The Best 12 Plants For Your Conservatory
Plants are crucial to the classic conservatory aesthetic. They add elegance, colours, and a touch of exoticism. So, no matter how you use your conservatory, it can still benefit from the presence of plants. Plus, this is the perfect opportunity to get into indoor planting. It’s the very purpose for which conservatories were invented.
The process of choosing plants for a conservatory is both a science and an art. The science aspect concerns plant growing requirements and care, while the art aspect concerns visual aesthetics. We considered these two while putting together all 12 of these conservatory plant ideas.
5 plants for hot conservatories
For those with conservatories that attract ample sunlight and maintain elevated temperatures, selecting the right plants to flourish in these conditions is key. Here are five plants that not only survive but thrive in the warmth of a hot conservatory:
Succulents and Cacti
These plants are perfectly adapted to bask in the sun and endure the heat. From the towering Saguaro to the rosette-forming Echeveria and the sculptural Aeonium, they demand minimal water, making them an effortless addition to any sun-drenched space.
With its cascades of colourful bracts, Bougainvillea infuses a conservatory with its vivid hues. It basks in the sun and loves the high temperatures of a conservatory, although it does require frequent watering when it’s in its bloom phase to keep the flowers vibrant.
Introducing a tropical Hibiscus to your conservatory invites the essence of a tropical paradise into your home. With adequate sunlight, these plants will reward you with large, showy blooms. They do need constant watering and feeding during their growth cycles.
Dwarf Citrus Trees
Compact citrus trees such as lemon, lime, or orange can adapt well to the warm, sunny confines of a conservatory. They thrive under direct sunlight and follow a regular watering regime—more so when they’re actively growing and less when dormant.
Known for its intoxicating scent, Jasmine can tolerate the heat while offering aromatic blossoms. It enjoys abundant light but prefers a bit of protection from the harsh midday sun. Regular watering and the occasional feed will keep it happy.
5 plants for large conservatories
Expansive conservatories provide a unique opportunity to showcase impressive and grand plant species that thrive within generous spaces. Consider these five diverse and stunning options to elevate your large conservatory into a lush indoor oasis:
Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata)
This plant is a designer favourite, known for its sculptural form and oversized, glossy leaves that resemble the shape of violins. Perfect as a central piece in a large room, it grows tall and requires a bright spot with indirect sunlight. Watering should be moderate, letting the soil dry a bit between sessions.
Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis)
Instantly infuse your conservatory with a Mediterranean or tropical vibe with this stately palm. It boasts a robust trunk and arching fronds that demand space to be truly appreciated. It prospers under bright light, and while it enjoys regular watering, it’s important to ease up during the cooler months.
Giant White Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia nicolai)
Commanding attention with its sizable blue-green leaves, this plant can transform a corner of your conservatory into a tropical haven. The occasional appearance of its striking white and blue flowers is a bonus spectacle. It grows several metres tall, requiring space to spread out and flourish.
Banana Plant (Musa)
With its quick growth and enormous leaf display, the Banana Plant offers an immediate lush, jungle-like effect. While it relishes the sunlight, it also needs ample watering to maintain its vibrant foliage, with soil that’s consistently kept moist but never waterlogged.
Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia)
Dazzle your evening garden with this plant’s dramatic, sweet-smelling blooms that dangle like bells from its branches. It can be cultivated as a sizable shrub or even a small tree within the conservatory. It thrives with plenty of sunlight and regular moisture, but be aware of its toxic properties, especially around curious pets or children.
Plants for unheated conservatories
If you’re looking to adorn an unheated conservatory with greenery, choosing plants that can withstand cooler temperatures is key. Here are a couple of resilient options that can cope with the chill:
Olive Tree (Olea europaea)
This hardy tree is synonymous with the sun-drenched landscapes of the Mediterranean, yet it’s surprisingly resilient in the face of cold, capable of withstanding dips down to -10°C (14°F). The olive tree is perfect for adding a touch of warmth to your space with its silvery leaves, and if you’re lucky, you might even harvest your own olives. Position it in a spot that gets plenty of light and has good drainage to keep it at its best.
Cabbage Palm (Cordyline australis)
Contrary to its tropical appearance, this plant is robust enough to endure cool weather and can survive at temperatures as low as -5°C (23°F). To help it thrive, avoid frost exposure by situating it in a place that shields it from the elements and make sure the soil allows for adequate drainage to prevent the cold dampness from causing root issues. With its towering presence and lush, elongated leaves, the Cabbage Palm will make a striking statement in any conservatory.
How to choose the best conservatory plants
When picking plants for your conservatory, it’s crucial to evaluate the levels of sunlight and moisture alongside the typical temperature range.
Succulents thrive in dry, bright spots, whereas orchids and ferns prefer a moist environment. Ensure that your plant choices align with the conservatory’s climate; some may need consistent temperatures, and others are more forgiving.
Low-care varieties are ideal if your gardening time is limited. Space is another consideration—expansive rooms can host larger trees, while compact areas might be better off with petite plants or hanging arrangements. Proper planters and the right type of soil are also essential for plant health.
How frequently should conservatory plants be watered?
The watering needs in a conservatory vary by plant species, ambient temperature, and the time of year. Generally, plants need more water during their active growth in spring and summer and less during the dormant winter months. Always feel the soil’s moisture level before watering.
Is special soil needed for conservatory plants?
Different plants have different soil requirements. For example, cacti and succulents perform best in gritty, well-drained soil, while tropical plants may prefer a richer, more organic mix that retains moisture.
How can I manage temperature changes in my conservatory?
Managing temperature involves shading against intense direct sunlight, possibly heating during cold snaps, and ensuring adequate airflow to prevent overheating.