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This Week’s Guest Blogger is Nicki Conlon, a gardener from Sussex who writes as Makinggardens on Twitter and Instagram

Too many Houseplants?

How many is too many Houseplants? At last count I had over 70! Maybe that’s not enough…

I have been gardening outdoor for many a year, yet I am reasonably new to Houseplants. Like my love of gardening, I am sure I have inherited my new found love for houseplants from my Mum. AKA my font of all garden and houseplant knowledge.

I can still remember a trip with my Mum over thirty years ago (eek!) to a garden centre. She purchased a Rubber Plant – Ficus elastica. This character has to be up there with easy care houseplants. A bit of bright indirect light, not too much water and it’s really happy.

I can also remember as a child helping to care for the plant by washing its leaves. What fun! I am sure there were more interesting things I could have been doing, but I loved it.

My Mum still has the plant to this day. I am now the proud owner of a full sized plant from a cutting my Mum started from the original plant all those years ago.

Mother plant and Child to the left, with an Aspidistra friend, who is actually older than me!

At my first house, I only had one windowsill in the kitchen that was viable for growing. This was used for growing herbs for cooking. The rest of the the house was dark with not a lot of space.

When I moved to my current house, I had so much more light and space to play with. It seemed rude not to decorate with plants. I had already planned and started work on the garden outside. On a trip to a certain Swedish furniture store, I happened upon their houseplant section. An Areca palm and that old favourite of the 70’s Monstera deliciosa aka Swiss Cheese Plant came home with me. Actually two Monstera came home and so it began….

Next I wanted to learn as much about houseplants as I could. I devoured every houseplant book I could find. Alongside the marvellous gardening community on social media, there is also a thriving houseplant community. What a joy to see so many beautiful houseplants that I want,  no need!

For many reasons houseplants have had a revival in popularity over the last few years. The selection and places to buy from have improved immensely.

With this great new selection, and the power of social media to promote their beauty, and how to care for them – even gardeners and non gardeners alike are being won over by houseplants.

They are such a joy to have inside, especially in the grey wet days of winter.

Here are just a few of my favourites:

Fittiona – Nerve Plant – another cutting from my Mum. Also used in terrariums and bottle gardens. As long as it doesn’t dry out, it’s happy even when not enclosed.

Aloe Vera- So useful! As a bonus it’s doesn’t need much water being from the succulent family.

Calathea– Another purchase from the Swedish Shop. Just look at those leaves! It’s fascinating how this plant, also called the prayer plant closes up at night.

Ponytail Palm – Beaucarnea recurvata – Take a look at this rockstar what hair! Even my Husband who doesn’t care about plants thinks it’s very cool.

With the joy they bring and the huge variety, I’ve concluded there is no such thing as too many houseplants.

Nicki has gardened for many years in Sussex. You can find Nicki at https://twitter.com/makinggardens and https://instagram.com/makinggardens

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