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Greenfingers 34



By William Mills


image of a Citrus Tree
Citrus Tree in bay window after a few weeks under CFL light

Since starting my Greenfingers column four years ago we have published details of over thirty different varieties of plants and it would be useful to look back and consider which plants were the most satisfying to own and care for.

What are we really looking for in our plants which we share our homes with?

My plants fall into two specific categories- fragrant flowering varieties which require constant attention, and those which can be placed in a particular corner and left to get on with it.

The later include evergreens and clean air favourites such as spider plants and Dracaena, as well as cacti and succulents.

The flowering plants which I have enjoyed growing are whose scent has the ability to lift our moods.

These are used in aromatherapy by commercial growers harvesting millions of flowers and pressing them to extract tiny amounts of volatile oils, which when evaporated in a fragrance oil burner smell the same as the flowers do on a summer’s morning.

The top three are rose, citrus, and jasmine, and we have experienced different results from trying to grow them.

Rose is the most difficult as it is not really an indoor plant, and although there are small pot varieties their fragrance is so faint as being difficult to notice.

However new hybrids are brought out each year so hopefully one day the perfect rose will be discovered.

Buying a Jasmine is probably the easiest way to create the heaven of a room filled with fresh flower scent.

Usually costing under £10 from garden centres and florists these small plants display a multitude of small white flowers, which when open give off a rich perfume.

However Jasmine’s drawback is the early spring flowering season is soon over, and as a plant they fare better outside.

Citrus have taken up much of my time and energies over the years. Here we have all three of the requirements of the perfect plant-edible fruit, long lasting, and continuous flowering.

If only it was that easy! Many nurseries swear that it is yet Citrus have a horrid habit of dying if their living conditions aren’t right. It does takes care and practice to get their habitat just right but once achieved nothing beats them.