First of all a large planter with good drainage is recommended. I usually use a 16 or 20 inch decorative planter with openings in the bottom and use a light potting soil mixture containing a good amount of peat. Then the fun part is I visit the local nursery and select a grouping of plants that have the same requirements for light, water, and general care. If you are not sure which plants to use, it is common practice for nurseries to group plants together with similar requirements, taking away some of the guess work.
In this first planter I have selected five different plants for a 20-inch container. The central focal point plant is a Spathiphyllum, commonly known as a Peace Lily. Peace Lily thrives in low or filtered light conditions in a moderately moist loose soil which is excellent for an indoor planter.
Surrounding the Spathiphyllum is Croton 'Banana' which does require more light but it does very well in the constant filtered light that this planter receives. I have the Croton more in the front section of the planter that sits across the room from a window so it receives filtered lighting. Figure about three of these plants.
|Alocasia Polly and Arrowhead|
Along the side and more towards the back of the planter (less lighting) I have added three Alocasia Polly, also known as Elephant Ear (left on photo). Elephant Ear has become one of my favorite houseplants with its shiny dark green arrow-shaped leaves with light colored veins running through them. Alocasia prefers bright indirect light and moist soil. I also used a grouping of three Nephtytis White Butterfly, commonly known as Arrowhead Plant along the back as well. This is a great plant for indoors that prefers bright diffused lighting like the others.
|Aspargus fern (center)|
The last plant for a little bit of cascading interest along the front is Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri', commonly known as Asparagus fern. It is the delicate light-green wispy plant in the center. Asparagus fern prefers diffused lighting and moist soil. It gracefully cascades over the rim of the planter creating a softer look.
The second indoor container planter that I have is in even lower lighting conditions and contains Peace Lily, Parlor Palm, Arrowhead Plant and Philodendron which are all shade loving plants. The central plant is Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily), surrounded by three Nephtytis White Butterfly (Arrowhead Plant) on the right and three Chamaedora elegans or Parlor Palm on the left and toward the back. Cascading down the front of the planter is Heartleaf Philodendron. This planter does great in its limited diffused lighting and moist loamy soil. I placed sphagnum moss around the top of the planter for both anesthetics and moisture retention.
Whether you are an avid gardener or just appreciate a little green around the house try out one of these indoor container gardens. They will provide lots of enjoyment throughout the entire year. The fun part about them is that you can combine your favorite tropicals to create a fascinating display. To keep the planter looking full I simply change some of the plants out and add some new, which warrants a trip to the nursery...something I have no problem doing in the middle of the colder months!
As Always...Happy Gardening!
Author:Lee@ A Guide To Northeastern Gardening Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved