Houseplant Hill; indoor gardens of SE23

We have a thriving outdoor gardening thread; I thought it might be good for indoor gardeners to have a similar one. Top tips for where to buy plants locally, potentially swap cuttings in the spring - and show off any particularly pretty foliage.

I’d started buying houseplants a couple of years ago but, being at home most days this year, has meant my collection has exploded from around 10 to nearly 30.

Two of my favourites were picked up from Shannons this time last year.
I grabbed the Oxalis on a whim - it’s quadrupled in size. Its leaves open and close each day and it reminds me a little butterflies at night.

And my Monstera which was 6 leaves (just one with holes) when I got him last October. I’m giving you two pics - one from July about a month after I repotted him. And the other from yesterday where you can see the newest leaf has outgrown the pole! In the background you can also spot another favourite, my ponytail palm.

Anyone else got any beautiful houseplants?


Nice idea @applesider.

Here is my ever so tall Strelitzia. Brought back as a bulb from Madeira >10 years ago. It has never flowered. It’s in a very light bathroom, so gets plenty of moist air. It’s now too heavy to move.


That’s impressive! And a fabulous pot too! I did a double-take at the spider!

I’ve got a couple of maidenhair ferns in the bathroom along with some air plants in sea urchin shells that look a bit like jellyfish


Got this ‘thing’ from Yolly on Dartmouth Road probably last year and it’s doubled in size. It’s a proper fractal - bifurication and whatnot


I assembled all my houseplants for a “family photo” over lockdown (for a work presentation, not just for fun…although it WAS fun). This is the result of a 30-something living in a no-pets apartment block :grimacing: and we’ve welcomed two further additions since!


Well I think that’s game over, everyone! Fab collection.


That’s fabulous. This might inspire me to try a family pic now you’ve said it’s fun! Love the anglepoise lighting them.

I’ve just picked up a tiny schefflera that I can only dream getting to half the size of yours!

Was down on Rye Lane last night and the Chinese supermarket had some fabulous multi-stemmed jade plants for about £6 - and Peckham Organics had some interesting plants too for decent prices.


Ah I love the schefflera, I got it from Pearspring in ED which has now sadly shut up shop.

Apartment living can mean being restricted to plants that don’t need tons and tons of light, so some plants I’d love to have but can’t. But no high profile casualties so far, thankfully!

My bathroom collection


And the Triffid I started off plantsitting for a neighbour and seem to have inherited.


Indeed - my flat has east/west windows but none south facing so the best light in the room is very close to the windows - so I share your pain of finding lower light plants without them becoming leggy.


My Strelitzia has never flowered. My husband is threatening we won’t take it with us when we move. It is very tall and hugely heavy and he hates it quite a lot. Any ideas how we can encourage it to flower? Over the years we have tried feeding it, starving it, watering it, letting it dry out, spraying it with water, letting it become pot bound, repotting it to a generous pot and everything else we can think of.

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Not entirely sure whether this applies to Strelitzia but many houseplants don’t flower without a lot of light. By which I mean pretty much outdoors in the summer with higher humidity than we have indoors - although being in your bathroom probably helps on the second point.

I have a Hoya Linearis which allegedly can flower but sometimes only on the 3rd or 4th year of being potbound and after lots of light… Luckily I love her long strands so a flower would be a bonus. And she’s nicknamed Rapunzel…


I don’t really have the best light in my flat, and have some successful Basil and Thyme on a windowsill, but I’d like to start with a larger proper potted indoor plant. Anyone have any suggestions what type of plant wouldn’t struggle indoors to start off with?

Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) usually cope in most conditions and I have a “mother-in-laws tongue”(Sansevieria) that is over 30 years old that lived perfectly well for years in a corner of my hall which doesn’t get much light although it’s now in my very light living room but only because it got too large for the hall!


In theory, anything that doesn’t insist on full-sun, should be OK relatively near a window. So avoid jade plants and cacti. If you’ve got room to hang a plant near the window, strings of hearts/pearls etc are cute. Shannons had some amazing ‘string of pearls’ the other week.

Other succulents can work fairly well - and thrive on healthy neglect (i.e. waterwise!) further away from the windows.

Alocesia (very funky leaves), the Oxalis (purple plant above), Calatheas, Pothos (gorgeous vibrant green and can climb) are all pretty tolerant of medium light. M&S, Sainsburys etc have all had some of these lately. Chris R’s recommendations also good ones.

Monsteras really look like a ‘proper jungle houseplant’ and will tolerate medium light - so long as you rotate them enough that they don’t grow top heavy to the window.

i did notice that Peckham Organics (on Rye Lane) had some nice plant options the other day - at reasonable prices. Columbia Road is open again (with distancing apparently) which is a lovely Sunday morning out.

Word of warning though - it does get addictive so don’t blame us if a year from now you’re posting a pic like Fran!


They do tend to breed… there were none in this room at the start of lockdown


In a year I won’t be able to move to take another picture :joy: I’ll be found trapped in my living room, woven through the stalks of my monstera.

(Which incidentally is THE most difficult plant to re-pot, the damn thing takes less than 24 hours to complete re-orientate towards the sun)


thought you may be interested that Lidl have some good plant offers this week including a Swiss Cheese Plant (Monastera) in a basket @ £9.99 and some ferns.


Finally the excuse I’ve always wanted to go on a foray to Lidl in Sydenham!