Choosing a large indoor plant for the home or office
Large interior foliage plants can add beauty and drama to the home or office décor as well as helping to refresh the indoors with a bit of nature.
A four- to-six-foot live plant can add the finishing touch to a room, but it needs to be chosen with the interior décor in mind. Tall, columnar plants, such as dracaenas, fit comfortably into a corner or between furnishings without encroaching on limited space. Where larger areas of open space are available, interior trees with large crowns, such as Schefflera, can brighten the room with the feel of the outdoors.
Large plants are generally purchased in 10- to 14-inch pots. The nursery pot can be placed into a decorative container chosen to match the colours and style of the home or office. A plastic drip tray should be placed inside the decorative pot to allow for water drainage. The decorative pot should be large to allow a margin between the two pots so the drip pan can be checked for any water accumulation. Most plants will eventually die if allowed to remain in standing water.
The plant installation can be finished off by wrapping a strip of foam between the lip of the nursery pot and the outside pot and covering it with moss.
The following are favourites for indoor growing.
Dracaenas Add a Tall, Stately Look to Rooms
Dracaenas grow from stock with long, tropical-looking leaves. Shoots often grow off the central cane, giving it the look of sub plants at staggered heights. There are several varieties used indoors, including the “mass cane” (Dracaena. fragrans ‘massangeana’) and the “Janet Craig” (D. deremensis). Leaves range from pure green to green with yellow or white stripes. The Dragon Tree (D. marginata) has narrower, purple-tinged leaves. Dracaenas are relatively compact and columnar in shape. They’re easy to care for and do well in low light.
A Schefflera’s Branchy Crown Makes a Striking Focal Point
Scheffleras, also known as Brassaia, also boasts several popular species, but all have six to eight glossy oval leaves radiating around the ends of their branches. Some grow to six feet indoors, though the smaller S. arboricola grows only to about three feet with smaller leaves. They do best in bright light away from direct sun.
Ponytail Palm Offers an Exotic Look
Also known as bottle palm, Beaucarnea recurvata stores water in a swollen bulge at the base of its stem, allowing it to go several weeks without being watered. Long slender leaves cascade from the top, giving it a truly exotic look. It likes a sunny spot but can tolerate lower light conditions.
Fishtail Palm Makes a Decorating Statement
The Caryota mitis can grow to six feet. It’s a lush, leafy palm that needs plenty of space. The bright green, lobed leaves fan out to resemble a fishtail, giving it its name. It likes to stay moist and thrives in bright light, but not direct sun. Caring for palms indoors is relatively trouble-free.
Natal Mahogany Needs Plenty of Water
This mahogany (Trichila dracaena) takes a lot of water, but its beauty is worth the effort for people with the time to tend it. If it dries out, it will wilt and die. It may need a good watering more than once a week. Water should be allowed to flow into the drip pan, where the plant will quickly reabsorb it. It has compound, glossy leaves and grows full and tall as space allows. It does best in bright natural light, away from direct sun, but can tolerate lower light.