Natives for Indoors

Looking at having some indoor plants and want to use natives? Here’s some tips to help you choose and care for your plants.

Choosing plants – rainforest species can generally handle low-light situations so can be good indoor plants. Look for species with shiny glossy deep green leaves and interesting forms and foliage.

Caring for indoor plants – use good quality potting mix with slow release fertilisers and that will drain well. Every 6 months top up with more potting mix. Apply a small amount of mulch or gravel around the top. Sometimes leaves will accumulate dust – wipe with a damp cloth regularly.

Watering indoor plants – the amount of water required by your indoor plants will vary according to light, humidity and species. Basically, plants will enjoy being kept moist but not drowning.

Where to put your plants – location is everything! Choose a place indoors that resembles the light requirements of the plant in it’s natural environment – is it an edge species liking more light or does the plant occur on the forest floor in deep shade? Avoid hot north-facing locations. Filtered light works well. Heaters, air conditioners & fires can be drying so be mindful of how close your plants are to them. Occasionally plants are not happy in their location – so move them and try somewhere else.

Here’s some species to try:

Palm lilies – Cordyline spp. Beautiful strappy leaves, hardy and adaptive. Various forms from 60cm to 2m tall. Red fruit in bunches.

Maiden hair ferns – Adiantum sp. Delicate looking with graceful branches of tiny leaves, maiden hair ferns are very popular.

Birdsnest ferns – Asplenium sp. Wonderfully tough and dramatic fern suitable for large pots and hanging baskets.

Piccabeen Palms – Archontophoenix cunninghamiana. This tall palm, occuring in moist rainforest, makes a great indoor plant. Provides an interesting tall structure.

Rasp fern – Doodia aspera. Textured fronds and beautiful pink new growth. Attractive fountain-like growth habit.