by Ken Lain, the mountain gardener
Bedrooms are meant to be a haven to recharge your battery, and greenery goes a long way in achieving a sense of serenity. Whether your home is illuminated with natural light or relies on lamps and sconces, these plants love your bedroom as much as you do. Start with this list of tried and true for sounder sleep.
Aloe Vera – The fleshy leaves of this plant need a bright spot in the bedroom but won’t mind if you forget the water for a few weeks. These succulent plants produce offshoots you can remove to start new plants, serving as replacements if you remove leaves to harvest the healing gel for cuts and sunburns.
Corn Plant (Dracaena) gives homeowners the look of a tree without the unmanageable height issues of a tropical tree. Long, glossy leaves top stout trunks, a concrete plant that serves as a handsome anchor in bedroom corners. Although its name suggests otherwise, the corn plant is poisonous. It should not be kept around nibbling pets or curious children.
English Ivy (Hedera) can behave aggressively when grown in the garden, sending clinging tendrils over structures and up tree trunks. You can take advantage of ivy’s spreading tendencies in the bedroom by training the vines across a small trellis, hoop, or topiary form to create a living work of art. Thriving in all light situations, the English ivy’s trailing vines look attractive in hanging baskets or draped over side tables. Plants do fine with little watering and survive a week-long vacation without a hiccup.
Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) is one of the trendiest houseplants around, given its frequent appearance in home magazines and blogs. Its large leaves are its focal point, so providing the right lighting is essential to keeping your plant lush in the bedroom. The plant thrives in shady rooms with the help of an east-facing window. Set your plant on a plate of pebbles filled with water to increase the plant’s vicinity humidity. Fiddle Leaf Fig likes everything in moderation, including light, water, and temperature. Too much or too little of these elements cause the plant to struggle.
Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) grows in partial to full shade, which is why you’ll see these specimens thriving in office and indoor spaces with little to no natural light. In fact, too much light will burn the parlor palm leaves, so keep this plant away from bright windows in the bedroom. A location close to a steamy bathroom that provides a humidity boost is ideal.
Peace Lily plants (Spathiphyllum) are one of the most popular plants in bedrooms. Its glossy leaves thrive in all light situations, the roots tolerate a variety of irrigation habits. Peace lilies take the guesswork out of watering by wilting when they’re thirsty and quickly perk up with a drink. If your room has a window, situating a peace lily nearby will increase the white flower-like spathes’ production. For naturally dark bedrooms, choose a plant with variegated foliage.
Philodendron is a non-fussy bedroom plant. They are just as happy trailing from a hanging basket in the corner as they are stealing the spotlight as a trellised specimen. Philodendrons tolerate a wide variety of light but get a bit lanky if conditions are dim. Less is more when it comes to irrigation, and you can easily root new plants in a vase of water if you decide to propagate more plants for a collection.
Snake Plant (Sanseviera) is sometimes nicknamed “mother-in-law’s tongue.” The leathery, strappy leaves have adapted to survive the harsh conditions of West Africa, where the soil is poor and rain is irregular. You don’t have to deal with messy dropped leaves or complicated pruning with the snake plant; just water it every couple of weeks.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum) lets the personality of this plant infuse your bedroom with fun and fresh air. Nicknamed the airplane plant for its ability to produce multiple “pups” on stems that dangle from the mother plant. You may choose to leave these baby plants or clip them and repot for other rooms.
Until the next issue, I’ll be helping gardeners rest with their plants better here at Watters Garden Center.