The techniques and traditions of taking decorative and useful plants out of their natural habitat and growing them indoors in pots have a long history. As many as 5000 years ago, the Chinese were constructing beautiful palace gardens and filling them with carefully cultivated shrubs and flowers, each one standing in its own earthenware containers.
The most crucial step forward in the history of pot plants was made accidentally in 1834 by a Victorian gentleman called Nathaniel ward. He discovered that plants could thrive in an enclosed glass case recycling their own moisture by the process of respiration. Wardian cases in the home enabled people to grow their own miniature jungles of tropical plants and also let to new developments in the techniques and technicalities of green house growing.
From the mid nineteenth century onwards, plants became an essential feature in many homes. Palms gained popularity and specially designed palm stands and palm tables became dominant features in every chic interior setting.
Pot plants are now a days an integral part of home gardening as far as Kashmir is concerned. People love aesthetic and recreational beauty. Temperate as well as subtropical origin plants are in great demand for indoor purposes.
Araucaria, Cycus Palm, Phoenix Plam ,Fish Tail Palm, Silver Oak, Ferns, Orchid, Dracaena, Cissus, Grivillea, Ixora and Cortons etc are now a days used for pot plant culture.
Knowing the plant habit is very important for its survival whether it may be how to water,how to care it from nutritional point of view and how to groom it. The important pot plants with brief description may be helpful for maintain house plants.
Preparing Potting media:Potting media is prepared by mixing garden soil, well rotten organic manure, sand in the ratio of 1:1:1. Besides this incorporation of bio-fertilisers and coca peat is beneficial for keeping plants fresh and charming.
Irrigation: watering in all plants is given when upper layer of soil is dry.
Selection of plant
Acuba: Acuba is an important pot plant known for its dotted foliage and temperate origin. It is ever green in nature and is suitable for shady situations. Moderate irrigation is required for this plant.
Maple(Acer): Japanese Maple, Norway Maple, Sugar Maple, Red Maple, Box Elder are important species used in pot culture. The plant is hardy from winter point of view and need moderate watering.
Araucaria:This is one of the favorite as far as pot plants are concerned. It is imported in huge quantity in Kashmir for pot plant culture. Over watering should be avoided and plants has to be exposed to outdoor conditions after intervals.
Pelargonium: Popular pot plant with attractive and long duration flowering, Pelargonium needs semi shady conditions for proper growth and development.
Hosta or Plantain Lily: Preferred plant for pots,possesses trumpet-shaped white fragrant flowers and plant grows up to 60 cm. Propagation through rhizomes.
Tradescantia: Creeping and trailing houseplant, useful for covering rockeries, variegated leaves. Adequate moisture levels should be maintained during summer.
Zebrina: It is very pleasing plant, bears oval and pointed leaves and grows 25-30 cm. The plant grows well in loam-based compost.
Pellaea or Cliff Brake Fern: Important fern suitable for growing hanging baskets possesses attractive leaves and it is also good for porch, as it will tolerate cold conditions. The plant prefers semi shade position.
Kalanchoe: Ornamental succulent plant,leaves are glossy with compound orange red flowers. It loves rich porous soil and prefer partial shade, attains a height of 25 cm. It is an ideal window ledge plant.
Fuchsia: Attractive plant with pendent flowers borne singly or in clusters and flowers shades varies from rose, red, purple and white.
Hedra: Climbing habitat plant and grown for its attractive foliage. Training it on some support in pots gives out standing look and hardy in nature.
Sedum: Succulent and suitable for hanging baskets and grows at a height of 10-15 cm.
Pilea: Erect, freely branching with perfect oval and fresh leaves having green or bluish green in colour and shinning on the upper surface.
Abutilon: It is an an ornamental houseplant, maple like leaves and bell-like flowers, freely borne over a long period, normally in autumn and winter and attains height of 1.5 m.
Dieffenbachia: Important plant of subtropical origin and valued for leaves as far pot plants are concerned.Theplant prefer shady and warm condition and attains a height of more than 1 m.
Cordyline: Beautiful foliage plant suitable for indoor decoration,Cordyline prefer well-lit position. It attains a height of upto 1 m. It has red graceful broad, glossy foliage with a range of colours.
Monstera: The plant attains a height of 1 m and is highly suitable for indoor decoration. It prefers rich well-drained soil and shady situation.
Hydragea: It is a beautiful pot plant grown for the decoration of house. The plants make excellent pot subjects. It changes colour of flower as per the condition of soil.
Asparagus: A beautiful foliage plant for indoor or table decoration as pot plant. They prefers good light situation. Plant grow upto 1 m.
Nolina: It is one of the most attractive pot plant. The leaves are green, slender, recurring etc.
Schefflera: A handsome beautiful pot plant, attaining a height of upto 2 m. The shiny, dropping, long oval leaflets are the major attraction of the plant.
Chrysalidocarpus: With its very long, arching pinnate leaves of rich olive green colour, Chrysalidocarpus plant has long been esteemed as an ornamental houseplant. Its leaves need periodic sponging or spraying. In its young state the plant remains a thriving decorative ornament, though ultimately after several years becoming too tall, except for a conservatory. Potting and re-potting every third and fourth year is done in spring.
Aspidistra: The plant is grown for its beauty. Florists grow these plants extensively for decoration. The leaves of this plant are long, stiff and shinning and the flowers are inconspicuous borne close to the ground. For its best growth, the plant should be potted in standard compost, which shall be watered freely in summer and only moderately in winter.
Chamaerops: Plant grows slowly with fan-shaped grey-green leaves of upto 8 inch long and a stem that may eventually reach to 8 ft. When young it should be re-potted annually on suitable compost.
Fatsia: An ideal house plant with glossy leathery, shinning green leaves. Plant can attain a height upto 1 m. It prefers semi-shaded situation.
Nephrolepis: Ladder fern or sword fern is a long-lived houseplant with finely cut. Pinnate fronds of upto two feet long and six inches broad, which are dark green in colour. It is a shade loving plant.
Azalea, Camellia and Cyclamen: These are attractive pot plants and are in huge demand for flowering and foliage characteristics. Need exposure to light on rotational time.
Aeonium: A beautiful succulent herbaceous plant with woody and more or less branched stems. The leaves are borne in rosettes at the end of the branches. Plants like plenty of water in the summer and a rich sandy soil.
Ophiopogon: A lovely plant with tufted, linear, grass-like leathery leaves. It needs a sandy-soil.
Livistona: A very good pot plant for indoor and outdoor decoration. The fan-leaved palm is most popular and is grown very extensively in the gardens.
Hedera: Climbing plant grown for its attractive foliage. A variegated typesavailable in different shades.
Palms: Different type of palms like Cycus Palm, Phonix Plam ,Fish Tail Palm etc are now days in demand in Kashmir. But care has to be taken not to over water and expose plant to outdoor conditions after intervals.