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15 April 2004

Conservatory planting

Recently, we have been invited to undertake some interesting work in private houses, supplying hydroculture plants for conservatories. These have been very varied projects, ranging from an ultra-modern underfloor heated and automatic shaded addition to a home, through to the more traditional half-brick style. The only common point between them is that this is a hostile environment for most plants. The reasons being high light levels and temperatures in the summer months, with much lower winter temperatures, and night fluctuations during the spring and autumn months.

A converted fountain...
A converted fountain planted with a mixture of hydroculture plants, including Anthurium, Chlorophytum, Scindapsus, Philodendron and Sansevieria.

If the low temperatures can be controlled with efficient heating (not allowing ambient temperatures below 12ºC / 55ºF), with some form of shading to protect you and the plants from the direct summer sun, there is a broad spectrum of hydroculture plants that can be used that will cope with the light levels. Ranging from the more exotic members of the Euphorbia family, through numerous succulents, to the more common plants including members of the ficus and schefflera families.

Conservatory planting...
A mixture of hydroculture plants that include Euphorbia ingens, Euphorbia tirucalli, Aloe vera and Zamioculcas.

The advantages of hydroculture are many, including higher humidity, better controlled watering (almost self watering), with the plants being able to continue thriving if you are away for any time. So your neighbours don't have to panic when you leave your prized plants in their tender care every summer!

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