Want to brighten up your outdoor room extension? Plants can help bring the garden inside, and strengthen the connection between your indoor and outdoor spaces. Think bright pops of colour and dramatic foliage, and add extra interest with some fancy pots. Check out our list of top 10 plants for your outdoor room.
1. Spathiphyllum – commonly known as the peace lily. This is probably one of the most popular indoor plants around. It is available in both miniature and full-sized varieties, and is reasonably sturdy. It has dark glossy leaves, and tall white flowers. Don’t overwater it, and re-pot around every three years or so for best results.
2. Ficus Benjamina – This is an enormously popular tree that can be used indoors and out. It can be left to grow naturally, and can be kept tidy with regular tip pruning. It also does extremely well as a topiary plant. When looking for something to make a simple statement, it’s hard to go past a single, beautiful tree – especially indoors!
3. Dracaena – sometimes known as the Madagasca dragon tree. This plant can be used in multiples to create interesting sculptural effects – great in a contemporary or minimalist space. It thrives on neglect, so makes an easy care option!
4. Devil’s Ivy – This 70s icon was usually found in bathrooms. However, it is perfect for outdoor rooms, and can be pruned to create a full shrub-like plant, left to grow madly from a hanging pot, or trained to climb. The variegated foliage is pretty, and it copes well with infrequent watering. However, it is toxic for small children and pets, so keep it out of easy reach.
5. African violets – An old-fashioned charmer that will provide you with small- scale spot colour. They can be a bit temperamental, prefer filtered light, and watering by the ‘wick’ method.
6. Umbrella Plant – This is another retro gem that is making a comeback. If you’re looking for height, this is one of your best options. For optimum growth, it likes humidity, so water weekly and spray regularly.
7. Lady Plant – This is one of the small palm varieties that will work well if you have low light. It likes humidity, so avoid putting it somewhere that is air- conditioned. The fan-shaped leaves offer a bit more interest than a standard palm if you’re looking for something a bit different.
8. Anthurium – if you like the peace lily, but would prefer some colour, consider one or more of these. Anthurium has similar requirements to the peace lily, but has gorgeous red, pink or white flowers.
9. Zanzibar Gem – You may have seen this plant in shopping centre displays, or incorporated into floral arrangements. It’s a relative newcomer that is a boon for ‘black thumbs’ – it’s almost indestructible. It’s a great accent plant, and looks fabulous against a pale background.
10. Bromeliads – This is a bit of a curve-ball option, as you usually find them outdoors under trees. However, they will do well in outdoor rooms as long as they get similar dappled light. The available colour range is interesting, and they can be propagated from shoots off the base of the plant – ensuring you’ll always have plenty more coming along.
Whether you choose masses of potted colour for your outdoor room, or just go for a few carefully chosen statement plants, there will be varieties to suit your space.