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What are the Best House Plants?

Growing plants inside can be every bit as challenging as tending your garden but is just as rewarding. It’s time to rediscover indoor plants. Plants have a few basic needs. They must receive light to photosynthesise and produce energy. Plus, they must have water, they must have nutrients, and many must have soil to anchor their roots in.

Within these boundaries, there are vast areas of difference. A desert cactus comes from a completely different world to a tropical plant. Yet, you can get both to grow in your house, possibly even next door to each other.

Plants grown in a pot are almost entirely reliant on you for all their water and food needs, while an indoor plant also relies on you for how much and what kind of light it receives. So how do we try to keep our long-term houseguests happy? In this post, I show you exactly how to pick plants that will thrive in every room of your home. So, what are the best house plants? This guide also includes lots of advice on where to place them, watering and general care. Let’s dive right in!

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Prayer Plant
Why not treat yourself to this Prayer Plant, which earned its name because of the way its leaves fold together at night like hands closed in prayer. Click on the image for the best price!

 

Indoor House Plants

House plants may once have had a dusty, old-fashioned reputation, but they are very much back in style. Not only can they look modern and chic, but we’re also discovering the benefits of growing indoor plants. Greenery in our homes can make us feel calmer and increase our sense of wellbeing. Houseplants also help to purify the air by removing the toxins given off by furniture, cleaning products and electrical goods. This is especially useful at this time of year when we keep windows closed. Houseplants can remove up to 87% of the toxins in a room in 24 hours Click To Tweet. You might think that house plants are hard to keep alive and healthy, but if you choose the right ones for the right spots and give them the growing conditions they like, they’re straightforward to care for. Use this guide to find plants that will thrive in every room of your home, making a welcome addition to your life.


Landscaping Ideas

 

The Eight Best Indoor Plants to Purify the Air in Your Home

  • Snake Plant
  • Pothos
  • Dracaena
  • ZZ Plant
  • Spider Plant
  • Rubber Tree
  • Bird’s Nest Fern
  • Peace Lily

#SleepHack: Pop a snake plant in your room to boost your bedroom’s night-time air quality. Unlike most other plants, which release carbon dioxide at night, this one continues to absorb it and release pure oxygen. It also filters out toxins.



 

The Well Jar: Biophilia is spreading in the workplace. But before you panic-dash to the doctor or call the police, this is neither an illness nor something disgraced TV presenters are accused of; it’s our need to be near nature. Those who work among nature report a 15% higher level of wellbeing and creativity; and cutting-edge companies have cottoned on. Amazon’s new meeting rooms house 400 different species of plant, and Apple is planting 8000 trees at its California campus. Bring this to your own desk with a pothos plant. It can survive in air-conditioning, grow in a jar, and absorb toxins. Plus, it’s hardy. So even you can’t kill it!

What are the Best House Plants?

Shady Corner

Verdant vs variegated: Peace Lily and Wandering Jew

Where: With their attractive foliage, these plants are great for brightening up areas away from windows, such as hallways or corners, as they can cope with less light than other houseplants. They like to stay out of the direct sun, and need to keep reasonably warm; ideally, the temperature shouldn’t drop below 10 to 12 degrees centigrade. Also, keep them away from any cold draughts.

Watering: Water regularly in summer, but don’t let them sit in water. Keep them on the dry side over winter, allowing the compost to dry out between waterings. During spring and summer, feed every three weeks with a houseplant fertiliser.

TLC: All of these like to have their leaves misted regularly.

Moving on up: These slow-growing plants are happy to stay in the same pot for several years.

What are the Best House Plants

Hot, Bright Windowsill

Stylish and easy to care for: Watch Chain Plant, Mixed Cacti, and Trumpet Jade

Where: Desert cacti and succulents are perfect for window sills where the sun comes in for part of the day. They love dry air and can cope with direct sunlight; conditions that wouldn’t suit many other houseplants. They need as much light as possible, so place them on a bright windowsill.

Watering: The easiest way to kill succulents is by overwatering. Never leave them standing in water and always let the compost dry out between waterings; push your finger down into the compost to check. In winter, water less frequently, allowing the compost to dry out completely before watering. Try not to wet the plants, as they’re prone to rot.

TLC: Water monthly with a cacti feed in spring and summer.

Moving on up: In spring, move any pot-bound plants into a container that’s a little wider. Use a specialist cacti compost.

What are the Best House Plants

Shady and Humid

Lush, lacy leaves: Delta Maidenhair Fern

Where: Indoor ferns are perfect for bathrooms and shady kitchens, as they like high humidity and some shade. Keep them away from windows and radiators, as cold draughts and hot, dry air will cause the leaves to go brown and wither.

Watering: They need moist, free-draining soil, so water every week or so. Water the compost directly and allow the water to drain away. Use a weak liquid houseplant feed every couple of weeks.

TLC: Fill a saucer with gravel or small pebbles and top up with water. Place the pot on top, making sure it’s base isn’t submerged in the water. This raises the humidity around the plant.

Moving On Up: Ferns should be happy in the same pot for a year or two. Repot in spring if roots are growing out of the base. Use a container just a couple of centimetres bigger, and fill with houseplant compost.

What are the Best House Plants

Bright and Warm

Year-round flowers: Moth Orchid

Where: Moth orchids are prolific and spectacular flowerers. They need a slightly tricky balance of lots of light but not direct sun. In winter, particularly they need plenty of light to encourage flowering. Place on or near a north-, east- or west-facing window, avoiding draughts and fluctuating temperatures.

Watering: Water into the top of the pot and let it drain away before placing back in the outer container. Do this frequently to keep the free-draining compost just moist. Lightly spray the foliage but never leave standing in water. Use orchid feed in spring and summer if a plant doesn’t flower.

TLC: If a plant doesn’t flower for several months, move it to a cooler spot for a few weeks.

Moving on up: Repot every two years or so when the bark compost is breaking down. Choose a pot that’s just large enough to fit the rootball and use orchid compost. Moth orchid roots benefit from light, so a clear container is best, with an outer glass pot. Moth orchids are epiphytic (growing on trees) so the roots are not covered by soil in nature.

What are the Best House Plants

Cool Windowsill

Delicate flowers for months: Cape Primrose

Where: Wild cape primroses grow in dappled wooded valleys and ravines in South Africa. The flowers are almost orchid-like. To grow them indoors, they need bright light but not the hot sun; an east- or west-facing windowsill is ideal.

Watering: It’s important not to overwater, so wait until the compost feels dry and don’t let the plant sit in water. Take care not to splash the leaves as this can cause brown marks. Feed every couple of weeks with a high potash fertiliser, such as liquid tomato feed, at a quarter of the recommended dilution. In winter, water less and don’t feed.

TLC: Older leaves naturally turn brown at the top. Remove the unsightly tip or the whole leaf at the base with secateurs.

Moving on up: Transfer into a slightly larger part each spring; not too big though, as these plants flower more when somewhat pot-bound. Use houseplant compost and add some perlite to improve drainage.

 

Tackling Pests and Problems

  • Greenfly and blackfly/aphids are best blasted off with water from the tap.
  • Powdery mildew is often caused by dryness and not enough air circulation.
  • Mealybug can be destroyed by dabbing with a paintbrush dipped in alcohol. Heavily infested plants should be composted.
  • Red spider mite thrives in a dry atmosphere, so mist the leaves regularly and use a biological control.
  • Scale has a waxy shell and clings to the plant. Destroy with alcohol or biological control.
  • Grey mould is often caused by too much humidity in winter. Cut off infected leaves and bin.
  • Whitefly are tiny white, moth-like creatures that suck sap. The biological control Encarsia is effective.

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Indoor Hanging Basket Plants

Hanging Garden Pots

Bathrooms, with their warm, humid atmosphere, make an ideal place to keep a houseplant. It will help to remove some of the moisture in the air. Subsequently, less frequent watering is necessary; a win-win situation! However, there can often be a smaller surface and floor space. The solution is to hang the plants from the walls or ceiling.

Choosing a Container

The 1970s trend for macrame (knotted string) potholders has recently come back into fashion. Still, there are also plenty of other more minimalist designs of hanging pots available. They can all attach to walls or ceilings. Outdoor hanging baskets, when lined sufficiently, are an inexpensive option that can hold several specimens in one container.

 

Macrame Hanging Garden

What to Plant

Refer to my Plant Files for examples of plants that will thrive in a bathroom’s microclimate – primarily all those that originate from jungle habitats. Avoid any spiky or scratchy plants, for obvious reasons!

Planting

As with standing pots, hanging containers can either receive the plant directly or house a plant that’s in a plastic pot. Take into account the weight of the plant and compost when wet, and avoid using heavy pots. Likewise, make sure that the wires or string and wall or ceiling fittings are up to the job and can take the strain.

Repetition and symmetry always look good, so consider having two identical planters and plants, such as spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) hanging either side of a window.

A Natural Screen

Use several long trailing plants, such as species of ivy (Hedera) or hearts on a string (Ceropegia woodii), suspended in a line at the same height to create a screen, perhaps in place of a window blind.

A Hanging Forest

Suspend a collection of plants from the ceiling. Hang them close together but at different heights, considering the heights and trailing habits of each plant, to display them to their best advantage.

Hedera helix Goldchild

This colourful evergreen climber will light up a partially shaded corner, even on dull winter days. Olive green, lobed leaves sport broad gold margins which reflect the light beautifully. Hedera helix ‘Goldchild’ is an attractive self-clinging climber, scaling walls and fences without the need for extra support. Perfect for creating a low maintenance, evergreen background for other shrubs and perennials. Height and spread: 3m (118″).

Click here to buy your very own gorgeous Goldchild! 

 

Hanging Plants Goldchild

Grow ivy in any moist, well-drained garden soil in a sheltered position, in full sun or partial shade. Ivy will perform exceptionally well on alkaline soils, although plants are also tolerant of a wide range of different soil conditions.

Prune your ivy plants to fit the space available. Plants can be trimmed at any time, although spring is the best for renovation pruning before the new growth starts. Caution; irritant to skin and eyes, harmful if eaten.

Maintenance

It is usually easier to leave a hanging plant where it is for watering, but if taking it down, stand the pot on an upturned bucket or put it on the edge of a work surface so that the trailing stems are not broken by being pushed horizontally.

Water thoroughly as usual, but pour on very slowly with plenty of pauses, to allow the water to seep in and avoid potential overflow onto the floor.

Grow Nine-Piece Zinc Planter Set

This 9-piece set of zinc planters is perfect for fulfilling all of your planting needs.

It is suitable for a range of different uses, from planting flowers, herbs and small plants to storage or as a desktop stationery holder.

Click here to buy your own zinc planter set!

 

Zinc Pots Set

Suitable for indoor or outdoor use, these planters have been designed without drainage holes so that they don’t leak water.

These durable planters are made from galvanised zinc for both durability and strength.

Kokedama and String Gardens

The Japanese art of kokedama (literally meaning “Moss ball”) involves no pots at all. Instead, plants grow from a ball of clay and moss formed around the roots, which can then be placed on a surface or suspended from the ceiling. This technique looks most effective when used on groups of the same plant – a display style called a “string garden”.

What to Plant

Almost any plant can be planted in a kokedama, but some work better than others. For temporary, easy-to-create displays, use flowering bulbs such as snowdrops and species of Muscari. More permanent plantings could be made from most perennials (although avoid those with large, leaves that will wilt quickly) and traditional houseplants. Many string Gardens are made using tree seedlings, which are ideal, as they are slow-growing.

Kokedama from Bulbs

Temporary plantings of bulbs (bare of any soil) need only be wrapped in a good-sized ball of moss and string, then misted thoroughly before hanging.

Method

Take the plant out of its pot and carefully put to one side. Fill the pot with two-thirds peat moss and one-third akadama (a specialist bonsai soil, available online).

Then, tip the mixture into a bowl and mix thoroughly with enough water to stick it together.

Crumble away the potting compost from the plant’s roots, then mould the kokedama mix around the roots, to form a ball.

Wrap the ball tightly in sphagnum moss (available in bags from garden centres and online) so that none of the soil mix is visible.

Use string to wrap the whole thing in a crisscross fashion. If the plant is to be hung up, add another long loop of string, carefully secured to the plant, so that the plant’s stem is at the top of the ball when suspended.

Landscaping Ideas

Maintenance

Check if a kokedama plant needs water by weighing it – the lighter it feels, the less water it contains. To water, take the plant down and submerge in a bucket of water for an hour, remove and let it finish dripping (hang it over the bath or sink) before returning it to its usual spot. A half measure of liquid fertiliser can be added to the water in spring and summer.

Supports and Training

Growing a climbing plant is a great way to fill your house with foliage without taking up a lot of floor space, as it grows from a single pot. They can be trained over archways, around windows, up a stairwell or around a conservatory. Provided they get the light and conditions they need, they can adapt to most situations. If you are looking for advice on the best tall indoor house plants, there are some suggestions below.

Training a Climbing Plant

It is always easier to put in the support system for a climber before the plant reaches the point at which it will need it, rather than trying to fiddle around supporting it after it has started to grow. The easiest way to create a training system is to use strong wires, stretched taught between eyelet screws and attached to a wall, staircase or the wooden trim of a conservatory.

If the plant is naturally twining, it will wind itself around the wire, and little intervention will be needed other than to tuck in a wayward stem here and there. Others will need regular tying in. How often you will need to do so depends on the plant, but, in general, ties should be placed at intervals so that the stem is not bowing significantly below the wire.

Use soft horticultural twine to tie in the stems using a figure-of-eight tie. Loop the twine around the stem, cross over the ends and loop around the wire, always tying off against the wire rather than the stem. Avoid tying the twine too tight; you should allow a little space for the stem to grow in thickness. Check ties regularly and replace them as necessary.

Once a climbing plant reaches the end of the support system (eg it has grown all the way over an archway or doorway), the growing tips will need regular pruning to stop it growing any further.

 

Indoor Trellis

Less vigorous climbers can also be trained over a trellis, obelisk or other wire structure that is secured within their pot. Try wiring two hanging baskets together and placing them in the top of a large pot. Train the plant (ivy, perhaps) around the structure to create a dome shape.

Supports for Tall Plants

Many tall palms and other plants will happily grow up without the need for supports, but others will need something to lean on. A bamboo cane is the cheapest and easiest option, and some plants will come supplied with a mossy pole in the pot (such as Monstera deliciosa, Swiss cheese plant), into which the plant can root and thereby pull itself up.

Alternatively, a small metal or wooden obelisk could be put in the pot for the plant to grow up and through.

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House Plants to Buy for a Spectacular Display

Using plants as decoration allowance for some really creative touches. It is a chance to express your personal style with not only the choice of plants but also how you display them. These suggestions are undoubtedly just a starting point, and websites such as Instagram and Pinterest can be fabulous sources for inspiring ideas. Generally, the more the plant is made part of the room, the better it will look. Here are some suggestions for house plants to buy to create a stunning display.

 


Landscaping Designs

A Lush Jungle

A great thing to do in an unloved corner of a room is to group a few large, leafy plants together. Choosing plants of different heights will create interest and allow plenty of light to reach all of them. Add in some other empty pots or baskets, a rug or a piece of sculpture (it needn’t be expensive; it could be driftwood from the beach).

Curated Collections

If you have a burgeoning collection, it is a good idea to select individual plants carefully and display them in rows in front of a painted wall. You could categorise your selection; maybe specialist plants or a particularly favoured species. Create labels that are as much a part of the display as the plants; for example, cover your pots in blackboard paint or use labels made from slate, wood or colourful plastic.

Statement Plants

Choose a large, single plant to create a focal point in a room. It could be on a side table or on the floor, or even on its own dedicated stand.

Shelfies

Plants can be dotted around the house on shelves or bookcases. They could be displayed alone or among other treasured possessions. Putting a few different plants in the same style of pot is an easy trick to create unity of design. Alternatively, group potted plants on a shelf in different-shaped containers that are of the same colour.

Kids and Kitsch

Get children involved in planting a miniature landscape for their bedrooms; perhaps incorporating plastic toys, such as dinosaurs in a mini-jungle. Fake birds, butterflies and bees dotted around evergreen foliage can add colour.

Kitchen Garden

Bring the garden into the kitchen with herbs, salad, edible flowers and micro greens, which you can then have immediately to hand for creating fresh-tasting, flavourful dishes. Seed merchants are always introducing new vegetable and fruit varieties suitable for container growing, and there’s no reason why those containers cannot be inside.

Seasonal Displays

These are ideal for rooms that require a bit of cheer all year round, or to brighten up desk space. A container of mixed seasonal plants can be created simply and affordably using plants widely available at garden centres and supermarkets.

Hanging Gardens

Plants don’t have to always grow up; they can also trail down. This is a particularly great way to introduce greenery to smaller rooms without taking up too much space. Wall-mounted brackets for pots are great for a hallway. You can also try using suspended containers to hang plants over bannisters. Hanging baskets can be used in the kitchen for edibles, such as strawberries, tomatoes or nasturtiums, or elsewhere in the house for permanent features of trailing foliage plants. You can even find hanging terrariums.

Sinking Moss Balls (Chladophlora)

Some of you may not even be aware that this unusual plant actually exists. It gets its name from its appearance, which gives the impression that it is a variety of moss. However, it is actually a variety of algae, often used to decorate aquariums. It forms a soft ball with a velvet feel and can look incredibly stylish when on display. A simple, clear vase will show it to its best advantage. They are also straightforward to look after. You just pop them into lukewarm water, preferably rainwater or filtered water, and turn them occasionally. This mimics the action of the waves lapping at them on lake shores where they are usually found. The water should be replaced when it becomes cloudy, which is generally every two weeks or so.

 

Indoor Plants on Display

Click here to buy your very own sinking moss balls!

Recycled Chic

Create individual containers that are also environmentally friendly by recycling old pots; collect a few matching ones for different plants, build little crates from bits of reclaimed wood, or paint or cover old pots and trays.

I hope you enjoyed my suggestions of house plants to buy for a great display.

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Bee Friendly Plants UK

Attract Bees

Plants that will attract these fascinating and useful garden visitors usually have simple, tubular or daisy-like flowers, especially in pinks and purples; avoid double-flowered varieties. Butterflies also like fruity scents. Remember that their caterpillar stage needs different food plants. Nettles are well-known as the food of tortoiseshells, but long grass and other weeds support many species.

Bees are necessary for gardens. They pollinate and bring life, playing an essential role in growing all sorts of crops.

Unfortunately, bees in the UK are under threat, so it’s down to us avid gardeners to help them out. There are ways in which we can prepare our gardens to attract bees, encouraging them to pollinate all the year through.

Here are the top bee and butterfly friendly plants that will attract the critters into your garden.

English Lavender “Hidcote

This compact lavender with thin, silvery-grey leaves and dark purple flowers is an evergreen shrub useful for edging. Dense spikes of fragrant, tubular flowers, borne at the ends of long, unbranched stalks, appear during mid- to late summer. Like all lavenders, the flowers dry the best if cut before they are fully open.

Bee Friendly

Click here for your beautiful lavender plant!

Aster “Andenken an Alma Potschke

This vigorous, upright, clump-forming perennial carries sprays of large, daisy-like, bright salmon-pink flower heads with yellow centres from late summer to mid-autumn, on stiff stems above rough, stem-clasping, mid-green leaves. Suitable for cutting, or in late-flowering displays. “Harrington’s Pink” is very similar, with paler flowers.

Daphne “Eternal Fragrance

Non-stop blooms from April to October make Daphne “Eternal Fragrance” unbeatable for flowers and fragrance. This rare semi-evergreen Daphne flowers on new growth, so they just keep coming! With a compact, slow growth habit and deliciously sweet fragrance, this elegant shrub is perfect for planting in containers close to a doorway, where you will fully appreciate the fabulous heady fragrance as you pass. Height and spread: 90cm (36″).

Bee Friendly

Click here to add this “eternal fragrance” to your garden!

Buddleja “Davidii

All cultivars of buddleja, the butterfly bush, are fast-growing, deciduous shrubs with a wide range of flower colours. As the popular name suggests, the flowers attract butterflies and other beneficial garden insects in profusion. The long, arching shoots carry lance-shaped, mid- to grey-green leaves, up to 25cm (10in) long. Conical clusters of bright, fragrant flowers, usually about 30cm (12in) long, are borne at the end of arching stems from summer to autumn; those of “Royal Red” are the largest, up to 50cm (20in) long. These shrubs respond well to hard pruning in spring, which keeps them a compact size for a small garden.

Bottlebrush Plant “Callistemon Citrinus

This attractive cultivar of the crimson bottlebrush is an evergreen shrub usually with arching branches. Dense spikes of brilliant red flowers appear in spring and summer, amid the grey-green, lemon-scented leaves which are bronze-red when young. Grow at the base of a sunny wall to give protection from the winter cold.

Bee Friendly

Click here to attract bees to your bottlebrush plant!

Caryopteris x Clandonensis “Heavenly Blue

A compact, upright, deciduous shrub, grown for its clusters of intensely dark blue flowers which appear in late summer and early autumn. The irregularly toothed leaves are grey-green. In cold areas, position against a warm wall.

Daphne “Perfume Princess

Pretty pink springtime flowers clothe the stems of this robust shrub and fill the garden with an exquisite perfume. Although slow growing, Daphne “Perfume Princess” is well worth the wait, forming a medium-sized shrub with an attractive rounded habit. This hardy evergreen shrub has increased in popularity in recent years, providing year round interest as a specimen plant in borders and containers. Height and spread: 120cm (47″).

Bee Friendly

Click here for your very own “perfume princess“!

Gardenia “Kleim’s Hardy

Exotic single white blooms with an intoxicating fragrance that is simply divine. Gardenia “Kleim’s Hardy” is the first of its kind that can be grown outdoors all year round. Its glossy evergreen foliage provides the perfect backdrop for the beautiful blooms in summer. A beautiful, compact shrub for sheltered borders and containers. Height and spread: 90cm (36″).

Bee Friendly

Click here for this exquisite bloom!

Hardy Gardenia “Crown Jewels

Who’d have imagined you could grow a tough, hardy outdoor Gardenia a few years ago? Large pearly white, waxy double blooms, contrasting dramatically against rich, glossy evergreen leaves. This hardy shrub will be a prized specimen from the moment it’s delivered to your door. And do not underestimate the fragrance, Gardenia “Crown Jewels” has one of the most reliable, most intoxicating scents that will fill patios, gardens and your home all summer long.

Bee Friendly

Click here to add some “crown jewels” to your garden!

Patio Lavatera Mallow “Barnsley Baby

These upright and showy, flowering shrubs with stiff stems and sage-green leaves usually bloom from midsummer to autumn in pinks and purples. Although they are short-lived, they proliferate on any well-drained soil, including thin, dry land, which makes them a welcome addition to any garden where quick results are desired. They also perform well in coastal areas, being able to tolerate salt-laden winds, but the shrubs will need staking if grown in a site exposed to wind. In cold regions prone to severe frost, plant them against a warm, sunny wall.

Bee Friendly

Click here to order a “Barnsley baby” for your patio!

Dwarf Patio Lilac “Palibin

Dwarf Lilacs are like a dream come true; compact, bushy plants, smothered in tiny scented flowers from late spring. The “Palibin” stays small and neat, making it perfect for patio pots and small gardens. The abundance of fragrant spring flowers is astounding. Position them next to well-used doorways where the sweet fragrance will be really appreciated. Height and spread: 1.5m (4.9′).

Bee Friendly

Click here for a dwarf lilac!

Share Your Story

Are you aware of the necessity of bees in your garden? Did you know they were under threat? What plants do you grow to attract them? If you have any thoughts or questions, please add them below, and I will get back to you a soon as possible. Happy gardening!

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How to Propagate House Plants

Creating Plants

The act of growing more plants is known as propagation. Some houseplants will do most of the work of propagating themselves. Others will readily grow into new plants from cuttings or a piece of root. Alternatively, use external sources, such as a new pack of seeds.

Here are some of the simplest ways to create more houseplants, which will produce a clone of the original. This is a great way to bulk up stock, replace older plants or make a lovely, personal gift.

Succulent Pups

Many succulents, such as Aloe, Agave and Echeveria, produce miniature versions of themselves, which grow from the side of the main plant. These baby plants are called “offsets”, or “pups”. You can sever them from the main plant and put into their own pot to grow and mature.

Creating House Plants

To propagate, simply cut away the pup, trying to keep as much root attached to it as possible, and plant into a small pot of compost and grit.

Spider Plantlets

The long, dangling stems of mini plantlets are characteristic of the spider plant. In the wild, these would be looking to root themselves into something and grow into mature plants. To replicate this process at home, put a small pot of multipurpose compost under the first plantlet that attaches to a strong-looking stem (known as a “runner”) and cut off the rest of the stem beyond that plantlet.

If the plantlet sits comfortably in the compost, it can just be left. Otherwise, pin down the stem with a hairpin or half a paperclip, which will keep the base of the plantlet just under the surface.

 

Creating Plants

Keep the compost in the pot moist, and the plantlet should root into it relatively quickly. Once the plantlet roots correctly into its own container, cut off the stem or runner from both the mother plant and the plantlet. Pot on into a larger pot as it grows.

Ginger Roots

It is easy to grow ginger from “roots”; bought from a supermarket. Use the plumpest, freshest-looking roots. Organic ones are preferable because commercial growth inhibitors are sometimes used on non-organic roots which can stop them sprouting once planted. You may find there are already some swollen buds visible.

Creating Plants

Plant in a shallow pot in multipurpose compost, so that the root is about half submerged in the compost. Keep the compost moist and the pot in a hot place (ideally 25 to 28 C). Shoots should sprout from the root. Once it is established in the shallow container, it can be potted up to a larger one. In the autumn, cut back the old stems as they die. Ginger always prefers a warm room and does not tolerate lower temperatures.

Discover the Summer Rose Festival here!

Pelargonium Cuttings

A cutting is simply a small piece of a healthy shoot that is cut off from the main plant, which you insert into a pot of compost. It then produces roots and grows into a new plant. You can create several new plants from a single original plant.

Scented pelargoniums are one of the most natural plants from which to take cuttings. The type of cutting used for pelargoniums is called a soft-wood cutting, as they are taken from the soft, flexible stems of the new growth.

Creating Plants

Take pelargonium cuttings from healthy, well-watered plants in spring or summer. To increase your chances of success, cut a few shoots, but be sure to cut only leafy material; there should be no flowers or flower buds. Each cutting should be about 10cm long.

The base of each cutting should be just below a leaf joint (“node”). Remove the leaves with a sharp knife to leave a clear piece of stem at the base and a few leaves at the top. You can also pinch out the soft tip of the shoot.

Prepare the Pot

Prepare a small pot with compost, large enough for a few cuttings to be planted. Clear a hole in the compost using a pencil, to avoid damaging the end of the cutting. Several cuttings can be spaced evenly around the edge of the pot. Once the cuttings have produced roots and are growing into their own plants, they can be potted up.

Water the pot and label it. Keep it in a warm and humid environment, with good but not direct sunlight. Use a covered heated propagator or fix a plastic bag over the top of the plant (with support so that the bag is not touching the cuttings themselves), ensuring the cuttings are ventilated for a short while a couple of times a day. Alternatively, mist regularly.

A Helping Hormone

Before potting, you could dip the base of the cutting in hormonal rooting powder (available below), which will help the cuttings root.

Skelly Tray and 12 Bio Pots

There is a positive pressure and desire to reduce single-use plastics now, and these compressed peat Jiffy Bio pots are perfect, giving three to four months of growing plants in them as they slowly degrade. This means, once the plant has rooted, you can add the entire pot and all directly into your garden or planter. Recently launched at the UK’s premier Horticultural Trade Show, it won Best New Professional Product.

 

Biopots

A brand-new product saves single-use plastic pots and allows roots to breathe.

Unique ‘skeleton’ design exposes bio pots to the air, which ‘prunes’ the roots, giving more compact plants.

The bio pots allow any plants to be grown in them for 3-4 months before they degrade naturally.

Once rooted through plant the whole bio pot straight into the ground for zero transplant delay.

Supplied as a tray pre-filled with 12 x 8cm diameter bio pots – top-up packs available.

Discover the eco-friendly way to garden here!

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