WORDS BY LAURA BAYLISS
We’d all love a sweeping bay window to show off our 6ft weeping fig to the world, but if you’re more two-bedroom basement flat then don’t despair. Even unloved or forgotten corners of your home can end up being the perfect microclimate for some of our favourite members of the plant gang. Read on to discover who will flourish in those awkward spots.
An actual corner
If it were up to us, there would be a plant lurking in every corner of every room – we love a packed-out plant party! Some plants actually enjoy being backed up against a wall – it reminds them of their homes growing in the shade of the trees. Devil’s Ivy is a dramatic option, stretching out its arms to reach towards the light. It’s a climber, so give it something to cling to as it grows – attach its vines to some non-rusting wires across your walls, or drape it over bookshelves, the door frame or across a picture rail. It’s a free and easy plant, so let it do its own thing, and watch in amazement as it takes over your walls.
A nice cup of tea
If you boil the kettle more times than Deirdre Barlow (RIP), then a rainforest-dwelling asparagus fern will love those little blasts of steam with your cuppa. Don’t put it too close or you could burn its leaves, but let it have a little thrill every time you make a brew.
Up, up, up
If you’re short on floorspace or have pets on the prowl, look up high and trail a string of pearls or hearts down your shelves. Tiny cacti and succulents can make their homes amongst your books, as long as they get enough light. Oxalis, with its purple heart-shaped leaves and pretty white flowers will thrive on your #shelfie – they wave around in the day, closing up their leaves neatly at night. And let’s not forget the stalwart spider plant who can settle in pretty much anywhere, sending out its little spider babies on their adventures. If your shelves are already packed, then don’t forget you can hang your plants in some ever stylish macrame plant hangers wherever you have wall space.
Dark, damp bathroom
As long as there’s some light in there, ferns and fittonias will appreciate their home from home by the tub. Warm, moist and dimly lit: just like the floor of the rainforest. To give them a real treat, you can even get them into the shower with you once a week – just don’t get them too soapy or the water too hot.
If there’s a little patch of your home that’s always in the sun, stick a cactus there. Your desert chum will thank you later.
These thoroughfares are the perfect place for your plant besties, as you can give them a little love whenever you walk past. Beware of drafts, but if there’s enough light, then your fiddle leaf fig, cheese plant or rubber tree plant can set up home and will appreciate all the attention as you stroke its leaves on your way to the loo/kitchen/to collect the post.
Plants do not enjoy a cold draft – who does? But this could be a good spot to install a terrarium. A closed terrarium would be the number one choice here – a rainforest microclimate in a bowl. Open terrariums (like a mini desert landscape) would be better somewhere warmer.
Windowless downstairs loo
OK, so no plants can grow without some light, so this is the one spot no plant will thrive in. Sorry for the bad news. If you want, you can bring in plants on rotation and keep them in the dark for a few days before swapping them out. Or consider a dried flower arrangement? We know which one we’d prefer.