Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

For a Beautiful Living Decor, Rotate the Plants

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By switching these two palms, one in sun, one in shade, every two weeks, you can maintain this indoor decor almost forever.

Any indoor decor looks better with the addition of a few artfully placed foliage plants, but… the sad truth is that few rooms are well enough lit for plants to be happy anywhere but near the window, where the light is brightest. So, over time, the plants that aren’t near the window slowly decline and that “straight out of House Beautiful” look is lost. But there is an easy way of keeping up an indoor green space going almost indefinitely.

20150209The secret is to buy two identical plants. Place one in the “decor” and the other near the window in a well lit room, then… change the plants every two weeks. (If the plants are heavy, remember that there are trays with wheels you can push from one room to another.) Foliage plants will remain in perfect condition almost forever if they receive basic care (even watering, reasonable humidity, and the occasional pinch of fertilizer) plus at least 2 weeks of good light per month.

Great for Foliage, but…

This works fine with foliage plants, but is not so effective with flowering plants. Yes, rotating even a flowering plant from its role as a decor item into good light every 2 weeks will keep it blooming for as long as possible, but, once it finishes blooming, this regime will rarely stimulate it to flower again. For this, just cheat a bit: every two months or so, buy 2 new flowering plants in bud or in bloom and then move them back and forth, from decor to light, every 2 weeks.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

1 comment on “For a Beautiful Living Decor, Rotate the Plants

  1. Pingback: What to Do With a Wimpy Dracaena? – Laidback Gardener

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