Indoor Botanical Gardens

There are some recent misconceptions as to what a botanical garden actually is. By definition a Botanical Garden is ‘An establishment where plants are grown for scientific study and display to the public.’ 

The word is commonly used loosely and takes the imagination to a beautiful fortress of plants and trees, in an open space yet enclosed, with the sound of delicate looking birds chirping in the background. Sounding as gentle as a waterfall. In most botanical gardens there is typically a water feature also beautifully covered in elegant plants. This assists with keeping the air humid.

For clarity the term will be used loosely here.

Indoor botanical garden plants

To create a beautiful, long-lasting indoor ‘Botanical’ Garden it’s helpful to know what plants do well indoors. We have compiled a list of indoor friendly plants that can handle a little neglect, as life is unpredictable and we can not always tend to or remember to tend to plants every single day.

Bamboo

Indoor botanical garden plants

Lucky bamboo, a favourite for many with its beautiful vivid green shoots and leaves brings an oriental feel to any room.

  • Easy to grow
  • Low maintenance
  • Water every few days or completely refresh the water daily for best results
  • Place in a sunny window, with partial shade
  • Individual bamboo shoots are preferable to those that are potted and tied together

Boston fern

Indoor botanical garden plants

  • Too much sun will turn leaves brown
  • Prefers cool but humid air – to create some humidity place a water-filled saucer or tray of pebbles beneath plant, mist daily, or use a humidifier
  • Grows well indoors and can be placed outdoors in warmer months
  • Keep soil moist
  • Poor soil composition and drainage will see the leaves turn brown, also

Cacti (Cactus)

Indoor botanical garden plants

There are so many varieties of cactus, some grow beautiful flowers, some prickly, some soft to touch.

  • Try not let soil dry out completely
  • Water from the bottom rather than the top
  • Requires long full direct sunlight a lot of sunlight each day for optimal growth
  • When purchasing new small potted cacti, it will usually need to be repotted very soon after purchase – if the roots can be seen at through the drain holes of its pot, repot as soon as possible. Nutrients are in the soil and this may indicate that the plant has absorbed a lot of nutrients present in the soil already.

Chrysanthemums

Indoor botanical garden plants

  • Full direct sunlight preferred Water often and never allow the soil to dry out
  • Requires fertilising
  • Prone to Aphid infestation if not cared for correctly
  • Soil should have a good ratio of sand for optimal growth
  • When flowers die off cut the plant back and plant outside if possible
  • Great Indoor and outdoor plants provided they are cared for well
  • Not the best option for beginners
  • Can be grown from cuttings

Money plant

Indoor botanical garden plants

  • Humidity is preferred – consider small indoor greenhouse, conservatory, bathroom
  • Indirect sunlight – If leaves turn yellow, move to a slightly brighter place.
  • Repot as roots outgrow pot, take care when repotting and expect a few leaves to fall off
  • Take care not to over water, allow topsoil to dry out between each feed
  • Water 1-2 times per week during warmer months and a little less during colder months

Orchids

Indoor botanical garden plants

Orchids bring a touch of elegance to any room, they come in a wide variety of colors and so can be selected to match any decor. Although they do require a little more attention than most of the others on this list, they are still not much bother to grow with a little know how.

  • Water well and often, do not allowed to dry out
  • Adequate humidity – Place a water-filled saucer or tray of pebbles beneath plant, mist daily, or use a humidifier
  • Require fertilizing often while producing new growth but decrease frequency once mature. Do not fertilise while dormant
  • Repot every 2 years at least. If your orchids stop blooming with suitable light, temperature, and humidity, repotting may be necessary
  • Prone to pests – keep a close eye out for signs of pests or disease and treat as soon as any signs are identified

Prayer plant (Maranta leuconeura)

Indoor botanical garden plants

  • They’re native to the tropics so they do dislike cool temperatures
  • They also like a more humid environment. So try to keep other plants along with it
  • Mist the leaves regularly to keep the humidity up, alternatively
  • Keep the soil moist at all times
  • They don’t like to dry out. However reduce watering a little while they’re dormant, in winter
  • They like mid-to bright sunlight

Peace lily

Indoor botanical garden plants

  • Keep soil moist
  • Indirect sunlight is preferred but too little sunlight and flowers will not bloom well
  • Warmer temperatures preferred, best kept as indoor plant
  • Cut dead flower shoots off as close to the base as possible
  • Direct sunlight can burn the leaves & turn them brown
  • Too little sunlight and leaves may go yellow

Rubber plants (Zamioculcas)

Indoor botanical garden plants

  • Direct sunlight is preferred
  • Water well, saturating the roots then allow to dry out before watering again
  • Lightly wiping the leaves with milk will help the plant keep their shine
  • Carefully remove any brown or yellow leaves
  • New growth may first appear light green but these will darken

Snakes Tongue (Mother in Law’s’ Tongue)

Indoor botanical garden plants

One you see in almost every office building, real name is Sansevieria Trifasciata.

  • Very low maintenance
  • Water each time the top soil dry’s
  • Indirect sunlight is preferred, direct sunlight may cause damage to the leaves
  • Lightly wiping the leaves with milk will help the plant keep their shine

Spider plant

Indoor botanical garden plants

  • Water occasionally, when fully developed (one year), water moderately
  • Keep the soil moist to encourage growth and prevent leaves becoming brown, droopy and frail
  • Fertilize up to twice a month in the spring and summer, for optimal growth
  • Low maintenance, great for beginners

In an ideal world many of us would grow endless amounts of plants, in reality this is not always possible. Be it lack of space, time or knowing how to keep them all alive. If you are living in small square footage and just do not have the space for 5 or 6 plants let alone 30 of them, check out our guide on vertical gardens, for some great space-saving ideas and tips.

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