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    Foliage Houseplants for the Indoor Gardener

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    A Selection of Attractive Foliage Plants to Suit Interior Spaces

    Indoor gardeners will find that many foliage houseplants are just as attractive and special as flowering houseplants because of the spectacular coloring and unusual leaf shape.

    Indoor foliage plants can be used in the home or office and if large enough can fill an otherwise empty space or corner.

    Here is the first selection of attractive plants varying in size and pleasing to the eye.

    The Begonia Rex Has Unusual and Colourful Foliage

    Begonia Rex
    Begonia Rex

    There are begonias to suit all tastes but the silver, pink, the red and green foliage of the Begonia Rex is always spectacular. The Begonia Rex needs full light but definitely, no direct sunshine and a temperature between 18-21 degrees will keep it happy.

    Watering is best done from the base of the pot to avoid the plant rotting. Always remove any infected leaves and stems quickly to avoid this happening. Keep a fungicide handy to stop any infection from spreading.

    Dieffenbachia – A Popular Houseplant With Spectacular Foliage

    Dieffenbachia - A Popular Houseplant With Spectacular Foliage
    Dieffenbachia – A Popular Houseplant With Spectacular Foliage

    There are many varieties of the dieffenbachia all having broad lance-shaped light green leaves marked with cream. The sap is toxic and care should be taken when handling broken stems.

    The Dieffenbachia Seguine needs bright light to maintain the colorful foliage but keep away from direct hot sunshine in a minimum temperature of 16 degrees. Maintain the compost damp during the summer but let dry out completely during the winter before watering, from the base of the pot. The plant will grow to about 50 cms. See photo.

    Asplenium – Light Green Foliage of the Birds Nest Fern

    Asplenium
    Asplenium

    A common foliage houseplant is the Asplenium, elegant with its shiny, curling light green leaves. Direct sun will burn the leaves so semi shade is ideal with a temperature between 18-24 degrees. During the summer keep the compost wet but in the winter keep only damp. It will enjoy a liquid fertilizer every month or so during the summer.

    Aspidistras are a Hardy and Attractive Houseplant

    Aspidistras
    Aspidistras

    A well-known foliage plant is an aspidistra probably because it is very tough. Aspidistras are ideal for shady indoor locations and can tolerate quite low temperatures although between 18-24 degrees is ideal and will benefit the plant.

    The long sturdy leaves on thin stems can reach to 90 cms and should be kept dust free and washed often. The variegated Aspidistra Elatoir has attractive foliage but is not seen so often.

    An Attractive Climbing Houseplant is the Cissus Rhombifolia

    Rhombifolia
    Rhombifolia

    This is an easy care foliage houseplant with attractive leaves that is really a climber originating in South Africa. The variety Ellen Danica is a popular houseplant and does well as a hanging plant. The dark green shiny leaves will keep their color in a light position but away from direct sunshine. A temperature of between 18-24 degrees is ideal but it will withstand a minimum of 12 degrees.

    Howea – A Small Palm Makes an Ideal Houseplant

    Howea
    Howea – A Small Palm Makes an Ideal Houseplant

    The Howea is a genus of evergreen frost tender palms that are perfect houseplants. The Belmoreana is a small palm growing to about 2 mths that needs plenty of light but not direct sunlight that could scorch the leaves.

    This small palm needs an average temperature of between 18-24 degrees with a minimum of 12 degrees. The compost should be kept moist in summer with just enough water in winter to avoid the plant drying out. see photo.

    Calathea Makoyana – A Houseplant Noted for Its Unusual Foliage

    Calathea Makoyana – A Houseplant Noted for Its Unusual Foliage

    The incredible foliage of the Calathea Makoyona (sometimes called the peacock plant) requires good light but no direct sunlight which will damage the delicate leaves. An average annual temperature of 20 degrees and regular watering with warm water should maintain the plant healthy. Waterless during the winter and keep out of drafts. Water from the base to keep the roots damp. See photo.

    Fatsia Japonica – A Houseplant Grown for Its Attractive Foliage

    Fatsia Japonica - A Houseplant Grown for Its Attractive Foliage
    Fatsia Japonica – A Houseplant Grown for Its Attractive Foliage

    The Fatsia Japonica is a very useful foliage houseplant because it will tolerate temperatures of around 2 degrees. It is therefore ideal for a cool room as long as it has plenty of light to maintain the leaves a rich dark green.

    The variegated plant has leaves edged in cream (Fatsia Japonica variegate) Water regularly and feeds a general fertilizer monthly during summer, reducing this during the winter. See photo.

    Indoor Gardening can be Enjoyed all Year Round

    Foliage houseplants will always add to the decor of a home or office and a good selection are available all year round from local nurseries.

    They will all require good natural light and some will tolerate quite low temperatures. If gardening in a Mediterranean climate then the plants mentioned would be happy on a shady patio.

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