Caring for your conservatory plants: part 2

Taking care of your conservatory plants doesn’t have to seem like an impossible task, but it does need to be approached with due care and attention. We have seen how important it is:

  • To administer the right kind of food, at the correct times
  • To ensure the plants stay watered, but also ensuring they aren’t overwatered
  • How and when to replant growing buds from constricting pots
  • The importance of pruning to provide strength in growth

The list of essential jobs doesn’t end there. Over the next few areas we need to consider additional issues.

What if the conservatory is too hot?

Like humans, extreme heat puts plants under extreme pressure and increases the reliance on watering, making it rather difficult for the waterers! Although there are several solutions to blocking out the sun such as curtains, shutters and blinds, this doesn’t always alleviate the intense heat that can build up inside the conservatory. It’s important to choose your conservatory plants carefully and position them so that they can be placed in accordance with their temperature requirements.

What if the conservatory is too cold?

The notion of conservatories is sometimes equated with a greenhouse or orangery, and accordingly people tend to picture tropical plants, citrus fruits and even grapes. Although many hot house plants can thrive inside a conservatory, it may surprise you to know that some subtropical conservatory plants are quite content in a much cooler temperature.

Just how much light do conservatory plants need?

Although they require more light than the average house or office windowsill, they also need some relief from the sunlight in the form of shading.

Plant experts Potter Rest gives this advice:Choosing the right plants for your conservatory can be tricky. Shading of some sort is vital for growing plants successfully in south facing conservatories. This can either be in the form of blinds or can be provided by tough climbers such as vines. While north facing conservatories are suitable for the many attractive foliage plants.”

Ventilation

Before deciding on your conservatory plants, take a moment to check the airflow inside. There needs to be sufficient air to keep the room cool in summer and warm in winter without the need to compromise security with open doors.

That dreaded word: bugs!

Don’t be shy, turn over the leaves and check – regularly! The first signs of a pest infestation will be a sticky or black soot-like deposit. If spotted spray immediately with a pesticide or at the first sign of pests, spray with an horticultural soap or insecticide. For those of you who wish to keep the poisons to a minimum there are some great recipes for homemade, non-toxic sprays.  If your conservatory plants do require spraying it’s important you do not use these chemicals (homemade or manufactured) after February as they will affect the introduction of any favourable insects:

  • Bees
  • Ladybirds
  • Anthocorid bugs
  • Hoverflies
  • Centipedes
  • Beetles

Finally for some help on which plants thrive in conservatories here’s a bit of a taster:

For warm conservatories that would sustain a steady temperature of 60 – 70 degrees F (15.5 – 21 degrees C):  palm trees, hibiscus, gardenia, swiss cheese plant.

For a Cooler conservatory which maintains a temperatures of 40 – 45F (4.5 – 7 C): Chrysanthemum, rose, cyclamin, cacti, yucca plant.

Whether you use your conservatory for working out, chilling out or entertaining family, adding some carefully chosen plants and caring for those plants can turn it into an area that brings a touch of nature inside. For any help or advice on purchasing or refurbishing a conservatory don’t hesitate to contact one of our advisors, today.

[Photo by Alain Audet] Tags: ,