Gardeners’ World 2022 episode 10: There’s been a huge surge of interest in houseplants over the last couple of years, so Frances Tophill and Nick Bailey celebrate the joys of indoor gardening in a special programme from Oxford Botanic Garden.
Rachel de Thame visits a nursery in Devon which specialises in growing the ever-popular orchid. We meet an interior designer in London, whose use of houseplants at home has allowed him to reconnect with nature. A self-confessed plantaholic gives us a tour of the indoor jungle he’s created at home in Worcestershire, and we meet a gardener in Manchester who gardens on his balcony 18 floors up.
We also look at the latest trends and must-have houseplants of the moment, giving the best practical advice on how to care for houseplants and showing how to grow your own for free.
Gardeners’ World 2022 episode 10
Some plants can be propagated from a whole or a part of a leaf. It is an easy way to increase numbers of our favourite indoor plants. Plants such as Streptocarpus, Sansevieria, Eucomis, Sinningia (syn. Gloxinia), Begonia masoniana and B. rex hybrids can be propagated from part-leaf cuttings.
Taking whole leaf cuttings is a suitable method of propagation for plants such as Sinningia (syn. Gloxinia), African violet (Streptocarpus syn. Saintpaulia) and Peperomia. Succulents such as Kalanchoe, Echeveria, and Crassula (for example Crassula ovata – the jade plant) are very successful when propagated by leaf cuttings. Tender sedums (e.g. Sedum rubrum, Sedum hintonii, Sedum morganianum) as well as the hardy herbaceous perennial Hylotelephium spectabile can also be propagated from leaf cuttings.
Leaf cuttings are best taken early in the growing season from spring to early summer, though some can be propagated any time of year.
Always select healthy, young, fully grown foliage. Avoid any damaged, diseased material or leaves affected by pests. Use pot or trays filled with free draining compost such as seed and cutting compost or mix equal quantities of multipurpose compost and sharp sand or perlite.
How to grow Phalaenopsis (moth orchids) – Gardeners’ World 2022 episode 10
Phalaenopsis, or moth orchids, are the most popular indoor orchids, with exotic, long-lasting flowers. They are easy to look after and grow well in centrally heated rooms. These tropical orchids produce exotic displays of showy blooms that last for several months. The flowers come in a range of colours, most often white, pink or purple, but also shades of yellow, peach and burgundy. The petals may be veined, patterned or blotched with a combination of these colours. The tall, arching flower stems can be produced at any time of year and sprout from a clump of long, leathery, evergreen leaves.
These orchids have been widely bred to produce many free-flowering and easy-to-grow hybrids. They grow well as houseplants, enjoying the year-round warmth and filtered light in our homes.
Cymbidium have highly decorative flower spikes and are one of the least demanding indoor orchids. To flower well, the plants need a distinct temperature drop between day and night during mid- to late summer.
Ensure good light levels all year round, especially in winter. If the plant is kept outdoors in summer, shade it from midday sun. Cymbidium prefers cooler growing conditions than some other tender indoor orchids. Provide winter growing temperatures between 10-14°C (50-57°F). Keep the temperatures below 30°C (86°F) in summer to prevent damage to the plants.
Plants can be kept outdoors from mid- to late summer (often June to September). However, gradually acclimatise the plants to outdoor conditions in order to prevent leaf scorch from cold temperatures or direct sun.