As the winter months approach and there’s less natural daylight, the temperature starts to plummet and the central heating goes up — and it’s not just us who are affected by the change in environment.

‘It’s important to give your house plants a little extra TLC to help them through,’ says Katie Heward, co-founder of plant maintenance firm Plant Sit.

‘A conservatory is the perfect place to display your plant collection. But it’s important to choose wisely when you are filling it with greenery.’

Here, Katie shares her top tips on which conservatory plants to pick and how to keep conditions spot on.

Aloe Vera

MAINTENANCE RATING (1 = LOW, 5 = HIGH): 1/5

Succulents such as Echeveria and Aloe Vera are ideal for growing indoors. They require little maintenance, lots of light and a dry climate.

For best results, position your Aloe Vera in full sunlight on the south side of your conservatory. To keep them happy, water sparingly in the winter (almost not at all), making sure they aren’t sitting in water.

Bunny Ears Cactus (Opuntia microdasys)

MAINTENANCE RATING: 1/5

Cacti are a conservatory favourite, each striking and unique due to their diverse shapes, and none more so than the Bunny Ears Cactus.

They only require a small amount of watering — allow the soil to dry out between each time. They also need fresh air and good ventilation so position next to a window or vent that can be opened occasionally.

Olive Tree (Olea europaea)

MAINTENANCE RATING: 2/5

For something larger to fill up more space, olive trees are evergreen and frost-hardy. As a bonus, if your conservatory doesn’t get heated, these guys will be happy as long as they have brighter light.

Watering during dry spells is crucial for fruit production so make sure the soil is moist, not wet, during the winter.

Kentia Palm (Howeia forsteriana)

MAINTENANCE RATING: 2/5

To get the full Kew Garden Palm House vibe, the popular Kentia Palm really is the perfect conservatory choice.

They require the shadier corner of the conservatory, and need to be watered regularly in the winter, whilst letting the soil dry out between. And make sure that the leaves are free from dust so they get the light they need in the winter months.

English Ivy (Hedera helix)

MAINTENANCE RATING: 3/5

Ivy looks great when trailing down from a shelf or hanging in macramé, and English Ivy will be happy in an unheated conservatory over the winter months.

If you have a heated conservatory, these will be ok but may suffer from brown leaf tips if you do not mist regularly.

Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)

MAINTENANCE RATING: 1/5

As you can imagine by its common name, these Cast Iron Plants are easy to look after, plus will add deep green, leafy hues to your winter conservatory.

They are happy in an unheated environment and can tolerate dryness. Just wipe their leaves clean on occasion and water sparingly over the dormant period.

Scarlet Star (Guzmania lingulata)

MAINTENANCE RATING: 2/5

For that little bit of extra colour and texture, requiring bright filtered light, Bromeliad’s are a brilliant addition to the winter conservatory.

A Scarlet Star (very festive!) has a brilliant orange and red flower that can last up to six months, then after that produce pups that can be easily propagated. Make sure they are in the warmest section of your conservatory and mist if humidity levels are low.

Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

MAINTENANCE RATING: 1/5

Not just striking looking, snake plants are extremely easy sun- seeking plants. They’re very low maintenance as they require little watering in the winter.

These add height when placed near other sun-seeking plants such as Aloe Vera or some small cacti. To make sure they are happy, dust their leaves every other week or so.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

MAINTENANCE RATING: 3/5

These fantastic flowering plants are a popular choice for light-filled conservatories where they tend to produce more white spathes and flowers. T

hey need a little more watering than the other plants — make sure the soil doesn’t dry out and mist frequently to increase humidity. In the winter months, they like as much light as possible to keep producing flowers, so position in a sunny spot.

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

MAINTENANCE RATING: 2/5

Spider plants have beautiful, long-arched green and yellow leaves, often producing tiny white flowers during the summer. They are tough indoor plants that need moderate watering.

Make sure soil is left to dry in the dormant months, watering less frequently than required in the summer. With their long leaves they look great hanging in macramé, in a shadier corner of your conservatory.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR CONSERVATORY WARM IN THE WINTER

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