We understand that today's customer wants more than just a house plant, they are looking for something that will enhance and complement their décor, so we are working with Scheurich, one of the leading ceramic designers, to offer the latest in indoor pots and containers.
Did you know that many plants help cleanse the air of toxins such as carpet glues, making it healthier for children to play? Others can even help reduce the risk of minor illness or irritants, like headaches and sore throats, and of course, flowering plants are great mood-boosters.
At Cleeve Nursery you can always pick up a colourful pot plant to cheer you up on a grey day - a seasonal pot of hyacinths or daffodils will really let you know that spring is on the way! There are flowering plants (bulbs, annuals or even cacti and succulents), for every season too. Everyone loves a poinsettia at Christmas, but try growing an amaryllis for Christmas time - sensational with its tall stems topped by a ring of huge, lily-like trumpets in various shades and stripes of red, white, pink, salmon and orange.
Flowering house plants make excellent gifts, from exotic-looking orchids, which are perfect for an anniversary present and far easier to care for than you might think, to a bright cerise cyclamen, just to say ‘I love you’. Some, like the hydrangea, azalea, hibiscus or patio rose, can be planted outside later for a long lasting memory of the celebration. Begonias, phalaenopsis and cymbidium orchids, African violets [saintpaulia], streptocarpus and flaming katy [kalanchoe] all make perfect gifts for house and home!
However, when it comes to interior décor, every room can benefit from a calming splash of green, which after all, is mankind’s natural environment. Ferns for the bathroom, kitchen or for a dark cool corridor are easy to grow but other suitable plants include the easy-to-please goose foot [syngonium] or ivy. Remember, these plants don't grow alone in the wild so group several together to keep them happier!
Make a feature of large, stately plants such as the rubber plant (ficus robusta), the weeping fig (ficus benjamina), the dragon tree (dracaena), the castor oil plant (fatsia) or a sweetheart plant (philodendron) to mention a few. Where you want sunlight to filter through, the delicate filigree effect of the slender leaved false aralia (Aralia elegantissima) or the umbrella tree (schefflera) can be perfect.
We also keep a good supply of conservatory plants that includes lemon trees, oranges and other citrus varieties. See our 'How to' guide on growing Citrus. Climbing and scrambling plants like bougainvillea, dipladenia, sweet scented jasmine and plumbago are available too.
Then of course there are the seasonal flowering plants such as geraniums [pelargoniums] and fuchsias to liven things up!
Naturally, you will find all the feeds, composts and house plant care items you need and beautiful trendy Scheurich pot covers too!
Advice on growing house plants
Many of the most undemanding houseplants are tropical or subtropical trees or vines that commonly grow beneath the forest canopy, so are used to low to moderate diffuse light, but please remember that the indoor environment can be too dark even for them. Most houseplants will be happy if you can give them a well-lit, draught-free spot with an even temperature and reasonably high humidity – a light bathroom can be perfect for sweetheart philodendrons, prayer plants, spider plants, African violets, aloe vera, Boston fern, the peace lily, leopard lily and even some bamboo varieties.
However, avoid putting plants on a south-facing windowsill in summer where they could scorch. Succulents and cacti will thrive there. Flowering plants and those with variegated foliage, need more light than plain green plants, whilst orchids like bright, indirect light, high humidity and fresh air. A dark room or corner can be just right for an aspidistra or fern. These can be very attractive, especially when a few varieties are grouped together!
Houseplants are most often killed by overwatering so keep soil moist but wait until it has almost dried out before re-watering. Give less water in winter than in spring and summer when your plants are growing. Tap water is fine for most houseplants, but collect rainwater for orchids and carnivorous plants. Some plants, such as the African violet and cyclamen are better watered from below because their leaves rot if they get wet.
Give liquid feed [Baby Bio, Phostrogen, Miracle-Gro] when plants are actively growing and follow the instructions on the pack. All these plant feeds are available from Cleeve Nursery.
Ferns, orchids and tropical plants benefit from a daily misting with a hand-held water spray. Grouping plants on a tray of damp gravel will also provide a good micro-climate, and makes the plants look more interesting, and individual plants are often happiest sitting on a layer of damp gravel in their outer pot, so that there is always some water to draw up.
Pot on your plant to a larger container within a few weeks of purchase, and re-pot every year or so, preferably in spring or summer, into a free-draining container one size up, adding slow-release fertiliser to the compost. Some root pruning can be done to manage the size of most plants.
Before you go on holiday, water all pots thoroughly and move large plants to a shady room. Smaller pots, particularly those that prefer high humidity, are best left in the bath on a couple of wet towels, but be sure they are not in direct sunlight. Red spider mites love dusty leaves, so keep your houseplants dust free by using leaf shine and occasionally give them a shower – for larger and sturdier plants, most of which enjoy a period outdoors in high summer, a gentle blast from the hose will help manage common indoor pests, such as spider mites, mealybugs (that look like white mould or fluff) and scale insects (brown bumps on the stems and undersides of the leaves). Be sure to check and wash the stems and the undersides of all leaves. Provado Ultimate Bug Killer or Bug Clear Ultra for Pots controls these pests and are available from Cleeve Nursery too.
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