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Trending indoor plants by Industry Expert Robyn Sher
We sat down with the passionately insightful Robyn from Happy Life Plants to get all the latest juice on trendy indoor gardening. Read all about her indoor hot list, plant parenting advice, botanical boss must-haves, collector plants, and much more!
- What makes indoor gardening so special? Why should gardeners opt for indoor plants in addition to or instead of garden beds outside?
Indoor gardening is particularly special because of the benefits they share with people around them. Not only do they provide the obvious greenery, connection to nature, and a natural touch to an otherwise stark space, but indoor plants also take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Improved air quality creates a healthier environment for the grower and stimulates productivity, creativity, and happiness. Simply adding greenery evokes feelings of joy and accomplishment. Furthermore, nurturing a living thing and watching it grow and thrive is one of the most rewarding activities for humans. Indoor plants become like babies to plant parents and because they are in our space and in our direct care, we tend to them more closely than those outside in beds. The relationship formed with one’s indoor plants is truly special.
- Is it true that indoor gardening is messy and difficult?
No, not at all! Indoor gardening is such a rewarding process and it is only as difficult as you make it. If you knock over your beloved delicious monster and the soil sprays all over your carpet, sure – it may be a messy ordeal. But general indoor plant parenting is easy to get the hang of with the right routine and simple care habits. Indoor gardening is beautifully decorative and so rewarding to anyone who endeavours to embark on the journey.
- What makes an indoor plant trendy and what’s on the hot list now?
Generally, the rarity or the popularity of the plant makes it trendy. The watermelon peperomia and leopard calathea are two rare plants that we only have a certain amount of and won’t get again for an undefined amount of time. Variegated monsteras and philodendrons are super hot at the moment too. Indoor plant collectors love them because they are so hard to find and not sold commercially yet. Delicious monsters (Monstera Deliciosa ) are always popular because of their widespread use in décor and design as well as their suitability for plant parents of all levels. The Chinese money plant (Pilea peperomioides) has Instagram accounts dedicated solely to it, making it a collector’s item and a highly sought-after houseplant that is in demand owing to its fame on social media. The hot list is endless, and quite frankly just being a plant parent is trendy, so get yourself a plant you love!
- When selecting a new plant for the home or office, what should gardeners take into consideration?
The most important thing to consider before selecting a new plant for your indoor space is how much light the spot receives that you want to fill. The exposure to natural light will determine which plants can survive in the space. It is very important to consider where you want to put the plant and how much direct or indirect sunlight that place receives throughout the day. Once you have considered options that fit the lighting, you can then choose suitable plants you like the look of and which adhere to your plant care availability.
- Are there any outdoor plants that can also be grown indoors and what is their shelf life like?
Yes, there are a few outdoor plants that can be grown indoors. Certain plants are classified for both and can easily thrive with the correct care. The Sansevieria, snake plant/mother in law’s tongue, is an example of a very popular indoor plant that has excellent air purifying properties and also grows successfully outdoors. With the correct watering routine, a snake plant can survive indoors just as long as it can outdoors due to its hardy nature. Other examples include the umbrella plant and delicious monster. They are easy to care for indoors but will grow quickly, maintaining their size based on the pot they are in. Outdoors in shaded areas and in more humid climates, they grow wild and huge. Many other outdoor plants, however, would not get enough direct sunlight indoors and so not all of them can be brought inside. In addition, indoor plants are more specific and need tailored environments in order to thrive.
- Please share your top three beauties for beginners to grow.
My top three recommendations for newbie plant parents are the Zamioculcas zamiifolia, ZZ plant, the delicious monster, and Chinese evergreens. All three grow easily in most spaces, don’t need added humidity, and only need to be watered when the soil dries out, which is a plant parenting routine anyone can maintain.
- For our botanical bosses, what are your top three must-haves?
A moisture meter to accurately test the moisture of your soil and develop a consistent watering routine per plant is a must-have. Also, the rare Calathea amabilis, prayer plant can be one of the most finicky indoor plants to grow but absolutely worth it for a botanical boss. A stylish watering can is a must too! We get so many plant parents that water their indoor plants with a cup and this simply just doesn’t show off any green finger flair. Gardeners will immediately elevate their indoor gardening by investing in a fabulous watering can that is comfortable and practical with a long spout that’s suited for smaller and elevated pots.
- What would you say are the leading factors in unsuccessful indoor growing?
An incorrect or inconsistent watering routine, believing that watering is feeding, and not enough light exposure. Overwatering is for sure one of the most common causes of unsuccessful indoor plant parenting. You can bring a plant back from underwatering, but overwatering causes root rot and once you reach that point there is unfortunately no going back!
- For flourishing plants, what would you say are the most important boxes to tick?
Firstly, feeding with plant food every 2 weeks or monthly. Also, pruning away dead, damaged or dying leaves (browning or yellow) to allow for the plant’s resources and energy to go to producing fresh, new healthy growth. Then lastly, give your plant enough light and a splash of love.
- Would you please let us in on a few tricks of the trade? Are there any indoor growing hacks?
Here are a few handy hacks! Throw your left-over coffee grounds into your watering can and then water your plants, save banana peels to make organic fertiliser, and rotate your indoor plants weekly so that all sides are exposed to light to encourage even and fuller growth.
- Are there any specific pests/problems that gardens should watch out for?
Indoor plants are susceptible to pests owing to the lack of direct sun exposure, minimal airflow, and the convenient breeding ground when plants are grouped together. Gnats and mealybugs are the most common. We always recommend treating pests with an organic product as these plants share our living space and one would want to avoid inhaling and exposing the family to chemicals.
With so much expert indoor inspiration, your next trip to one of our GCA Garden Centres should be a well-informed breeze. Dash down your favourite nursery and get your hands on these stunning plant picks, accessories, pesticides, and garden décor. Visit the Life is a Garden website to locate a quality-approved garden centre near you.
Article credit: Robyn Sher from Happy Life Plants