So you have a conservatory or garden room. This amazing space is not only a wonderful place to spend time, it is obviously the ideal environment to grow and nurture plants. Wondering where to start? Looking for suggestions? We have put together a guide to help you choose plants that will thrive in this space and then a few tips on how to keep them healthy and happy.
You have this incredible space for greenery, but in order to have the best plant success, it is important you know the seasonal light changes, what direction your building is facing, and then how much exposure your plants will have. These factors will determine the amounts of light, heat, and cold experienced inside by your plants inside the conservatory.
The goal of any conservatory is modulating temperature so that plants don’t overheat in summer or freeze in winter. So for example, a south-facing structure will require ample ventilation and blinds installed that can regulate temperatures inside during the sunny months from April until September. Where a north-facing conservatory will contend with the challenge of low levels of light in winter but are great in the summer months. So knowing the orientation of your structure is important.
Conservatory Craftsmen’s Owner and Master Gardener Jim Hewitt has a few favorite plants he recommends to conservatory owners.
Jim’s Recommendations for Easy to Care for Plants
Most frequently, a conservatory has an entry palm. This is a traditional plant used in large and small conservatories.
Jim’s Recommendations for Hardy Plants
If you are seldom home and don’t have anyone to care for plants, succulents can be a life saver.
However, if you are actively enjoying your growing space, then consider the following:
- Bromeliads: easy to care for and there are many varieties to choose from with visual interest.
- Calathea is an attractive plant. There are about 200 varieties to choose from. Keep moist, not wet. Light levels are easy
- Monstera or split leaf philodendron is also a very responsive plant and will achieve some size.
- The majority of conservatory owners like to dabble with citrus. Most are easy to grow.
- Anthuriums are showy and also fun to grow. Jasmin are easy to grow and can add a lot of fragrance to a room
Jim’s Recommendations for care
Most plant growers fail from invasive insects then from light or water. An infestation of thrips can take over before you even know you have them. Be deligent with regular care. Keep leaves clean and dusted top and bottom. Spray with a mixture of neem oil, isopropyl alcohol (I add a touch of Dawn) and water. Totally safe, no poison.
Tips on How to Keep Your Conservatory Plants Thriving
Education. These days Google and YouTube are great places to discover what to do (and what you are doing wrong) with plants. Join a Facebook group about conservatories or indoor plants. Being knowledgeable about the varieties you have chosen will help your plants thrive all year round.
Certain plants will need more attention than others. All plants will need watering, but that schedule will be different for each variety. All plants will need extra nourishment by means of plant food or fertilizer and then just regular inspection for pests or diseases. If they are growing well, repotting will be on the agenda. Don’t forget to attend to the glass of your conservatory, making sure it is clean for the plants to get the best sunlight while remembering that although the sunlight is good, summer can place plants in heat stress if not regularly monitored or provided shade.
During winter months because the hours of light are less, make sure not to overwater plants. One big factor in conservatory plant success in winter is providing them with stable temperatures. Keep plants from sources of heat or cold, moderating the temperature they live in.
Whatever the time of year, adding plants (or more plants) to your conservatory or garden room will keep your space tranquil, calm and peaceful. And if you don’t have a conservatory or garden room and are interested, get in touch with Conservatory Craftsmen to discover the kind of space we can create for you!