Let’s Get Our Green On…
We always have a lot going on in the Garden Rooms. From Silk Design to Homewares, Patio and Indoor and Fresh Florals, Roger’s Gardens tirelessly looks for the best and Indoor Specimen Plants are no exception to the rule.
An Indoor Plant can mean many different things to many different people. You may only want to fill a small space on your desk at work or you may want to fill every corner in your entire home, luckily we can help with both. I think most people love the effects of being surrounded by plants. Cleaner air, better mood, happier surroundings, indoor plants are proven to have a positive effect on us. It’s our job in the Garden Rooms to help you bring the outdoor in and our mission is to find the perfect plant for your space.
With the arrival of Spring, Roger’s Gardens has some beautiful new arrivals in Indoor Plants. So, I had a little walk around with my camera and chose a few beauties – some for the ‘architecture’, some for their ‘clean-air efficiency’ and one or two because they just blow me away.
So, here are just a few of my favorites from our House Plant Nursery.
Beaucarnea Pony Tail Palm or (Elephant Foot Plant)
I lived in Australia for six years after college and fell in love with the Elephant Foot Palm there, for obvious reasons. It is, for lack of a botanical word, adorable – they just make me smile. Eventually and like their namesake these Specimen Plants will grow large but it can take some time for that to happen so for that reason they make an extremely interesting plant for the home.
Their signature swollen thick brown stem at its base stores water which makes it a perfect plant for dryer climes although does best if watered frequently. I’ve rested on the ‘belly’ of many an Elephant Foot Palm after a run in Sydney. They are like an old friend, you just want to sit next to them and visit a while.
Sansevieria or Mother-In-Law’s Tongue or The Snake Plant
If there ever was a Brown Thumb plant this is it. A Sansevieria is a diehard indoor plant. From patio to a low-light guest room, these are hardy little friends. I say this as not to encourage misuse but to point out there is a plant for those who fear plants- or the care of them.
The Sansevieria has many varieties of variegation on the leaves and come in many shades of green and leaf shapes.. fat, long, skinny etc. Also, slow growing, the Sansevieria make a robust addition to the family and are highly efficient air purifiers. Low water, well drained and moderate light with occasional feeding will keep your Snake Plant happy and healthy for years.
Dracaena Family – Magenta Stump, Dragon and Compacta (shown)
The misunderstood plant. The Dracaena comes in many, many varieties and because they are common people tend to have killed one at least once in their dorm room or spare bathroom.
They are good-looking, structural plants with a lovely ‘quirky’ character and often remarkable variegated greenery resting a top a long misshapen trunk. I love looking for the hidden human or animal silhouette in their structure.
They are often sold as a ‘very easy care’ plant, and in many ways that is true if you give them the right conditions a Dracaena will reward you 10 X your efforts! Easy care does not mean ignore… so here is a tried and true recipe to keeping a Dracaena happy. Care for any of the varieties, sizes, or shapes are essentially the same…
They are not a low-light plant and neither can they take on full sun. They love a goodly moderate amount of filtered light, although they can tolerate low light conditions for a while they will begin to produce very weak and floppy green leaf shoots. Water is minimal with an indoor dracaena, in fact well-drained soil is essential. Never EVER let them sit in H20. Also, dips in temperature are a no no… Keep them above sixty degrees then sit back and watch the results of a well-cared for Dracaena.
I am very partial to these gorgeous chaps!
Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’
This chubby Ficus Elastica is one of my all-time favorite plants. The ‘Rubber Tree’ is such a gloriously confident plant. They are substantial and strong and will grow tall (but when grown indoors to a more manageable height) and so attractive with thick or rubbery glossy leaves that can grow as big as your face! Also an efficient air purifier, the Rubber Tree makes a statement in a room, so be prepared to let them take the limelight!
This variety has burgundy leaves but they can come in a rich green tones too. They love an indoor position not far from light but no drafts or cold breezes! A well-drained soil is a must (with one part peat) and watch out for over-watering. We tend to want to love our plants too much and over-watering is one way we show it. A good rule of thumb is when the ‘crust’ or the top of the plant is dry to the touch and up to an inch inside the soil, it’s time to water. They also respond well to occasional feeding.
Zamicculcus Zamifolia or ZZ Plant
The waxy shiny leaves and tall stalks and easy nature of the ‘ZZ’ Plant might make you think you couldn’t possibly take proper care of such a magnificent creature! That plant is way above my botanical ability… I hear you say. Think again. The ZZ (for short and for obvious reasons) is a sturdy, enduring house plant that can go for weeks without a good watering. If you can avoid that circumstance though all the better.
The ZZ’s deep green foliage never wavers unless a new shoot is spotted, coming up lime green which quickly follows suit and turns dark. The ZZ can also sustain in low-light conditions although is happier in bright moderate indirect light.
Even though they can go long periods without watering… watering your ZZ is essential, none the less and getting your ZZ on a regular watering schedule is a good habit to get into. Twice a month is a pretty good rule of thumb –or less-according to your home’s conditions. Using a water meter (available in the Garden Rooms) is helpful.
Strelitizia Nicoli White Bird of Paradise
Unlike its sister, the Strelitizia Nicoli produces a white flower and is an excellent indoor plant believe it or not. The Strelitzia Nicolai likes a bright spot with good light and sun is required if you want growth and flowering.
Until flowering though this lady gives you outstanding tropical foliage value all year long. Straight and long, these leaves are almost enough of a reward and then, yay white birds of paradise pop up! But be patient, this plant will need around 10 years of maturity before flowering.
The brighter the aspect, the more water a Strelitzia needs so keep that in mind when choosing the place for this sunny plant.
Keep water to a minimum, they like their soil on the dry side and avoid salts in the water, so make sure you use good water and stay away from over fertilizing.
Ficus Lyrata or Fiddle Leaf Fig
Last but certainly not least is the Fiddle Leaf Fig. The Fiddle Leaf is getting a lot of attention lately and for very good reason. They are funny friendly trees. Their veiny green plate-sized leaves either grow along the entire length of the trunk or in the case of the ‘Lollipop Style’ have been pruned to grown in a ‘ball shape’ at the top.
The Ficus Lyrata requires bright, filtered light and can take a small amount of direct sun in an East-facing window. Slow growth will point to a problem with the lighting conditions as in you might want to add more. Also, turning the whole plant every month or so will keep it growing evenly.
Watering conditions are best when partially moist, but don’t allow it to sit in water or it will drop leaves and suffer from root rot and we recommend a good organic potting soil, like Roger’s Gardens Potting Soil (insert link) – Only Fertilize through the growing season and low fertilization at that.
A Fiddle Leaf Fig can be quite chatty in that they will tell you when they are unhappy… heed their warnings!
All the above Specimen Plants are currently available at our indoor plant store. Ask for Lynda or anyone of my knowledgeable colleagues. We will be delighted to help you find the perfect plant. See you soon in the Garden Rooms.