Houseplants at RHS Malvern Spring
Green up your indoor space with some of the amazing houseplants found at this year’s show
The popularity of houseplants is on the rise, especially for people who don’t have a garden or no access to outdoor spaces in urban areas. More and more people are passionate about creating their garden indoors. There are so many plants to choose from that suit different temperatures, conditions and rooms. With the largest range ever available to buy in the UK, there are sure to be plants that appeal to everyone. Here are some of our top picks from this year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival to get you started.
This is a really spectacular bulb that can be grown indoors. With big and striking trumpet shaped flowers on stout stalks – the Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) grows to 60cm or more. It’s a reliable perennial and needs minimal post-flowering care, when kept in a bright spot away from direct sunlight. An especially striking example is the red and white 'Spartacus'. Shown by Pheasant Acre Plants: MFM719.
Some houseplants can be grown without soil or compost. Tillandsia species and cultivars, also known as air plants, absorb all the moisture they need as water vapour from the air. They're very low maintenance and can be kept in a well-lit position then misted once or twice a week. Two stylish and contemporary ways of displaying air plants in the home are on show in frames and glass bowls by Weird Plants by Gill: MFM768.
For a striking indoor focal point, try growing air plants and perhaps some bromeliads as they grow in the wild – attached to branches in the canopies of trees. Andy's Air Plants: MFM 703, are showing some beautiful examples of branches festooned with Tillandsia, including veils of hanging Spanish moss and urn plants or Aechmea, held in place by thin wires.
Among the easiest to grow and most prolific flowering indoor plants are Streptocarpus or Cape Primroses. They produce tubular and large-lipped blooms in many colours throughout spring and summer, sometimes well into the autumn. They prefer a well-lit spot out of direct sunlight, but will tolerate part-shade, and love the more humid air of kitchens and bathrooms. Dibleys Nurseries are specialists, and have bred and introduced many of the plants they show: MFM 767.
Dibleys Nurseries also specialise in foliage begonias, they're amongst the most shade-tolerant of all indoor plants (try growing them away from windows) and are available in a large number of leaf forms, colours and patterns. Particularly eye-catching this year is Begonia 'Blackberry Swirl', a deep burgundy bloom with a distinct spiral shape to each leaf: MFM 767.
If your indoor space is really limited but you'd still like to grow plants that provide a succession of bright and richly-coloured flowers – Angel pelargoniums, which grow only a few inches tall, are ideal. 'Eva' is a tried and tested cultivar that will flower for months on a bright windowsill or conservatory and will cope with low humidity. Shown by Fuchsiavale Nursery: MFM766.
Cacti and Succulents
Cacti and succulents are really low maintenance, they’ve adapted to the parched and dry air of desert areas, so they cope really well with the low humidity in centrally heated homes. You can group contrasting shapes, such as the spiky uprights of Euphorbias, with trailing plants such as Rhipsalis on a sunny windowsill for a stylishly contemporary look. Craig House Cacti: MFM 762.
For the sheer impact and variety of indoor plants, it’s difficult to beat the immaculate displays regularly staged by cacti specialists Southfield Nurseries: MFM 702. The range of flower shapes and colours on display perfectly showcase these amazing plants.