Landscaping — indoors? That’s right. It’s time for you to think about your indoor plants as landscaping. And if you’re moving into a new home, consider it as a fresh start. Now’s your chance to accentuate your home’s personality and décor with the addition of houseplants with a landscaping plan in mind.
Amin Datoo, manager of the Sheridan Nurseries on Yonge Street, agrees. But where do you begin?
“The first question we ask homeowners is what kind of lighting do you have?” says Datoo.
Light plays the biggest factor.
“We always say that plants do not like direct sun when they’re in the house,” he says. “The reason being is because in the winter months they could become dry and the direct sun can scorch them. So it’s always best to have filtered brightness. And if you want height, plants like Bamboo Palm, (Chamaedorea elegans), Dumb-cane (Dieffenbachia), or perhaps a variety of Ficus called Ficus maclellandii ‘Alii,’ they do well in low light. The ever-favourite Corn Plant or (Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’) — anything within the Dracaena family does well in low light and they all have height.”
And if you’re looking for something for a coffee table or low floor plant, “The ever-famous Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum), Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema) — all do well in low light.”
Your indoor landscaping plan is no different from your overall design plan. Don’t forget to incorporate plants of various heights in order to create interest. A composition of leafy and flowering plants should be considered.
“If you have a lot of light, use colourful things like Croton (Codiaeum), Schefflera (Brassaia), Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina) or different kinds of Palm, Yucca. And don’t forget the Cactus —they make great indoor plants and create a wonderful focal point in a room,” says Datoo.
There are other things your nursery needs to know in order to help you build your indoor garden. For instance:
• Do you have young children or pets?
• What kind of look are you trying to achieve?
• Do you have height to work with?
• How high or low are your ceilings?
• Do you need a floor plant or a plant as an accent?
• Are you trying to hide something?
• What’s your budget?
As for care and maintenance, Datoo says the biggest mistake he finds people make is when they are watering, they water all at once.
“Instead, first aerate the soil by loosening it,” he suggests. “This way when you water, the water goes into the middle of the plant and the roots absorb it.”
Keep it simple. Once you’ve established a feeding schedule, stick to it. Don’t fuss over your plants. Plants like their independence.
And why not think about incorporating herbs into your plans? There is nothing better than having fresh herbs at your fingertips. As long as you have bright light with a little bit of humidity, they’ll do fine, even in the winter months, inside.
Creating arrangements and designing eye pleasing compositions will give your indoor plants a reason to exist in your homes décor. For more ideas, seek the expertise of your local nursery.