Indoor trees, Houseplants of the month for January
Perfect for filling the space left by the Christmas tree and compensating for all the bare branches outside: imposing and calming indoor trees.
Green giants indoors
Indoor trees provide a point of calm in hectic times. The green leaves absorb sound, bring nature into the home and give a sense of protection from the outside world. They fit perfectly with the style trend in which everything in the home tells its own story, from a treasured object to a well-chosen houseplant. Beaucarnea largely manages its own water intake. And the leaves of Pachira are known for bringing luck. These are green beauties that have something to say. You can find a few examples of indoor trees here, but of course the range is far more extensive than this. Visit your garden centre or your florist and simply choose the foliage that sticks out above everything else; you’re bound to find something impressive with leaves, fans or fronds which can become a beloved companion.
At the heart of the ‘connect the story’ theme are circular shapes, which represent eternity, simplicity and satisfaction. Since every indoor tree offers both a round shape and its own story, they act as strong, harmonious elements in the home with the power to bond. Using indoor trees to create a green room divider is the ultimate example of this: calm and order, separate yet unified.
By placing an indoor tree on a bench you change the perspective and the foliage is even more impressive, whilst the gap below provides a sense of space. Because an indoor tree’s centre of gravity is usually at ground level, this creates a free flow which lends even greater calm to both the trees and the room. This new atmosphere is reinforced by supplementary materials such as plastic with a wicker core, earthenware that appears to be woven, or leather pots.
Beaucarnea (Elephant’s Foot) offers a lovely contrast between the straight trunk and the green spear-like fronds that grow out of the crown. The distinctive silhouette combines beautifully with indoor trees which feature foliage all over their trunk. Its eye-catching appearance makes it a real feature in the home with a distinctive subtropical look. It’s an easy to care for plant which stores its own water in the trunk and base, and therefore largely looks after itself.
- Originates from Mexico, where they have Beaucarneas that are 350 years old.
- The Elephant’s Foot has been an ornamental plant in Europe since 1870.
- Does best in a light spot, but prefers to avoid direct sunlight.
- Only water when the soil feels dry.
Polyscias enjoys the shade, where it develops characteristic branches dressed in beautiful leaves from top to bottom. The foliage can be green, yellow or white, depending on the variety. Because Polyscias grow straight upwards, the shape remains fairly compact, so that this indoor tree is also suitable for smaller rooms. Because the trunk is partly concealed behind the leaves, this indoor tree has a real forest look about it.
- In the wild the plant grows in areas around the Pacific.
- ‘Poly’ means ‘many, ‘scias’ means ‘shadow’ in Greek.
- Do not allow the soil to dry out: it’s better to water more frequently than to give the tree a larger amount of water.
- Polyscias is a homebody that does not like to change its location.
Dracaena is a tall, full indoor tree with a sturdy trunk which produces fabulous green, yellow and gold leaves, sometimes with a touch of pink or red. According to the NASA Clean Air Study Dracaena is a powerful air purifier. The palm-like shape gives this houseplant a rugged tropical look which lends an exotic touch to any interior and combines beautifully with indoor trees with smaller leaves.
- In the wild Dracaena grows primarily in Africa.
- The bright red resin of the Draco variety gives the plant name ‘Dragon tree’.
- Only water when the soil is dry, spray from time to time.
- No direct sunlight, but place in a light spot in order to keep the leaf markings looking good.
Pachira (Malabar chestnut) usually has two or three interwoven trunks and dark green leaves which resemble a hand with five fingers. According to the Chinese Feng Shui tradition those green hands catch luck and fortune, and the twisted stems store the treasure. In Asia the plant is also called the Money Tree; it is a traditional housewarming gift there.
- Do not place in direct sunlight, can also tolerate a less light position.
- Keep the pot soil damp, but do not leave standing water.
- Regular misting keeps the leaves looking good.
- Pachira grows quickly and rapidly develops a beautiful full crown of leaves.
For more information see: www.thejoyofplants.co.uk
Published on: 30 December 2015