Tips & Trends | Indoor Plants by Rick Eckersley

We love including indoor plants in almost any space, but in our opinion it can be bit of a feat to select the right one, and keep it looking healthy. With the help of renowned garden designer Rick Eckersley, of Eckersley Garden Architecture, we share some tips on which plants are best and how to maintain them.

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Cymbidium Orchid

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Rhapis palm

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Curly Boston Fern & Hoya bella

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Spathiphyllum Sensation

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Terrarium from Kate Hill Flowers

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Fiddle Leaf Fig

There’s been a resurgence of indoor plants and gardens in recent years. It’s part of the movement away from the minimalism of the early 2000’s  – that sterility of white on polished white. It’s like a rekindling of the relationship between design and nature where we can once again invite the plants inside.

When you’re thinking about using plants indoors don’t be scared to use a bit of colour, texture and bold foliage. The plants we have in at our studio are of different colours with worn patinas and have some luscious, big foliage. We have also dropped some of the same pots outdoors on the opposite side of the window, so it really feels as though the garden merges from inside to out.

Succulents are also a great performer indoors so long as you can let them out for a breath of fresh air once a week or so. We brought our Agave chiapensis inside a couple of months ago for a change of scenery and it’s doing a great job of looking all architectural and spiky in the office.  Another one to bring in and out periodically is the Cymbidium Orchid. They’re naturally inclined to live outside but can also be an indoor plant too.  A couple of days a week in the outdoors will keep them happy.

A new idea we’re working on are fine tracery wires from pot to ceiling to get some indoor climbers growing vertically. Like a modern spin on macramé!

A few care instructions will set you right for a successful indoor plant collection.

You’ll need:

Tools
Secateurs
1 or 2 litre spray pack

Medicine
Yates ‘Rose Shield’
Confidor
Eco oil – or white Oil

Food & Sustenance
Seasol
Powerfeed
Osmocote for potted plants
Aquasol – for a chemical boost

To Do
Water approx once per week – check that the soil almost dries out before re watering.  Really important, check that it’s not too wet. Over watered plants often look like under watered plants. They look sad and droop and often get brown stains on their leaves. Too often it is s a perfectly natural reaction to water them some more…I think it’s called killing with kindness.

Seasol/powerfeed every fortnight. Use these two together. The Powerfeed is the food, the Seasol is the Health tonic. Spray on the leaves or water at the base but be prepared for some oceanic smells between the seaweed juice and the emulsified fish! Some prefer to take the outside at this stage.

Aquasol every alt fortnight.  A good all-round chemical feed that will replace any trace elements that might be missing.  Now it’s not organic, but it’s full of every thing your plants might be missing out on.

Osmocote every 6 months – slow release food that’s always there if the plants need it

Eco oil/White oil cleans leaves as required giving a renewed luster to the plants.  It’s a bit like ‘Dubbin’ on your riding boots, it makes the plant leaves supple and glow again.

Combine Rose shield and Confidor together for an all in one dose of everything.  Including Sooty mould, Powdery mildew, Wooly aphid, Green aphids and Syphilis.  Make the Confidor a double strength dose for the bug infestations.

Failing all of that, best to replace the plants and have a look at why it’s not working. It may mean that the wrong choice was made or that something fundamental like drainage is not working.

Get some soul into your indoor gardens.  Use some big, bold and beautiful plants. Let the Philodendrons and Hoyas climb the walls. Take some risks and be rewarded.