As I sat at my kitchen stove last week and looked around, I realized that our houseplants were not in good condition.

My job was completed quickly, and I was not impressed. Star windowsill plant: A big, orange-flowered Clivia.

However, the Streptocarpus close to it seems as miserable as Scrooge just before the ghosts appeared.

There are also several dusty succulents and an old pelargonium.

Feeling ashamed, I sat down. It is possible to make our homes an integral part in the gardens, my thoughts sparked.

Many homes have ample space for growing plants. There are many options available to suit any need. Lush conservatories, well-stocked windowsills — even a rude-looking cactus in the loo can all be part of a beautiful indoor garden.

If houseplants are not rich in foliage, colour and variety, then you’re missing a huge opportunity. They can also provide rich displays, just like a garden.

If your indoor plants are dominated by dead geraniums and rubber plants, don’t be discouraged. Homes can still be transformed with minor changes.


Since long time, people have known that the proximity of plants can be beneficial for mental health. This is something many people experience when they visit the countryside and explore gardens.

Greenery inside buildings can be used in the same way. We gardeners can also reap the benefits.

Indoor plants offer a richer variety than a traditional garden. If there’s enough light, indoor plants will thrive.

Low-lit places are home to forest dwellers who can adapt to the gloom. In poor lighting conditions, ferns, spider-plants as well as peperomias (and colourful-leaved Begonias rex) all thrive.

A succulent show will be a delight in the heat and dry climate of a south windowsill. You can find hundreds of options, and many are just as happy outdoors in the summer than on a winter windowill.

There are many options for you to choose from, provided that there is good lighting and protection from the sun. Indoor primulas like P. obconica and Cyclamen are now flowering.

You can enjoy a cozy, relaxing draught with Moth orchids like Phalaenopsis elegant Debora, which offers long-lasting colourproof half-shade. African violets, however, are beautiful.

Phalaenopsis orchids are another option that is easy to manage and readily available. They can bloom up to three times if they are planted in the correct place.

You can also plant for the seasons. For winter, spring bulbs are best, particularly autumn-planted Hydrazinths. You can grow vivid Chilean Blue Crocus (Tecophilaea) or Cape Cowslip (Lachenalia), for a huge spring challenge.


For late autumn flowers, fragrant Camellia sasanqua can be trundled inside in a­ container.

It is hardy and can be returned to the garden once it has finished flowering. The old-fashioned annuals make the perfect summer conservatory plants.

It is possible to grow Shizanthus or trumpet-flowered Salpiglossisis from seeds. Coleus and flame nettles are also good choices for foliage.

You can order seeds for these plants now. Succulents and cacti work well in conservatories where there is excessive heat or south-facing sunlight.

Crassula, a South African jade plants, is the easiest. Although it grows in a large succulent shrub, you can trim it to your desired size.

It produces few white flowers when stressed. An assortment of indoor plants is a good idea.