Friday 25th April, 2014
There's nothing quite like the feeling of sitting in a bright conservatory, surrounded by beautiful plants, all year round. Even the best kept conservatories can be vulnerable to extremes of temperature, however simply moving your house plants into the conservatory might not work out. The good news is that there are plants that can thrive in this environment, and some of them are a real delight.
One of the most popular types of plant to keep in a conservatory is the citrus tree. Whether you choose orange, lemon or lime, the aroma of the plant is wonderful, the blossom is pretty and the fruit delicious. Young citrus trees don't overwinter well in conservatories as they're vulnerable to the cold, but once they reach the age of about three they should be fine, as long as they get a bit of ventilation.
Nothing copes with extremes of temperature quite as well as desert plants, from cacti to succulents. You can find them in a range of shapes, sizes and surprising colours, and they need very little maintenance. The one thing that can be a problem is moist air. If it gets damp in your conservatory, the best option is simply not to water them at all during the winter months. It's far easier to kill them with too much water than too little.
Conservatories look great with vines and creepers trained up the walls and even across the beams of the roof to really fill the space with greenery. Conservatories can get very hot on bright days, but hardy desert strains, and even most jungle strains bear up surprisingly well as long as they're given enough water. Flowering climbers like pandorea and blue bell creeper make a particularly appealing addition, contributing scent as well as colour.
Finally, don't forget that whilst they may get too hot in summer, conservatories make the perfect winter home for your patio plants. Just be careful not to bring pests in with them. You can then enjoy them during the colder months and see them thrive outside again the following year.