We keep ferns in the bathroom, begonias in the study, a dwarf citrus in the bedroom, pots of rosemary in the kitchen, and seedlings in the basement. Today there are so many interesting plants that can be grown indoors that there’s simply no reason for a gardener not to be surrounded by plants all year-round.
Indoor gardening had its first heyday during Victorian times. As plants such as abutilons, palms, and hibiscus were discovered by botanists in remote parts of the world, those who could afford to do so, filled their parlors and conservatories with these exotic beauties.
There was another indoor plant revival during the 1970s, though it was largely confined to foliage plants such as spider plants, Swedish ivy, and ferns. Today, commercial greenhouses offer an eye-popping selection of houseplants to choose from, including orchids, bougainvillea, scented geraniums, exotic begonias, pentas, and gardenias. These tropical beauties will bring both color and fragrance to your home. The trick is learning how to keep them happy indoors.
The more you know about your indoor plants and where they come from, the easier it will be to keep them healthy. Understanding a plant’s native habitat can help you decide which potting soil to use, how often to water, what window the plant should be in, and whether or not it needs extra humidity. But even if you don’t have specific cultural information about each and every one of your houseplants, you can feel your way to success with some general guidelines.