Your Lockdown Guide to Indoor Gardens
Taking care of mind and body is all important right now. Whether you’re self-isolating or shielding yourself from the rest of the world, there’s never been a better time to bring the outdoors in to create an indoor garden.
Houseplants have long been enjoying a revival and filling the gap in our increasingly urbanized lives with greenery. In these strange times cooped up in lockdown, a houseful of evergreens is even more appealing.
Greens Are Good For You
Plants don’t only look good, they also have a multitude of health benefits. In studies carried out by NASA and universities world-wide the conclusion is plants act as a kind of “pollutant sponge”.
They hoover up all the nasties in our homes from carbon dioxide to the chemicals released from paint, carpets, furniture and cleaning products. They take in these toxins through their leaves and stems, or through their roots via the potting compost and small microbes turn them into food for the plant. It’s win-win.
Indoor plants can also help to boast your mental health. Studies have shown that loving and caring for plants can reduce negativity, anxiety, depression and stress. It IS possible to find a little joy in these troubled times by becoming a new plant mamma or daddy.
RHS gold medallist Ian Drummond & interiors stylist Kara O’Reilly write in their book, At Home with Plants:
“One of the most amazing things about houseplants is that you can enjoy them all year round, and there is nothing more satisfying to the soul than nurturing a living thing”.
Which Plants Make the Best Quarantine Buddies?
Where to start?
Plant stylist Ian Drummond draws from the NASA Clean Air Study carried out in the late 1980s to recommend the following easy-to-care for houseplants proven to be among the most effective at filtering toxins and pollutants…
The Top 10 Most Effective Air Purifying Houseplants
A lush-leaved tough plant that can cope with drying out. Ideally needs medium light although can cope with shade. Add some colour by choosing a variety with patterned foliage. Buy here.
Another tough plant that can take a knock, tolerates a bit of neglect and rewards you with more or less continuous colour. Needs medium light. Buy here.
Providing this plant gets a decent amount of light it will pretty much take care of itself. Buy here.
Dracaena fragrans, ‘Janet Craig’
Really hardy, can take low light and will tolerate drying out. Tall and slim so stays compact, perfect for smaller rooms. Buy here.
Needs bright to medium light to flourish but can tolerate drying out. If you want a trailing plant this is your guy! Buy here.
Very good at processing toxins and will thrive if looked after well. Give it a bright spot and leave it be (it doesn’t like to be moved) and don’t let it dry out. Other members of the Ficus family such as the fiddle leaf fig and the rubber plant are also good air filters. Buy here.
Pretty affordable, easily available and about the toughest orchid out there. Give it a fairly bright spot and remember to soak the roots weekly or mist them daily. Buy here.
As tough as old boots! Able to cope with dark corners and can be left to dry out between waterings. One of the few plants that gives off oxygen at night. Buy here.
A compact, hardy plant with lush leaves and a beautiful white flower. If it is left to dry out it will usually recover with a good watering, needs medium light. Sits well on a desk. Buy here.
Particularly adaptable plant that tolerates bright light and shade. Allow the compost to dry out between waterings. Buy here.
Indoor Garden Design Inspiration
After throughly reading Ian & Kara’s book At Home with Plants cover to cover and discovering other helpful hints and tips, we’ve complied some of the best advice for creating your very own indoor gardens at home…
Where to Buy?
You can’t even find toilet roll at the moment, so how can I buy a houseplant? There are a few online suppliers who will deliver to your door, offer starter bundles or subscriptions. A few will even dispense houseplant care advice and offer a great choice of pots.
Happy indoor gardening!