Each room of the house offers a unique environment, so decide which location most suits a plant's needs.
Living rooms are often the first place we choose to display an attractive houseplant, but the dry atmosphere can kill off many plants requiring a higher level of humidity. Peace lily is a good choice for this environment as it lovely to look at, with beautiful oval flowers, plus extremely efficient at removing pollutants from the air.
Orchids don't mind the high temperatures of the living room but they do need regular misting. Create an eye-catching display by grouping pots together on a tray of damp gravel, which helps to keep them moist.
Bedrooms are usually much cooler, making them perfect for cyclamens. Available in shades of red, pink and white, cyclamens are elegant and have a pleasant, light fragrance. Azaleas also prefer a cool room and will provide plenty of bright pink and purple flowers. Avoid placing plants next to radiators as this will dry out foliage.
Hallways are generally draughty and have fluctuating temperatures, which dictate what will survive. The aptly named Mother-in-law's tongue is a tough succulent, with fleshy sword-shaped stems, that survives in almost any conditions.
Plants with plain green foliage, such as ferns, need less light than flowering plants making them perfect for shady dining rooms or halls. Boston fern is suitable for darker rooms, as it does not produce flowers, but has arching, frilly fronds which can be displayed to good effect in a hanging basket. Leaves should be sprayed regularly with a water mister.
Wet, steamy bathrooms with natural light are great for tropical plants that need a humid atmosphere. Caladiums, known as Angel's wings, from South America, have spectacular large heart-shaped leaves with deep red veins running through a centre of coral-pink.
The kitchen is probably the most variable room in the house for heat and humidity, but it is a great place to grow chilli plants. Most chilli plants are annuals and will only last a season but they are fun and useful plants to grow on a sunny window sill.
Plants from the tropics, like Rubber plant and Dragon tree (dracaena), have high transpiration rates making them the best air-purifiers.
Ideal houseplants for beginners, producing trailing stems of tiny new plants which can be moved to their own pot.
A favourite of the Victorian era, the slow-growing and long-living Aspidistra likes moderate warmth and will tolerate most atmospheres.
Most houseplants are killed by over watering. Let compost dry out before re-watering.
Michelle Salter - Freelance Writer and Copywriter.
Michelle Salter is an accomplished freelance writer, with numerous articles published in national magazines. As a regular contributor to My Weekly magazine, she has written extensively on the subject of gardening, nature and wildlife.
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