GARDENING WITH JILL

Hi plant lovers!


Our local area is lucky to have one of Australia’s premier growers of indoor plants, Queensland Indoor Foliage (QIF) nearby in Ningi. QIF was established in the 1970s and has since grown into a substantial operation, with nurseries in Ningi, Alstonville and Coffs Harbour. Managed by Ted Watts, a local man with over 25 years’ experience in horticulture and nursery management, QIF grows all of the plants mentioned in this article. Unfortunately, QIF is a wholesale nursery and is not open to the public. However, Mitre 10 Bribie Island stocks these plants and they couldn’t be fresher or healthier since they only travel from Ningi to Bribie.

So this month I have asked Ted Watts himself to write an article on his wholesale nursery. I try to buy as local as possible, and I know as gardeners you will appreciate Queensland Indoor Foliage’s perspective on plant growing in our area.

Enjoy!


Thanks, Jill. I thought that this week I would write about Indoor Plants, or House Plants as some people call them. Of course, originally all plants were outdoor plants. But through careful selection of plants from around the world (mainly the tropics), we have available to us many plants which thrive indoors in our local conditions. And many are produced locally, with Ningi boasting one of Australia’s premier growers of indoor plants.


WHY HAVE INDOOR PLANTS?

There are so many reasons! Principally, as all gardeners know, humans have an innate desire and need to be connected to nature. It feeds our spirits and increases our optimism. Being among plants keeps us calmer. There is mounting international evidence of the benefits of living and working with interior plants. Aside from creating a pleasant aesthetic, there are measurable health benefits of living with indoor plants, with plants providing a vital air filtering and purification function. There is also considerable evidence of the benefits of having plants in workplaces for both mental and physical well-being, leading to productivity benefits.


WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MAIN PLANTS THAT GROW WELL IN THIS AREA?


Dracaena plants

Dracaena is a genus of around 120 species of trees and shrubs which are native to tropical areas. A significant number of common and successful indoor plants come from the Dracaena genus. Some examples are:


Spathiphyllum

Many people will know and love the Peace Lily, a variety of spathiphyllum. This plant has lush green leaves all year round and then produces stand-out, uniquely shaped white flowers as shown in this picture. They are a very attractive indoor plant which loves morning sun and filtered sunlight, especially morning sun.


Ficus Lyrata – Fiddle Leaf Fig

The Ficus Lyrata is a beautiful plant which graces many restaurants, offices and homes. Also known as the Fiddle Leaf Fig, this plant has become very fashionable owing to its attractive large leaves and sculptural form. There are many varieties of Ficus (figs), many of which make excellent indoor plants. The smart money says watch out for the upcoming Ficus family - Ficus Audrey, Melanie and Benjamina.






OFFICE PLANTS

You have probably noticed that indoor plants aren’t just found in peoples’ homes. They are popping up everywhere: cafes, restaurants, shops and shopping centres and in practically every office and commercial premises. There is considerable evidence that including plants in the design of a workplace increases employee well-being and productivity by a meaningful amount. But have you ever wondered how the plants get there and who looks after them?

The answer is that many of the plants are supplied by companies whose business is designing the green fit-out of premises, hiring and tending to the plants over time. There are many plant hire companies, including some in the local area, but the best way of finding a respected and reliable supplier would be to contact the Interior Plantscape Association (IPA) on interiorplantscape.asn.au. You might also like to visit QIF’s website,www.qif.com.au.


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