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INTERIOR PLANTS (Indoor Plants) BHT315

Course CodeBHT315
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Distance Education Course -Indoor Plants and Interior Plantscaping

 Learn to identify, select, care and use of indoor plants.

  • Follow your passion and work with indoor plants as a career
  • A course for nurserymen, florists, interior plantscapers, gardeners, amateur enthusiasts or anyone with a burning interest in indoor plants

TIPS FOR USING INDOOR PLANTS

Where to Place Your Plants?

Look at where the planter can be placed for maximum effect:

  • Consider the proportion and scale of the pot and its surroundings. Even without plants, big planters need lots of space, so try to place a large elaborate planter where it won’t look cramped.
  • A decorative planter is an eye-catching feature, so consider placing it at the end of a room or hall way, where it will be seen frequently and both from a distance as well as close up (hence can be easily seen and admired).
  • Plants placed near windows can effectively help tie the outside garden to the interior environment (the garden and the house can visually and psychologically be blended together).
  • Look at its placement in relation to other pots, and features in the house. Plain formal pots can be placed in a line, evenly spaced, with the same type of plant. Pots can be informally grouped, to give a pleasing arrangement of sizes, colours and textures. Elaborate planters, however, are best placed on their own, without the distraction of other pots and garden accessories to detract from their appearance. A large stunning feature plant will loose potential impact if placed beside another feature (eg. an attractive painting or wall hanging)


Setting the Pot on a Pedestal

Ornate planters deserve to be seen, and a pedestal will raise it to a comfortable viewing height. Pedestals can be bought ready-made, or you can make your own out of brick, stone or concrete. Whatever you use, choose a material that complements the planter (eg. don’t use red brick for a stone or concrete planter). A low wall surrounding a courtyard also makes a good pedestal.

How to Use Colour with Indoor Plants

  • Warm colours (eg. red, yellow, orange) create an active mood; and cool colours (eg. blue, green) create a more relaxed mood.
  • Using contrasting colours can make a plant or any other image stand out and be more noticeable eg. A red foliage plant (hot colour) against a blue (cool colour) wall; or a gold coloured foliage plant in a green pot.
  • A plant’s foliage colour may change throughout the year.
  • In some plants, only the new growth flushes are coloured, so the foliage effects only occur in spring and perhaps autumn.
  • Some plants are more intensely coloured in strong light, so for the best effect you should avoid planting these in shady places.
  • Some foliage plants also produce flowers (which may enhance or detract from the effect you wish to create).

Mixing Colours

As with any colour scheme, take care mixing the colours. Generally, it’s best to choose one dominant colour (and perhaps texture) and use one or two other colours in measured amounts to provide contrasts. For example, a planting scheme could be based on green or silver broad-leaved plants, with golden or reddish grass-like plants providing contrasting highlights.

For an exciting contrast, include a few plants with multi-coloured leaves – but don’t overdo it. They’ll stand out better if they’re surrounded by plants with more subtle foliage colours.


Walls

In a small room, bare walls can be the most dominant feature. Generally, the tendency is to make the walls disappear behind a paintings, furniture and indoor plants. However, there are some pretty exciting things you can do to walls:

  • Paint a wall a single colour. Not only does it make an interesting backdrop, a painted wall changes the mood of the room, depending on the colours used. Hot colours (red, yellow, pink) make the whole garden feel warmer, more vibrant and active; cool colours (green, blue) are more restful and cool the garden down (psychologically); dark colours give a feeling of enclosure and intimacy; light colours open the area up.
  • Paint a trompe l’oeil on a wall. A trompe l’oeil is an illusion, a painted scene designed to deceive the eye. It gives a quirky, humorous touch to the garden, and makes the garden appear larger than it really is. Add a pot plant to the side as if it is part of the painted scene.
  • Cover the wall with panels of decorative lattice; and perhaps even grow a climber on it.
  • Create niches (shallow recesses) in the wall to display urns, busts or small sculptures. Niches tend to give a room a formal, classical look.
  • Place a decorative gate or door on a large wall, even if it doesn’t lead anywhere. A plain solid door set in a high wall gives the garden a sense of intrigue, a secret retreat from the outside world, and teases the mind about what may lie beyond the door.

Mirrors

One of the cleverest tricks for any small area is using a mirror placed on a wall. The mirror catches and reflects light, ‘extends’ the view, and gives the illusion that space is bigger than it really is.

Where to place a mirror
  • At the end of an axis, such as path, to give the illusion of extra length.
  • Behind a water feature (eg indoor pond), to catch the movement and play of light on water.
  • Against a dark wall, with some light-coloured plants in front of, and below it, to give a feeling of lightness and space
  • Behind a statue, amongst a few indoor plants, allowing you to see it from all angles.

It is important to use a good quality mirror with a good backing, as the backing can peel off cheaper mirrors over time. All mirrors of course are at risk of breaking; but if placed in a location that is obscure, perhaps partially protected from children playing ball games, the likelihood of breaking is far less.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Plant Naming and pronunciation
    • Review of indoor plant families
    • Resources
  2. Indoor Plant Culture - Part A
    • Understanding interior environments
    • Plants for different light conditions
    • Problems with indoor plants
    • Potting Media
    • Potting up
    • Container selection
    • Managing plant nutrition
    • Pruning indoor plants
    • Propagation and caring for young indoor plants
  3. Indoor Plant Culture - Part B
    • Acclimatizing indoor plants
    • Helping plants survive neglect
    • Managing plant health indoors
  4. Foliage Plants
    • Growing palms inside
    • Review of palm genera
    • Selecing and Growing Ferns inside
    • Review of other foliage plant genera
  5. Flowering Plants
    • Orchids
    • African violets
    • Poinsettia
    • Other genera grown for flowers indoors.
  6. Other Indoor Plants
    • Herbs
    • Vines and Climbers
  7. Making The Best Use Of Indoor Plants
    • Deciding where to place an indoor plant
    • Managing colour
    • Using mirrors
    • Plants in baskets
    • Hydroponics indoors
    • Miniature gardens
  8. The Interior Plantscaping Industry
    • Interior Plantscaping Business
    • Growing in Greenhouses
    • Environmental control

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Distinguish between different types of indoor plants, including twenty-five different genera and fifty different varieties
    • Describe the cultural methods used for growing various indoor plants
    • Select appropriate plants for different interior plantscaping situations
    • Evaluate a range of plants not commonly grown indoors for their suitability for interior plantscaping
    • Develop innovative ways of presenting plants for indoor situations
    • Explain the interior plantscaping industry, including it's nature and scope.

MAKING INDOORS HEALTHIER
....Health benefits of using Indoor Plants
Indoor plants can make a significant contribution to the "health" of an indoor environment: they help replenish oxygen in the air and help filter dust particles and pollution from the air.
In a study on indoor pollution conducted by NASA, it was proven that plants help to eliminate what is known as the ‘sick building syndrome’. 

Common sources of these pollutants are:

  • carpets
  • vinyl and rubber
  • wood made from pressed particles
  • office machinery (such as photocopiers)
  • gases created by cooking and also cleaning products
  • pesticides

Employees affected by the ‘sick building syndrome’ complain of headaches, eye irritation, skin rashes, drowsiness and other allergy-type conditions.
The elimination of these harmful pollutants from work the environment helps to reduce sickness in employees.

It is also suggested that plants improve staff morale - in turn improving productivity and job satisfaction.

  • Interiorscapes in commercial and public buildings in general also:
  • Reduce noise - plants also absorb sound in large spaces.
  • Make a space more inviting.
  • Project an image – attractive, healthy environment.
  • Provide a flexible design element – can be moved around.

Other benefits
The benefits are not just associated with the work place: plants in hospitals are believed to aid patient recovery and lower blood pressure.
To heal patients need to reduce stress and relax. Interior gardens provide the calm environment needed by patients during the healing process. Hospital staff too can benefit from the effects.
Plants transpire - which cools the surrounding air and also keeps indoor humidity at a comfortable level. This is particularly noticeable in large interior plantscapes. These larger indoor garden areas sometimes include water and other outdoor landscape design features, to create complete indoor garden environments.

 
 
 

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Meet some of our academics

John L. Mason Auithor of "Commercial Hydroponics", one of the world's best selling hydroponic books for more than 20 years. John completed a Diploma in Horticultural Science at Australia's oldest horticulture college in 1971. In 1974 he was asked to create and teach a hydroponic course for Council of Adult Education in Melbourne, Australia. Despite a strong and broad background in horticulture that included crop production, his practical experience with hydroponics was at that point limited. He established hydroponic gardens both at home and in the lecture rooms of CAE in Melbourne; and has been involved with hydroponics on many levels ever since.
Marie BeermanMarie has over 7 years in horticulture and education in both Australia and Germany. Marie has been a co author of several ebooks in recent years, including "Roses" and "Climbing Plants". Marie's qualifications include B. Sc., M.Hort. Dip. Bus. Cert. Ldscp.
Dr. Lynette Morgan Lyn has a broad expertise in horticulture and crop production. Her first job was on a mushroom farm, and at university she undertook a major project studying tomatoes. She has studied nursery production and written books on hydroponic production of herbs. Lyn has worked on horticultural projects in countries from the middle east to the Americas and New Zealand to the Phillippines. Lyn has been a tutor with ACS since 2003 and has contributed to the development of a range of hydroponic courses.
Bob JamesHorticulturalist, Agriculturalist, Environmental consultant, Businessman and Professional Writer. Over 40 years in industry, Bob has held a wide variety of senior positions in both government and private enterprise. Bob has a Dip. Animal Husb, B.App.Sc., Grad.Dip.Mgt, PDC


Check out our eBooks

Tropical PlantsThis luscious, illustrated ebook covers hundreds of different plant genera, and many more cultivars. You will learn how to grow plants commonly cultivated in the tropics and subtropics. It contains everything you need to know about growing tropical plants, managing them and working with them (they can be a little temperamental). Many of the plants can also grow in milder climates as indoor plants or in protected places. Previously published in print form by Kangaroo Press (Simon and Schuster).
Commercial HydroponicsLearn how to grow vegetables, fruit, cut flowers, herbs and other plants hydroponically. This classic is now re-published with new images, a new layout and revised text. A must have resource for anyone who wants to grow hydroponically.
OrchidsA colourful guide for students, home gardeners and orchid enthusiasts. The first part deals with growing orchids, and the second covers dozens of orchid genera, and hundreds of cultivars. Explore orchids as cut flowers, container plants, indoor plants and outdoor garden plants, in both tropical and temperate climates, across the world.
Growing Palms and Palm Like PlantsPalms and palm-like plants are mostly grown as structural plants. They add stunning shapes into a garden that are different to other plants and for that reason alone, stand out and capture our attention, making a garden more interesting. Palms can be more than just architectural forms though; providing shade, colour and texture to a garden. If you choose an appropriate species, they are great indoor plants.