What should I grow in my conservatory?

Vegetables growing in a large greenhouse

As you may be aware, aristocrats in past centuries, used conservatories to grow citrus plants. Conservatories kept the plants sheltered from the elements while still providing enough sun for them to bear fruit. In the modern day, people have conservatories for a number of reasons (to increase living space; create a home office; improving property value etc.) However, growing plants, fruits, and vegetables will always remain popular. Here are some of the common things that homeowners like to grow in their conservatories.

1. Citrus fruits

For those who want to be reminded of the lifestyles of renaissance monarchs (or for those who just like juicy, delicious fruits), growing oranges and lemon plants is still a popular pastime. Perfect as elements in a tasty fruit salad, or as a pleasant addition to cocktails for drinks parties, oranges and lemons are easy to grow and are a great choice for conservatory owners. For more information about growing citrus fruits, check out our previous blog post on the subject.

2. TomatoesThree homegrown tomatoes on a table

Tomatoes are a polarising fruit (yes, fruit – not vegetable). Most people either love them or hate them. If you are in the former group, there are many types of tomato to choose from, including cherry tomatoes, gigantic beefsteak tomatoes and more. Grow them in hanging baskets or in pots and watch your conservatory come to life. Remember to plant your tomatoes quite deep in their pots and ensure the conservatory is well ventilated during the summer.

3. Strawberries

Who doesn’t like strawberries? They’re perfect with yoghurt as an addition to breakfast cereal or just by themselves as a tasty snack. You can plant your strawberries in pots next to the conservatory window to get the maximum amount of sunlight, or hang them in baskets, as you like. It’s best to plant them during the autumn and feed/water them regularly during the summer and spring.

4. Dwarf broad beans

As a healthy side dish to a fulfilling meal, you can’t go wrong with some delicious broad beans. Ensure you purchase the dwarf variety of broad beans in order to grow them indoors. Plant them in pots in your conservatory during the winter and see them develop as the months unfold. If you have children who need encouragement to eat their vegetables, why not show them how to grow broad beans so they can proudly eat what they’ve produced?

5. Cactus

For those looking to really create a focal point in your conservatory, try growing something truly exotic like a cactus plant. Although it won’t bring you anything delicious to eat for your endeavours, it can really make your conservatory look stunningly unique (or reminiscent of a barren desert – if that’s what you like). Cactus plants are actually not that difficult to grow as they require a very low amount of water. Just don’t let your cactus grow out of control like one family did.

Chris Brooke, writing for The Daily Mail, describes a family’s conservatory:

“The cactus grew and grew and grew. Now less that three years later it has outgrown the family home. The giant plant is 10ft high and touching the conservatory roof. The family are very fond of the cactus and don’t want to get rid of it, but they haven’t a clue what to do.”

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