size of the bathroom are chosen. The king of philodendrons, P. eichleri, produces its largefrom a stout central and develops into a plant some 3m/ 10ft in height, with a spread of taking in an area of similar diameter. With such a plant most bathrooms would be filled to capacity, and this is not quite what you are looking for when considering the
Plants for the kitchen
possibility of using plants to enhance the beauty of the homestead! Fortunately the foregoing plant is one of the exceptions and, for those with smaller bathrooms, should not put you off the possibility of growing plants of the aeroid family indoors.
There are a great many others of more modest dimension that are among the finest of indoor plants. And what better choice could there be than the bathroom plant, or sweetheart plant,, with its glossy green leaves that are heart-shaped in appearance. This plant, like the scindapsus and
other aeroids with smaller leaves, can be adapted either to climb or trail, depending on what is required.
With aeroids you need not be restricted to purely foliage plants as the anthuriums with their long-lasting spathe, mostly in shades of red, will give a fine and need only a warm, moist and shaded situation in order to succeed. Where space is limited the best choice will be A. scherzeriamwi. Also with spathe there is Spathiphyllutn wallisii, the white spathes of which are produced almost throughout the year, and will surely be more numerous if the plants are grown in the steamy warmth of the bathroom.
If you are fortunate enough to have a say in the design of your house, persuade the architect to allow for recessed shelving in the bathroom. This is an excellent solution to finding shelf space for plants.
The only limiting factor concerning which plants can and cannot be used is the size of the bathroom, as almost all the foliage plants needing warm conditions will be suitable. However, there is one very important precaution that you should take, and that is to ensure that all plants are kept well out of harm’s way when aersol sprays are being used, unless these are specifically intended for treating plants. Also, with the clouds of talcum powder that are usually prevalent in the bathroom it is necessary to clean the foliage of bathroom plants more frequently than those in other rooms. In most instances this can be done by placing the plant in the bathtub and spraying it over. The extra moisture will usually be to the benefit of the plant.
If the bathroom is the ideal place for the more tender, warm-loving plants, then the kitchen windowsill is the perfect spot for the plants that prefer cooler locations. This applies in particular to the spring-flowering subjects, which seem to favour this location, not least the often problematical saintpaulia and the pelargoniums.
The fact that the kitchen has few, if any, heavy curtaining around its windows plays an important part in getting the best out of your plants. And, provided water is kept off leaves and flowers, the majority of our indoor plants will tolerate much more direct sunlight than you would believe possible. Exposing plants to very strong sunlight for long periods is, however, not advisable, and it will be better to remove plants that are likely to be harmed from the windowledge during the hottest part of the day.
To make the movement of plants a less tedious business it will help if they are all grown in aof some kind so that the complete collection of plants may be transferred at one go. Windowledge troughs will give the windowledge a neat appearance, and plants will almost invariably do better when they are grouped together rather than when they are dotted about the room.
Troughs for plants can be utilized in several different ways, and there is no reason why they should not simply be put to use as pot holders with a selection of plants placed in them. An improvement on this is to place a 5cm/2in layer of gravel in the bottom of the container before setting in the plant. Thereafter the gravel should be kept moist, but the plant must at no time be allowed actually to stand in water. An alternative to gravel would be to fill the trough with moist peat, packing it up to the rims of the pots in which the plants are growing. Both methods will help to maintain a reasonable level of around the plants, which is one of the most important requirements of all plants that are growing in relatively dry atmospheric conditions. Leaves should be sponged frequently to remove coatings of grease.
By leaving plants in their individual pots they may all be attended to as individuals when it comes toand . However, if plants that are reasonably compatible in their and feeding needs are grouped together there is no reason why they should not be removed from their pots and planted individually in the trough. When planting in this way a soil containing a reasonably high proportion of peat should be used. Following planting, water must be given sparingly until plants are obviously established in the new medium, and at no time should water be given excessively as few of the troughs will have holes from which excess moisture may drain.
The average-size kitchen is seldom suited to the growing of larger plants, yet there is often the need for using plants to divide the working part of the kitchen from the small dining recess that is part of the kitchen area. Although there may be little chance of using large plants there is ample scope for using smaller plants placed on tiered shelving. In this respect, smaller plants in decorative pots placed among other small ornaments can be most effective, and the entire scene will be enhanced if some of the plants trail over the edges of the shelves.
Most of the plant pot holders offered for sale are more costly than the plants that are placed in them, but there are also the more reasonable plastic items. Some are attractive while others are not so appealing to the eye. For narrow kitchen shelves, however, there are some excellent plastic plant trays that are shallow enough not to be obtrusive.