Over the last couple of years, we have all had to spend significantly more time in our homes, which has impacted the way we decorate our indoor spaces. Creating a calming environment inspired by the great outdoors, incorporating plants of all shapes and sizes, has become a common goal - with rooms featuring neutral colour palettes and an abundance of fresh foliage to bring a sense of tranquillity.
If you’re looking to refresh your home with some greenery but aren’t sure where to begin, take inspiration from The Fairview Gardener's Glenn Satterthwaite as he explains how to choose the best houseplants for your Gloucestershire home.
What would you recommend as a good starter houseplant?
Some of the best houseplants to start your collection with are cacti and succulents, as these need minimal watering, lowering the maintenance. They usually just like good natural light and very little feed.
Have you noticed any trends in houseplants recently?
Since the lockdowns, there has been a large swing to houseplant growing in general. Being stuck in our houses highlighted that plants not only add calming green tones but also turn negative carbon dioxide into oxygen and can even help in taking toxins and smells from the air. All forms of houseplants have been very popular, from flowering favourites to lush green plants. Customers are just loving using plants as part of their interior decoration.
As we know, England isn’t always the sunniest of destinations – what are the best plants for low light conditions?
Most plants need at least a low level of natural light to enable them to photosynthesise, but there are a few plants that are tolerant of lower than average light levels and these include fatsias, hedera (ivy) and aspidistra.
What are some tips for looking after your plants?
Plants, like people, need the correct amount of water and feed in order to survive; these can be different for each species. It is best to research what plants will thrive in which locations in your home, taking into consideration things like light level, the humidity of the rooms, heat and location.
What are the most common pests for houseplants and how can they be kept at bay?
Houseplants can be affected by a number of pests, most commonly white-fly, greenfly, scale insects and spider mites. Good feeding and plant husbandry can certainly help in ensuring the plant is in tip-top condition to fight off the pests; after all, a strong plant will be much better adapted to keep them at bay. Regular wiping down of the leaves with water and a pad will remove any dust, detritus or surface pests - but if it’s a very persistent pest problem, a pesticide might be needed to spray the plant.
What’s your favourite indoor plant?
If you could see my house... I don’t really have a favourite, I love them all! I have some low light level areas, where my aspidistra is looking amazing. The bathroom is full of succulents, i.e., aloe and rhipsalis, but the show stopper at the moment is a red and green leaved calathea that is looking stunning.
What houseplants do you have available at The Fairview Gardener?
We generally have a good comprehensive range of houseplants from cacti, through succulents to orchids and large specimen green plants. We can give advice as to which plant will work best in your house.