Buying and Using Indoor Plants

The following sections offer advice on what to look for when purchasing plants as well as some notes on the locations in which they can be used.

Buying plants :

When buying plants, make sure that they have been well cared for by the retailer. Check that the growth is strong and sturdy, that no leaves are dirty, brown, damaged or deformed, and thatthere are no signs of pests or diseases. With flowering plants, ensure that one or two flowers are open and in good condition and that there are enough unopened buds to guarantee a reasonable flowering period. When buying plants in winter, have them wrapped up before taking them outside to avoid any shock.

Using plants :

Wherever plants are used indoors, always position them with care. Place a saucer under the pot and never put plants on electrica litems as you may suffer electrocution from water spillages. Watch out for plant pests as they can deposit sticky excrement onto furniture. Keep poisonous plants and plants with sharp leaves or spines well out of the way of people, especially young children, and pets.

Windows and windowsills

This position is likely to offer the lightest, often with direct sunlight if the window does not face north. Net curtains provide soft shade if needed. In winter, window temperatures can drop sharply at night so it is wise to move plants into the body of the room overnight.

Lounges and dining rooms

The more exotic and bold plants are worth using here, as feature plants. Unless conditions are carefully controlled, though, these rooms can be too warm and dry for some plants.

Kitchens and bathrooms

These rooms normally offer an increased level of humidity and warmth. Plants that need watering regularly are also less likely to be neglected where there is easy access to water.


These are usually slightly cooler rooms and may suit some of the hardier varieties.


It is probably best to avoid using delicate plants in offices unless you can afford the time to care for them properly and can guarantee that someone else will do so when you are away. Plants that require constant warmth may suffer in offices during winter nights and weekends when heating is turned off. If you plan to use plants in office receptions, ensure there are no draughts from frequently opened outside doors.