Indoor plants

Create a sanctuary for your senses by combining the power of aromatherapy with thriving indoor plants! Garden centre manager Chelsea from the beautiful Trevallan Lifestyle Centre give us some tips and tricks on starting your very own indoor jungle…

“I grow plants for many reasons: to please my eye or to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow. “ — David Hobson

Why indoor plants?

Over the years there has been so much research into not only how being outdoors improves your life but how being surrounded by green living plants inside improves your life, health, brain functioning and even your bank balance.

Indoor plants aren’t a luxury anymore they are a necessity.

It is believed the air circulating inside our workplace buildings and homes is often more polluted than the air outside, and this can have a very real impact on our health. The air inside can contain a toxic cocktail of polluted air that comes from outside and indoor sources. This toxic cocktail of polluted air has been associated with headaches, dry eyes, nose and throat, a woozy-head, nausea, loss of concentration and drowsiness.

Research since the 1980’s has continually proved that even just one healthy living indoor plant (higher than 30cm) can significantly reduce these pollutants and improve people’s productivity and overall health.

Having offices and homes filled with heathy indoor plants has also been found to improve mood. Some case studies have even shown that people tend to trust a company more if they have healthy indoor plants.

Sometimes it’s a little hard to keep indoor plants thriving especially in our offices. We are usually faced with problems such as – no natural light, air conditioning and inability to keep regular water to plants as too much water leads to water overflowing onto workspaces or furniture.

At Trevallan we are trying to come up with ways to make indoor plants easy to keep alive but still really pretty!

Which plants should I try?

There are plants better suited to indoors. If you have tried growing indoor plants before and failed know you are not alone. I have many times seen the lists for the ten most popular house plants and thought to myself ‘hmmmm, killed most of them!’

Sometimes it’s about giving up on our ideal perfect plant to have an amazing plant that looks good all the time. So what if it’s common or not in the magazines … if it grows, looks fantastic and you love it, go with it!

My favourite indoor plants are Zamioculcas, Spathiphyllum, Aglaonema, Dieffenbachia, Syngonium, Calathea, Sansevieria, Oxalis triangularis, Orchids, Chamaedorea elegans and Chamaedorea Seifrizii.

Finding the right container…

Sometimes a really boring plant can be made to look amazing in the right container or done a little differently! Planters, terrariums, kokedamas or plants in a bowl or all ways you can make a simple indoor plant shout ‘look at me’.

Planters have no hole in the bottom. I just place my plant (still in its original plastic pot) in the planter (I do not pot). I then can give my plant a really good drink without the hassle of worrying about water going everywhere as it’s contained in the planter.

If by chance I decide I don’t like that plant or want to swap my plants around I just remove the plant from the planter and swap them around. This way I am always keeping my décor the same (by keeping the same planter) but I can switch my plants.

It can take a while to get used to watering with a planter but once you get used to it you will wonder how you ever survived without them.

I love the meaning of Terrarium – a sealed transparent globe or similar container in which plants are grown! You can’t get any more exact than that.

What a lovely idea to have a mini landscape sitting on our desks that only requires a small drink once every few months.

I love staring at a terrarium and seeing the moss growing and the plants changing. The maintenance is minimal but therapeutic as it’s a delicate process.

Plants-in-a-bowl is like an open lid style of Terrarium. The plants are planted in glass jar or a decorative bowl. Instead of the plant being inside the container as they would in a terrarium they actually come up and out of the container. There is no need to worry about water running everywhere as the containers are sealed. Water is usually needed at least once a week.

Kokedama is a style of Japanese bonsai. It is made by binding the plants root ball with a unique soil mixture, moss and string. They are commonly called moss balls.
Kokedamas are usually seen hanging from ceilings or specially made stands. I find they dry out too quickly for me so I like to place them in a bowl. This way I can just fill the bowl with some water and the plant can slowly soak up the moisture as it needs it. I have tried numerous indoor plants with Kokedamas and they all work really well. These plants can become a real talking point in your office.

All plants need water and fertiliser. There are some that require less than others and there are others that require a whole lot of attention. I have developed a little care routine with my indoor plants (apart from my terrariums). The frequency of my watering schedule changes depending on the season from sometimes once a day in the middle of summer to once a fortnight in middle of winter. On the turn of every season I fertilise them with an organic complete slow release fertiliser and give them a shower (to dust their foliage).

Indoor plants can work for everyone. Start small. I started with just one and slowly I am building up my collection. I am not the crazy plant lady yet but slowly getting there. I now know what plants like me and what plants don’t. Every now and then I shout myself a new variety and trial it, sometimes they last forever and sometimes they last only weeks!

Always remember “A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.” — Liberty Hyde Bailey

Happy gardening.
Chelsea Allan
Trevallan Lifestyle Centre

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Complete your very own sanctuary for the senses with an aromatherapy diffuser and pure essential oils.