A few months ago, we sold a flat to a person who had an absolutely ginormous amount of house plants. It was quite the conversation topic. But upon reflection, we do observe how many of you have indoor plants and so John and I started to include this in our sales pitch. With better-than-expected results. So, here are some things that we want to share with you. And this is not about caring for your indoor plants. We’ll leave that to the capable hands of Suzanne and Tatiana over at the Garden Centre, who do a marvellous job, don’t you think?  Their “drop in for a coffee” idea is really taking off. John and I did that, it was such a blast. Anyway, back to your home and your plants.

At the end of the day, it boils down to light and where your plant should live. Even low-maintenance houseplants have different requirements in terms of light, temperature, and substrates.

When looking for a new home, keep an eye open to the light and where your plants can live. But don’t worry, there are also a number of houseplants which prefer shady areas.  

John and I have some ivy. Its leaves are quite dark, so it doesn’t need much light. It lives in our bathroom, which doesn’t get much light and the ivy makes it look that bit nicer. We also have a few ferns dotted around the place. Because they originally grew in jungles, moisture is more important than light. Ditto with philodendrons.

The person I mentioned at the beginning of this column has a room divider and it was ideal for his climbing plants. And he also gave us a rather important tip. Pets, children and climbing plants. Apart from perhaps your overzealous cat wanting to do a spot of gardening, make sure your hanging plants aren’t poisonous. I think Iris wrote something about that, too, a few months back.

Now, the last time we spoke with Suzanne, (over a cup of coffee, naturally!) she had a whole assortment of climbing aids for indoor plants. Coconut sticks, moss sticks, stretch cords and trellises in all shapes and sizes. But I do remember seeing some more unusual supports: ladders, shelves. One person even had a fishing net hanging on the wall. That was certainly an eye-catcher. No fish were harmed.

There was one case where the windows in a flat were actually a deal-breaker. The previous owner didn’t want to invest in double glazing, and the young couple were financially out on a limb. They couldn’t put their plants on the windowsill, otherwise, they would have died. She wasn’t having any of that. The glass wasn’t giving the optimal insulation. In fact, it seems that plants, windowsills, radiators, curtains, and light all come with quite a bunch of factors you might need to consider. Do you have wide windowsills? Which way is the window facing? How hot do you let the radiators get? If that comes up for discussion during a house viewing, (you’d be surprised what we talk about), then I just say, go see the garden centre. They know best.  

The same goes for each room. If you have plants that need a lot of humidity, let them thrive in the bathroom and kitchen. Tropical plants just love to hunker down in the bathroom. I remember Suzanne and Tatiana saying that plants in the bedroom are ok too. You would need an entire jungle to deprive you of the oxygen whilst sleeping. But they did advise against fragrant plants. As for the kid’s rooms, plants are great there. Not only do they improve the air quality, which helps to support a child’s health and performance, but the kids also start learning to take responsibility for looking after a plant. Which can’t be a bad thing.

Your plants may not be the most important aspect when it comes to a new home, but it is a topic you shouldn’t neglect either. And if push comes to shove, well, find a new home for your plants and see what Suzanne and Tatiana can do for you. Which gives me an idea. I wonder if they do “second hand plants?”. Must speak to them about that.  

See you in a couple of weeks.

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