17 Aug

Best summer houseplants for your garden room extensions and orangeries

Take a look at our recommendations for the best houseplants this summer.

People have an in built desire to be connected to nature – something scientists call ‘biophilia’. Houseplants not only meet this need but are an ideal way of adding a touch of natural elegance to your garden room extension or orangery this summer as well as bringing health benefits into the home such as cleaner air and a calmer mood.

Here are some of our tops picks:

Keep it green

Swiss cheese plant

The ‘Swiss cheese plant’ gets its name from the distinctive, large holes that form in its glossy leaves over time. A classic houseplant, the Swiss cheese plant can grow to an impressive size with little maintenance bringing a beautiful burst of colour to any spacious garden room extension. Its wide, heart-shaped leaves are also non-toxic to cats and dogs so a great option if you’re looking to maintain a pet-friendly environment.

 

Fiddle leaf fig tree

This plant gets its characterful name from its stunning, violin-shaped leaves. Whilst the fiddle leaf fig tree needs lots of natural light, it’s best kept away from direct sunlight, making this plant the perfect natural feature to brighten up an empty corner of your orangery.

Add some flavour…

Chamomile 

As well as having calming properties, the sweet scent of chamomile is a great insect repellant, so place a pot of this pretty herb in your kitchen extension to help keep the bugs away whilst you’re cooking up a treat this summer. Alternatively, brew the flowers in some hot water with some sliced apple and a drizzle of honey, and relax in your glazed extension with a soothing chamomile tea.

 

Basil

It couldn’t be simpler to grow basil indoors. Native to warmer climates, basil doesn’t need a lot of moisture to survive, simply water as needed when the soil is almost dry to touch. In fact, your plant is likely to wilt and turn black if kept in wet soil for too long; to avoid root rot caused by overwatering, house your basil plant in a terracotta pot as the baked clay is very porous by nature.

Basil thrives in sunlight, so sit a small pot of this aromatic herb on your orangery window sill this summer and you’ll always have some delicious leaves ready to liven up a midweek pasta dish.

Kumquat tree

As the name suggests, the orangery was first designed to protect citrus fruits from the UK’s winter weather, so why not continue the tradition? Lemon and orange trees can grow to quite a size but kumquat trees are much smaller and just as charming. Their round, orange fruits are deliciously refreshing in the summer heat straight from the branch or made into a marmalade and spread onto a piece of buttery toast.

Best summer houseplants - kumquat tree

Image via Baden de, cc by 3.0

Current trends

Hanging baskets

The humble hanging basket is making a comeback and is the height of fashion when it comes to houseplants in 2018. Copper bowls, nautical rope baskets, delicate frosted glass jars – there are an array of contemporary basket designs now available offering an elegant way to display your indoor plants this summer.

Best summer houseplants - hanging baskets

Succulents

If your gardening skills are limited or a busy schedule leaves you little time to tend to your houseplants, then succulents will become your best friend this summer! Their tough, fleshy leaves are designed for storing water so they can survive with little attention, plus, they come in all sorts of vibrant colours including blue, pink, black, yellow, and striped, so there really is a succulent out there for everyone.

Best summer houseplants - succulents

Add a touch of retro style to your garden room extensions and orangeries with some prickly cacti, or if you’re looking for something more unusual, the striking shape of an aloe plant will make for an eye-catching statement piece.

Terrariums

These popular miniature glass gardens are a great way to add a modern accent to your glazed extension. Terrariums can be large or small, open or lidded, sandy or soily – but all are easy to maintain and very effective. If you fancy an artistic project this summer, why not create your own terrarium for an original ornament that’s both unique and beautiful; you’ll be truly inspired by the range of plants, pebbles, mosses and natural decorations you can choose from.

Best summer houseplants - terrariums