Our top winter foliage selects

Biophilia – a term coined by the American biologist and naturalist Edward Osborne Wilson – is the human desire to interact or be closely connected with forms of nature. Plants have long been found to boost our mood and concentration, ramping up our productivity and contributing to our overall wellbeing.

Style inspiration is also often taken from the landscape, with designers adopting ‘earthy tones’. Reverse this process by picking indoor foliage that matches your space, bringing a bit of nature inside and creating an atmosphere you’ll enjoy all year round. Taking the time to care for indoor plants also provides purpose, light activity and a sense of accomplishment during those dreary winter months stuck inside.

All plants – even the evergreen ones – naturally have a dormant period, so they become quite easy to care for during the colder time of year, typically requiring less water and only minor adjustments to their space (such as increasing humidity or positioning nearer to a light source). Gently wiping their foliage will also keep the leaves free of dust and looking shiny and fresh.

Our top plant picks for brightening homes in winter include:

Philodendron hastatum Silver Sword

Native to Colombia, this low maintenance variety is quite adaptable to most conditions, making it the perfect house plant. Silver Sword will make a fantastic contrasting addition to your green foliage collection due to its unusual colouring. New leaves begin as pale silvery grey and turn into a blue/green as the plant matures. It’s strong climbing habit means a trellis or pole is recommended. Although not requiring a lot of water, it’s native climate means Silver Sword appreciates humidity from a regular misting.

Ficus elastica Burgundy

Ficus elastica or ‘Rubber tree’ plants are super tough and require very little maintenance at all; they can survive with little water and in temperatures as low as 10°C. Burgundy’s new growth in vivid red stands out against the glossy dark green leaves, making it a spectacular indoor pot plant. Can be grown in relatively low light levels indoors, though best kept near a big window, and is also perfect for patios and verandas.

Ficus elastica Ruby

Native to tropical regions of India and Malaysia, the vivid colouration of Ficus elastica Ruby – also known as the ‘Variegated Rubber Tree’ – has long captured the hearts of many interior stylists. A hardy, evergreen plant, its red-pink and white leaves have green overtones, making it suitable with a wide range of home décor. They prefer a well-lit position however, as its unique tri-coloured variegation requires brighter light conditions than the Burgundy variety to keep the colours strong and defined.

Ficus Midnight Beauty (PBR)

Ficus benjamina Midnight Beauty is ideal as an indoor plant or potted shrub in courtyards. A rainforest giant in its natural habitat, it will grow to the contained space of a pot. The dainty dark evergreen foliage has a beautiful weeping habit. Its tight conical growth means it can also become a tall spreading shade tree if given the room. Thriving in sunny positions, it prefers well drained soil and pruning will encourage denser bushier appearance.

Monstera deliciosa

A popular low maintenance houseplant, Monstera deliciosa is easily identifiable by its huge glossy leaves, which develop holes or slits as the plant matures, giving it the nickname ‘Swiss cheese plant’. Its lush, heart-shaped green leaves add a tropical feel to the home. Ideal in spacious and brightly-lit spots indoors or under patios, it can also be successfully grown outdoors in filtered sunlight or full shade. It produces white lily-like flowers and fruit resembling a green ear of corn – that is only edible once ripened, which takes approximately a year.

Peperomia polybotrya

Native to South America’s tropical regions, Peperomia polybotrya has thick, heart-shaped foliage and is a very easy to maintain plant. A small, compact plant with bright, glossy green leaves, it is ideal in containers on balconies and windowsills in indirect or dappled light. Mature plants produce slender creamy-coloured flower spikes. It is also highly adaptable, tolerating a wide range of climates and seasons.

Explore all available indoor foliage plants in our online plant library.

Our top winter foliage selects

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How to: Succulent bowls

Creating a succulent bowl is easy, whilst curating a stunning gift line of them is a little more exciting.

Our wide range of planter bowls – available both online and at our Trademarts – means that your selection of gift ready succulent bowls can be as small or as large as you’d like! Choose bowls from within several style ranges including urban lightweight, modern concrete or traditional terracotta.

Planting a succulent bowl is fairly straightforward. Begin with a good quality potting mix, and because succulents grow best when not sitting in wet soil, look for a mix that incorporates sand to facilitate better drainage. Create holes in the soil and position your chosen succulents before watering them in thoroughly to help eliminate air pockets around their roots. Once planted, succulents prefer being watered whenever the soil feels dry to touch.

To really nail the perfect succulent bowl, experiment with a variety of different heights, colours, textures and shapes to craft a truly unique look. Go big and bold with Kalanchoe Flap Jacks or an Echeveria such as Morning Beauty, Chocolate and Pearl von Nuremberg.

 

Make colour the hero of your succulent bowls with standout plants that grab focus like Aloe Aloes, available in bright yellow, vibrant orange, rich red and light pink. Generate smaller pops of colour with Portulaca Sundials, or produce unusual colour without using flowers by planting Senecio Blue Chalk Sticks, Crassula Campfire and Calico Kitten, or the quirky lines of Peperomia Gravolens.

Fill the edges of the bowl with the rope-like shapes of Sedum Burrito and Jelly Beans, or opt for trailing plants. Delicate options such as Ceropegia Chain of Hearts and Senecio String of Pearls will soften the edges of the bowl, or use robust lines from Dichondra Silver Falls to cover more of the outside of the bowl.

 

As an optional extra, finish off your succulent bowls by filling in any gaps with a light layer of small stones.

Because of their adaptable size, succulent bowls are ideal for either bespoke indoor gifts or spectacular landscape features.

How to: Succulent bowls

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Go green with living walls

Many people ask what are living walls?

Also known as ‘green walls’, ‘eco walls’ or ‘vertical gardens’, they are different to ‘green facades’, whereby the greenlife is trained to cover a wall for aesthetic purposes.

Green facades are primarily achieved either indirectly, by planting groundcovers in planter boxes and letting them trail down a wall, or directly, by affixing a structure such as a trellis to the wall and training plants to grow up it. Green facades can also be created by greenlife attaching itself to the wall (as in the case of a vine).

Instead, living walls see the greenlife planted directly into a structure that has been built either into or onto the wall, where they will receive their required nutrients from the soil and water that fills it. Learn more about green walls with Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd

No longer just of interest to architectural companies in the race for the latest design awards, living walls are also gaining considerable attention from other businesses seeking to improve their ecological credentials, building aesthetics or employee benefits. This last is in reference to biophilic design, the concept that employees are more productive and happier when they have access to nature.

Both living walls and green facades are considered components of overall green infrastructure and important in reducing our carbon footprint. They are credited with providing benefits to urban environments, including attracting wildlife, improving air quality and establishing a microclimate, reducing energy costs (by reflecting solar heat in summer and providing insulation in winter), and helping to dampen noise. Either living walls or green facades in urban environments can also help to reduce the city’s heat island effect.

Living walls have both indoor and outdoor applications, and with the right plants can be created in a wide variety of conditions, from full to part sun or shade.

Living walls are also scalable, from forming the central focus in a grand landscape design as living art to being relatively easy to establish in a small courtyard or alfresco space; with many retailers now selling affordable, modular kits which homeowners can easily assemble themselves.

Before embarking on the creation of a stunning living wall, it is important to consider more than just the site’s volume of sunlight and orientation. The existing wall or supports and their load capacity will determine the size of your living wall, as well as the options for irrigation and drainage.

Consider the level of maintenance required for your living wall, and how much upkeep the plants will need. Your plants will likely have dormant periods. It is also vital to waterproof the space for longevity of the project.

Living walls are typically only visual additions, however there is a rise in people taking advantage of living walls offering a larger number of plants in a smaller space by establishing them using edible vegetation. Thus, creating a dual purpose and expanding the biodiversity in the space.

Explore our online plant library to select the right plants for your living wall project. You are limited only by your imagination and a plant’s growing conditions!

Go green with living walls

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Plant for a blooming Easter

Instead of gifting chocolate, try capturing the essence of this festive holiday and celebrating the autumn season by spreading new life (and colour) throughout your garden.

Rejoice in Yellow

What better way to retain a little of the summer sunshine in your autumn planting, than with some bright splashes of yellow! Easter time is filled with yellow: new chicks, fresh eggs and golden sunsets. Yellow is typically recognized as representing positivity, happiness and friendship, so what better colour to spread along the garden beds!

The unique flowering pattern of Calibrachoa Superbells Lemon Slice is sure to impress, with striking alternating stripes of yellow and white. Calibrachoas are ideal for spilling over garden beds, hanging in baskets or growing in courtyard pots for brightening the space with a stunning display of colour. Discover the lush purple flowers of Evening Star or the pink and yellow splotched flowers of Holy Cow.

 

Comparatively, the Gazania Sahara is a hardy, ground cover producing masses of large, bright double yellow flowers throughout the year. Preferring a full sun position, it is ideal for coastal areas or rockery gardens. Another stunning, long-flowering option is the Hemerocallis stella bella, an easy to grow dwarf day lily that is low maintenance and ideal for mass planting in garden beds or potted into containers.

Go Bold with Raven

Not all colour is bright... Explore the bold, luxurious foliage of new Zamioculcas Raven, now available. The shiny, black feathered leaves of Raven remind you of the impressive large bird from which the plant derives its name. It’s this natural dark colour progression that makes for such a strong statement in any space!

Winter Flowering

Want more than just yellow? Embrace other new season seedlings, now in stock, to add pops of colour amongst your existing green life.

Plant abundant trays of Pansy Can Can, Fantasy Mix, or Regal Ruffles for masses of brilliantly coloured and fragrant flowers in a wide array of white, black, blue, purple, pink, red, peach, orange, and yellow. Preferring a full sun or partial shade position, Pansies are ideal for garden beds, borders, rockeries, containers and hanging baskets.

 

New Release

Radermachera sinica Jade Jewel is a beautiful lush plant which will be a great addition to your indoor collection. Its foliage is very attractive and quite delicate. The glossy, mid-green leaves are divided into leaflets and although similar shaped, are larger leaves than the China Doll.

Jade Jewel is fairly compact and easy to care for. Its lovely bushy upright growth can really give that jungle feel to your favourite relaxing or entertaining areas.

 

Autumn is also prime vegetable planting time - so start now to reap the rewards of delicious home-grown veggies.

Plant for a blooming Easter

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Amazing Alocasias

Commonly known as ‘Elephant Ears’ or 'African mask plant', Alocasias are rhizomatous or tuberous plants native to subtropical Asia and eastern Australia, and are increasingly becoming popular as houseplants. Not to be confused with Colocasia, the Alocasia leaf tips point up - whereas Colocasia leaves point down.

Known for their large, beautiful leaves, Alocasias are ideal for creating an exotic vibe either indoors, out on the patio or in the garden. Their oversized, lush foliage makes for a fantastic focal point, coming in an impressive array of colours, patterns and interesting shapes. 

The Alocasia wentii is known for its unique green leaves with contrasting bronze-purple undersides, while the unusual form of Alocasia Stingray has to be seen to be believed. Its leaf shape does in fact look like a Stingray, with fish-like wings and a long tail!

Even though Alocasias can grow to be a sizeable evergreen plant, dependant on species, they can still look airy and elegant thanks to tall, smooth stems that grow out of a tuber. Their stems can also be plain, striped, or display stunning contrasting colours.

The spectacularly wide, heart-shaped leaves of Alocasia macrorrhiza or ‘Giant Taro’ are huge!

By comparison Alocasia zebrina Sarian is typically a taller and more slender looking plant, with familiar arrowhead-shaped leaves. Similarly, the Alocasia lauterbachiana has stiff, tapered leaves with burgundy undersides and purple mottled stems.

Alocasias can grow rapidly, often producing a new leaf almost every week in the warm summer months.

For optimum growing conditions, they need bright, indirect light. Alocasias’ natural habitat is on the rainforest floor underneath a tree canopy, therefore they thrive amongst ferns and other shade-loving plants. Position in a partly-shaded, warm and humid part of the garden, or in a well-lit, protected spot indoors. Misting the leaves in areas of low humidity is also recommended to maintain the lush foliage.

Create an instant jungle feel by planting Alocasia under low windows, as an accent in a mixed bed, grouped in a focal area, alongside a courtyard or patio, or surrounding a palm or tree.

Learn more about these and other Alocasias in our online plant library.

Amazing Alocasias

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Perfect Pathways - Lawn Alternatives

Perfect Pathways, Lawn alternatives, planting blocks.

Discover our new release Perfect Pathways plant blocks! This range consists of lawn alternatives suitable for low–traffic which have been grown in block trays to make planting quick and easy and provide instant impact. These plants are perfect for filling the gaps between pavers. They are low-maintenance, with no mowing required, and are spreading ground covers which can be cut into sections, strips or laid end to end for an instant lawn alternative.

Dichondra repens

Dichondra is an excellent ground cover and will spread by putting its’ own roots where each node meets the soil, making it an ideal lawn substitute in cooler areas of Australia or in small and partly shaded gardens.

 

Chamomile Roman

A ground cover with cute yellow/white flowers with an aroma of apple. Ideal for dappled or semi shade areas in the afternoon. Aromatic foliage and pretty daisy flowers can be kept neat and tidy with a whipper snipper.

 

Mint Pennyroyal

A spreading mint, great as lawn sub. Forms a dense matting ground cover that release a strong spearmint aroma when walked on. Good to keep insects at bay.

 

Sagina Green

Forms a dense moss-like coverage with white flowers. Ground hugging emerald green moss, beautiful velvety feel making a luxurious carpet under foot.

 

Thyme Creeping

Spreading thyme with masses of mauve coloured flowers. Dense prostrate low growing ground cover with masses of pink flowers in spring. Perfect for filling spots between pathways. Highly fragrant foliage when crushed. Available online and in the Trademart now.

 

Perfect Pathways - Lawn Alternatives

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Breathe Deeply in the Greenery

Just like your phone or your laptop, sometimes you need to recharge your batteries. It's good to get away from all the stress, from people demanding things of you, and a head overflowing with information. Sometimes all you need is a short time in your own green refuge.

Our top low maintenance plant picks for recharging you and your space include:

Spathiphyllum - Peace Lily

Spathiphyllum

Spathiphyllum Sensation offers beautiful style and symmetry to any indoor space office or home. These varieties are very forgiving during periods of no water and will recover quickly. 

Zamioculcas Gem - ZZ Plant
ZZ plant

The ZZ Plant is an incredibly hardy perennial that produces glossy green elliptical leaves which are borne on long fleshy stems. They are easy to grow and will tolerate all sorts of neglect including drought conditions dry air and low light. 


Howea forsteriana - Kentia Palm
Kentia Palm
Howea forsteriana has been used as an indoor plant since Victorian times and has proven to be as popular today as it was then. Howea forsteriana can tolerate low sunlight exposure, air conditioning and central indoor heating. Howea forsteriana is relatively low maintenance.

Plants do a brilliant job of sheltering you — but that's not all they do. As you sit hidden behind the leaves, you'll discover they bring a sense of peace. This is because plants release oxygen, giving you new energy as you breathe in the clean air. You've surrounded yourself with peaceful, living things that demand nothing of you apart from water. Breathe out, drop your shoulders, and relax in your own green hideaway.

Breathe Deeply in the Greenery

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Raven Zamioculcas - It has arrived!

It´s time to meet this remarkable dark variety!

Zamioculcas Raven is a new addition to the zamioculcas family, it stands out with its black leaves and stunning natural colour progression. Zamioculcas has a tried and tested status as a rugged indoor plant. Strong statement in any space! The shiny, black feathered leaves of Raven remind you of the impressive large bird from which the plant derives its name.

Being so strong, Raven feels equally at home in a modern living room, chaotic student flat or packed open plan office. A real feature plant with few demands. Zamioculcas Raven can also cope with an owner who is a slightly forgetful waterer. If it hasn't had any water for a while it will just rely on the reserves that it stores in its roots and rhizomes!

The natural colour development. A beautiful process to see at home!

Phase 1: Ravens new growth begins in a bright green new shoot. The shoot is know as a feather.

Phase 2: Once the new shoot is completely open, Raven will start its beautiful colour transformation. The colour transformation starts out as bright green and as it ages turns dark to almost black. You see the change begin in the tips of the leaves before spreading.

Phase 3: The leaves darken over a period of around 8 weeks depending on the amount of light it gets. The more light the faster it darkens. Once the leaves turn black they will stay dark until the next new leaf appears.

Raven Zamioculcas - It has arrived!

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