Indoor Gardening – Displaying Houseplants and Pots and Planters
No matter how beautiful the plants, an unsuitable container can mar the effect, while a quite ordinary houseplant can look attractive if displayed well in a nice container.
When purchased, houseplants will naturally be in a pot, usually plastic or clay, and not all of them are decorative enough to adorn the sitting-room windowsill. The consequence is that we now have an abundance of decorative containers into which plants can be placed some of these quite hideous, while others do much to improve the appearance of the plant.
If pots are placed in decorative outer containers, it is necessary to ensure that excess water does not accumulate in the bottom. Any water in the outer pot should be tipped away, as it will almost inevitably prove to be fatal if the plant is left standing with the lower part of its root system in water for any length of time.
Besides pots for individual houseplants there are many excellent larger containers that may be used for accommodating a group of plants. When plants with reasonably compatible requirements in respect of water are grouped together in a well-proportioned container they will be easier to care for, will grow better, and will also provide an important room feature.
Many of these containers are described as self-watering, which means that they have a reservoir in the bottom of the container with an indicator showing maximum and minimum water levels, so making accurate watering a very simple operation. There are many different types of container and various methods of getting the water from the reservoir to theas it is required a broad nylon wick being the most common one. As the soil dries out water is drawn up by capillary action, and it works admirably provided the reservoir is not overfilled. In this latter event the essential gap between water and soil is bridged, with the result that the soil becomes a soggy mess that will quickly put paid to the plants.
Larger containers may also be used for growing groups of hydroponic plants. Here again the growing system varies according to the supplier of the plants and materials, so it is wise to seek advice from the grower or retailer when considering the acquisition of hydroponic plants and planters. The latter have really come into their own in office environments, especially where an open-plan layout is in existence.
With more or less permanent houseplant groupings indoors it is very much better to confine the group toonly. Although seasonal plants may be included it will be found that these require frequent replacement, and it is much better to group seasonal plants in a container of their own where they will be much more impressive and can have individual treatment in respect of water and light.
Primroses (vulgaris) grouped in a bowl indoors in January introduce a real breath of spring and can be very bright and colourful but unfortunately they only last for about one month in warm locations. , poinsettias ( pulcherrima), saintpaulias all can be planted in groups that will be breathtakingly attractive.