Just like we all have different wants, needs and environments that help us thrive, each houseplant has a perfect environment where it will grow its best. Conservatories usually receive plenty of sun due to their large windows. So, here are some of the best houseplants to grow in your conservatory.
Tricks to know
The atmosphere in conservatories in the summer may be warm from the sun but they can also become dry and have low levels of humidity. Some plants may suit this; however, others will appreciate more humid surroundings.
Therefore, it’s useful to position those plants on humidity trays that are filled with water and pebbles, as well as misting leaves or investing in a humidifier.
1. Sarracenia (pitcher plant)
First are these intriguing, carnivorous plants that thrive in the sun making them a good houseplant fit for the conservatory.
The soil needs to be kept constantly moist and allowed to drain to avoid root rot. Bear in mind that these plants can be sensitive to the chemicals in tap water, so using rainwater or distilled water is recommended. Install a water-butt to have a constant supply of rainwater.
2. Strelitzia reginae (bird of paradise)
A beautifully distinctive plant with colourful flowers, these are sure to bring a touch of the tropics to your conservatory.
With lots of sunlight exposure to help it flower and well-drained soil that is kept consistently moist, the bird of paradise will thrive in your conservatory.
3. Cacti and succulents
Most cacti and succulents will thrive in the warm and sunny spot of a conservatory, as they will be able to tolerate the heat in summer and will be able to withstand the cooler temperatures through winter.
Another bonus is that they are low maintenance so you can enjoy their beauty without them demanding much.
4. Saintpaulia (African violets)
African violets will bloom best in medium to bright indirect light, in fact for the best blooms about 10-14 hours of bright but indirect light is ideal. These plants will without a doubt add something special to your room with their deep purple flowers, but in return they will ask for care when watering.
Use water that is tepid and has been left to stand for 48 hours, ensuring only the soil is watered rather than the foliage because this can cause damage.
Next is the Bougainvillea, which has vibrant coloured bracts that will provide your conservatory with an exotic edge.
Having these brightly coloured plants climbing in your room will guarantee a spectacular display, just ensure there is support in place for them to grow their best.
6. Streptocarpus (Cape primroses)
Another flowering favourite, Cape primroses are well suited to a greenhouse or conservatory but will need partial shade and good amount of ventilation.
The trumpet shaped blooms can be found in various shades including purple, pink, red, white and bicolours too.
7. Ficus cyathistipula (African fig tree)
The next houseplant for your conservatory is the African fig. The long-rounded leaves of this upright fig create a wonderful structure to add to your room.
As a tough and quite undemanding plant, they are a worthy addition. Although they are suitable for conservatories, they are also tolerant of low light, so can also be used in North facing positions.
8. Salvia nemorosa (Balkan clary) ‘Caradonna’
Reliable, long flowering plants if given well drained soil and full sun. They’ll reward you with beautiful deep, dark purple very upright flower stems between June and August and look good placed in the middle or even front of border.
- Flowers in summer
- Fully hardy
- Grows up to 50cm tall
- Moist but well-drained
- Full sun or partial shade
- Exposed or sheltered
9. Senecio rowleyanus (string of pearls)
This plant needs plenty of light to allow the fascinating cascading pearls to thrive. In addition, it is a succulent, so is drought tolerant and doesn’t need too much watering.
Instead, let the soil dry out before watering again. If the beads begin to shrivel, this is a sign that it needs more water.
Lastly, is a showy tropical climber that has brightly coloured trumpet-shaped flowers. Pick a partially shaded spot in the conservatory with a humid atmosphere and your Mandevilla will grow happily.
With a framework as support, these plants can grow to be large, so pruning may be necessary to keep them looking great.
So, fill your conservatory with houseplants that will thrive in that environment. To find out more about houseplants, you can order my book My Houseplant Changed My Life here.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
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