Indoor trees: the expert guide to keeping them in Irish homes
02nd Mar 2024
Like an organic sculpture for your home, leafy indoor trees exude low-key luxury, but how can you achieve this look in Irish homes? We asked the experts.
You may have mastered the monstera, but stylish homes are now stepping up their plant game with real indoor trees. Erin Thomas, founder of Hopeless Botanics in Dublin 8, has noted increased interest in these kinds of plants. “We’re getting more and more requests for indoor trees. People are looking for greenery that has a naturalistic, more rustic look as opposed to tropical greenery.”
Trees that grow outdoors in Ireland are generally not suited to our homes due to differing temperature and light levels. There are plants, however, which can give this look that thrive indoors. “One of my favourites for ease of care is the quince tree (Heteropanax chinensis),” Erin advises. “It looks similar to a weeping fig tree, but doesn’t drop leaves in the same way. I also love Ming aralia (Polyscias fruticosa) – it has a lot of feathery foliage on tall, slim trunks.”
Juliano De Souza, head of indoor plantscape at Ballyseedy Garden Centre in Tralee, favours ficus plants. “The fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) and Ficus Safrana are both beautiful and hardy statement houseplants,” he says. While people might find a large houseplant intimidating, Erin believes they are easier to care for than smaller ones.
“They are more established, with stronger root systems, and the soil doesn’t dry out as fast as plants in smaller pots would,” she explains. “Customers who are new to houseplants often want to start small, but we encourage them to try out a mid-sized plant, as they can actually be more easygoing.”
The most important thing, Juliano emphasises, is that you select a plant that is suitable for the spot you want to keep it and ask the seller for advice. A plant will never thrive in the wrong conditions or location. “Tailor around the space: light, heat and watering will vary according to the needs of each plant,” he advises.
Light is also an issue that Erin highlights. “There’s a trend on social media of putting olive trees indoors in your home, but they need about six hours of good sunlight a day to be happy inside,” she says. “We’re a bit different here in Ireland to the American homes you see online bathed in gorgeous sunlight.”
This article originally appeared in the Autumn 2023 issue of IMAGE.