Home' The Bunyip : May 28th 2014 Contents "THE BUNYIP" GAWLER, Home and Garden Liftout, Wednesday, May 28, 2014 Page 5
HOME AND GARDEN
Bring the outdoors
in for winter
...another Lanser Community LAND
another development by...
WHEN the rain is falling and the air
is chilly, few are inspired to get the
gumboots on and head out into the
yard for some gardening.
But, with an abundance of plants ready to
thrive indoors, even the most passionate
of gardeners can stay dry and warm this
Gawler East's Joy Noble has a large
veranda, which surrounds her home and
replicates indoor conditions, filled with a vast
range of potted plants.
Varieties of ficus, succulents, cacti,
aspidistra, velmemia and euphorbia grow
abundantly in indoor conditions.
For a novice gardener, Joy recommends the
dwarf umbrella for a first indoor plant.
"Dwarf umbrellas can be cut to keep them
a metre in size, or if you want to let it grow
taller, you can grow it up to two metres
inside and still keep it clipped and quite
compact," she said.
"It can take a fair amount of sun but it's
quite happy in a darker spot too.
"It's not grown for its flowers but the foliage
is rather nice."
Indoor plants may be synonymous with
the 1970s but in the past two years, with
the reintroduction of retro-décor, they have
definitely made a resurgence.
Foliage comes in all different colours so
plants can be tied in with a home's current
décor, or be used to add impact and
individualism to a room.
For Joy, her plant selections are based on
sentiment -- there is a story behind almos
every plant she owns.
"My begonia, the original cutting I got, was
given to me by a great aunt, probably 30
years ago or more and she had to give it to
me because she got her cutting from my
grandmother who died when I was three,"
"This particular plant has been a treasure
through so many years of my life."
Other plants, like her poinsettia and fiddle
leaf ficus, are treasured gifts from friends
There is really no limit as to where an indoor
plant can be placed, except when they are
newly introduced to the home.
"You vary where you have your plants in
accordance with winter or summer," Joy
"If it's winter time you can often put them a
bit closer to the window and in summer time
you might have to pull them back a bit so
they don't get burnt.
"...You will notice the foliage goes a bit pale,
so then you know it is getting too hot where
it is so then you just pop it in a cooler spot."
During the warmer months of the year, and
when the plant is going through an active
growing stage, it can be a good idea to
take plants outdoors for fertilising and any
"All of mine are in premium potting mix, so
just well drained soil, and I give them a bit of
fertiliser a couple of times a year," she said.
"Sometimes it might get a bit of liquid
seed, but mostly it's very easy care."
It is also a good idea to pay close
attention to the amount of water an
indoor plant is receiving, as over-
watering is a top cause of plant death.
Plants in darker areas of the house
can be watered less than normal, but
can receive a little extra water during
the summer months.
"When you water them it's best to
stand them in a sink of water and
leave them there for an hour so; then
just lift them out and drain them and
put them back where you had them,"
"Don't just give them a little bit of
water on the top, because if the
potting mix has dried out at some
stage, it can just go straight through
it and not actually water the plant."
As with most plants, learning through
trial and error may be the key.
But once an indoor plant is thriving
within its conditions, it will benefit a
home for years.
Gawler East's Joy Noble keeps a potted begonia under her veranda. INSET: Ficus is often perfect for growing
indoors, because it can tolerate low-light conditions.
PHOTOS: Mary Ackers
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