Create Your Indoor Jungle - February
28 January 2019 - by Liz Browne

Create Your Indoor Jungle - February

When we're choosing plants for an indoor Urban Jungle, we concentrate on those that would form a community of contrasting size, form, and leaf shape, with just a splash of colour.

It's the perfect time of year to top up your indoor houseplant collection; this February we've included a few of our old favourites and some new ones too...

monstera deliciousa

Monstera deliciosa (Swiss cheese plant)
First up -start with the big guns! A gigantic, corner-filling monster of a plant. Massively popular in the 70s, and making a well-deserved comeback. You may buy this as a small plant but be prepared for it to grow quickly and become the major focal point of your room.

Grow in bright but indirect light. Soil should be kept moist but not saturated. Feed fortnightly in spring and summer/monthly in winter. Keep the leaves free of dust. As the plant grows, consider a trellis or moss pole as support. Bear in mind that Monstera can eventually grow very large so you will need to allow it plenty of space.

Did you know? 'Monstera' refers to the enormous size this plant can grow to. The epithet 'deliciosa' means delicious, and refers to the edible fruits the cheese plant produces.

Ficus binnendiijkii 'Alii'

Ficus binnendiijkii 'Alii'
Considering contrasting form and leaf shape, Ficus binnendiijkii 'Alii' is a good contender to offset against the Swiss cheese plant. The long, narrow leaves are naturally glossy and taper to a point. As this ficus tree grows, it may drop its lower leaves revealing a bare woody trunk, giving this tree a palm-like appearance.

Leaf drop is possible with 'Alii' if it doesn't get enough light and regular waterings. Give it bright light year-round. It's not as fussy about being moved around as other ficus houseplants, but it may drop leaves if suddenly moved into a shady corner or full sun. Water soil thoroughly, then allow top 1 in (2.5 cm) to dry out between waterings. Use lukewarm water because cold water may cause leaf loss. Avoid using softened water. Repot only when necessary in spring, using the smallest pot that will contain its roots.

Epipremnum (Devil's ivy)

Epipremnum (Devil's ivy)
An entry-level houseplant as it's so easy to care for, will tolerate inadequate watering far more than many other houseplants, and it will grow in the darkest and gloomiest of rooms. You can grow it as a hanging plant or train to climb up a moss pole.

Grow in bright but indirect light. Will tolerate quite a degree of shade. Direct sunlight will scorch the leaves.  Feed fortnightly in spring and summer/monthly in winter. Soil should be kept moist but not saturated. Keep the leaves free of dust. As the plant grows, consider a trellis or moss pole as support.

Toxicity - Care should be taken to avoid consumption by pets. Can cause oral irritation and difficulty swallowing.

Sansevieria laurentii (Snake plant)

Sansevieria laurentii (Snake plant)
Smaller in stature than the above, and with very stiff upright strap-shaped leaves, Sansevieria will add a nice vertical accent to plants with larger, rounded leaves. This variegated form, with pale yellow leaf margins gives a good colour contrast against plants with plain green leaves.

It's pretty easy to please, requiring minimum care and attention, and although it prefers a reasonably bright position (not full sun), it will tolerate a degree of shade.. The main points to remember are to keep it fairly pot tight, and give it minimal water - it hates sitting in lots of wet compost.

Guzmania lingulata (Scarlet star plant)

Guzmania lingulata (Scarlet star plant)
These bromeliads will add a pop of colour to a collection of green-leaved plants. The flowers (they're not really flowers but bracts that hold small flowers within them), come in a multitude of colours but for a complete colour contrast to green-leaved houseplants, we love bright red, orange and yellow. They 'flower' for months and months, and when they've finished flowering, there's no need to throw them away - they'll produce small plants around the base that you can grow on. You'll need to be patient though as you may have to wait another 2 or 3 years for these to flower.

Position in bright light, but not in direct sunlight. Water the compost thoroughly and then allow to dry out before watering again. Feed monthly in summer.

Talk to Liz and the Urban Jungle experts about your indoor space - we can help and advise on all types of light levels, humidity and other requirements for finding the perfect new plant to fill a special place in your home.


 
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