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Suggestions for my dull flat

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by iain_j, Sep 5, 2021.

  1. iain_j

    iain_j Gardener

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    Hello, newbie here, to the forum and to gardening :smile:

    I'd like to get some indoor plants to brighten up my flat. I've been looking on google for suggestions but getting a bit lost, so walked down to my local Dobbies today hoping to ask the staff for some recommendations but there were none around to ask. So you lot are my next hope :biggrin:

    I'd like something for my living room. It's a north facing room so it's rather dull, I have the lights on (LED ceiling lights) all the time when I'm there. It gets some sunshine in through the bay window during the summer but that's about it. I can't put any plants in the window because I've got my dining table there, to look out at the park and trees across the road (I've got some greenery there at least). So I'm looking to put something on top of the sideboard, at the far end of the room from the window - ie. the darkest end. Maybe some small ones as well on my bookcase shelves.

    Secondly, on my bathroom window ledge. West facing, with the wall of the next house about 15 feet away. Gets a bit of light on the window ledge around the middle of the day, but otherwise dark. And hot - it's a small bathroom and the heated towel rail is always on.

    Thirdly, in my bedroom, on top of a chest of drawers next to the south-facing window. The one bright spot in the flat!

    I'm not green fingered at all, have never looked after plants, so looking for some suggestions please which won't need a lot of looking after (I can cope with watering).

    And on that note - I'm here all the time to water them as much as necessary, apart from holidays (going away for 2 weeks at the end of the month) with no-one coming in to water them. Any suggestions for how to keep them alive when I'm away?
     
  2. iain_j

    iain_j Gardener

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    I should add I came out of Dobbies today with a pachira aquatica, which I've put in my bedroom, no idea to be honest if it's a sensible choice for where I've put it or if I've doomed it!
     
  3. ricky101

    ricky101 Total Gardener

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    Hi and Welcome to the Forum,

    No one answered you question yet ...?

    Afraid there is not a dedicated House Plant section in this forum but if you use the Search box sure you will find some good info on plants and watering.

    Some members use hydroponics which might be one way for you.

    There are lots of other online folk who have videos about houseplants, James Wong being one of the most popular, though a lot of his are chargeable.

    James Wong's Guide to Indoor Gardening | Create Academy



    For watering many methods around for holidays from watering bottles to using the bath.
     
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    • Michael Hewett

      Michael Hewett Total Gardener

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      Welcome to the forum :smile:

      I have several house plants that will survive in shade, I've put a list of their names for you, It would take hours for me to find photos (they're all jumbled up and waiting for me to sort them out one day when I get around to it)
      maybe you could look them up on Google or something ...


      Spathyphyllum
      Chlorophytum
      Cyperus alternifolius
      Ctenenthe
      Maranta
      Aspidistra
      Ficus benjamina
      Tradescantia
      Scheflera
      Cissus
      Pilea

      One thing to remember is variegated leaves need more light.
      Some of the above will tolerate a bit of dryness but not too much.

      I hope you will find something suitable.
       
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      • JWK

        JWK Gardener Staff Member

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        I am not a great house plant grower, I have Mother in laws tongue, Dracaena trifasciata which survives with little light and irregular watering. Also a few orchids that tolerate low light and easily last a couple of weeks without watering on a north facing window sill.
         
      • Selleri

        Selleri Koala

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        Hi @iain_j , welcome to the forum! Plants will make all the difference :)

        Many houseplants will do quite well in low light. The easiest I can recommend are

        Devil's Ivy - mine is in the darkest corner and is snaking all over the place. It grew a healthy stem 1m under the sofa, that's how tolerant it is. It can be grown trailing down, or attached snaking on the wall.

        In the hanging basket I have Tradescantia, they come in all kinds of leaf colours but greener versions are better in a low light.
        pothos.jpg

        Swiss cheese plant is easy (and apparently trendy :biggrin: ) and once established, can grow HUGE. It grows in dense forests in the nature so is well adapted to shade.

        Dracaenas are good for "tree feeling", in my opinion the broader leaved ones are better than the common narrow leaved. Diffenbachias will also grow prettily and some versions can get tall and impressive.

        It's best for the plants if they are grouped together- they will also look much better than having single plants here and there. If funds allow, a grow light would be very helpful- there are some that don't look too industrial to be placed in the living room. Just don't get those that give purple light or you might find Narcotics Team raiding your home. :heehee:

        In general, good, cheap plants are widely available in supermarkets (check Morrisons and Aldi), Wilko's and IKEA. The cruel fact of life is that all plants have been grown in ideal greenhouse conditions and will suffer a shock when moved into a dark living room- and the fact that winter is a dormant season for many, you might lose some. So best not to invest too much in big, fancy specimens just now, buy what you like, keep them going during the winter and then in spring wait for some lush fresh growth.

        Rule of thumb (index finger? ;) ) regarding watering is to poke a finger into the compost. If it's wet, don't water. If the top 1cm is dry, water. Pots must have drainage holes and any excess water should be poured away after half an hour on the saucer/ cache pot.

        Googling houseplants holiday watering brings up many articles- take a look and test the system for a week before leaving for your hols.

        Let us know what you decide to go for, looking forward to see some photos! :dbgrtmb:
         
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