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Interior Plants (Indoor Plants)

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


Home Study - Indoor Plants, House Plants

  • What are the best indoor plants?
  • Are you passionate about house plants or Interior Design?
  • How do you lay the foundation for a Career with Indoor Plants? 

This is a course equally applicable to the professional interior plantscaper or the home owner (or interior decorator) who aspires to achieve the very best results with their indoor plants. You will learn about the main family groups indoor plants fall into, the cultural requirements and general characteristics of each of those groups, and from there develop the ability to select the right plant for the right situation. Many types of growing methods are covered (in pots, baskets, hydroponics, terrariums, greenhouses), as well as soil mixes, propagation, pest control, feeding and lots more. 

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
  • Describe the cultural methods used for growing various indoor plants
  • Evaluate a range of plants not commonly grown indoors for their suitability for interior plantscaping.
  • Select appropriate plants for different interior plantscaping situations.
  • Develop innovative ways of presenting plants for indoor situations.
  • Explain the interior plantscaping industry, including its nature and scope.

What Can You Grow Indoors?

The first thing to remember about indoor plants is that they aren't really indoor plants (plants do not grow indoors in nature!). Indoor plants are simply plants which we have found to be adaptable to an indoor environment.

Usually an inside environment will differ from an outside one in the following ways:

  • It has lower light intensities
  • It is warmer in winter and cooler in summer
  • In some rooms (eg. kitchen, bathroom, laundry), humidity can get high
  • The balance of gases in the air is different:  (particularly damaging with gas heaters or air conditioning).

While many indoor plants originate in tropical areas, this by no means the case for all.  The natural environment for tropical plants is usually wet, humid and hot.  If those plants are placed in an indoor environment which is cooler and less humid then wetness must also be reduced. 

Over-watering is a common problem with tropical indoor plants being grown in temperate regions.
The best rule is:  use a freely draining soil, water thoroughly once and then do not water again until the soil is absolutely bone dry.  In some situations this might mean watering once very three months, in other situations once a day.  The rate of watering is influenced by factors such as temperature, soil type, humidity and cannot be put down to a regular timetable.  For example you cannot just assume that once a week watering is right for every plant in all conditions.

Usually temperate climate plants which are used indoors are hardier (when grown in temperate climate houses).  Some are best to alternate between an indoor and outdoor position such as Cyclamen spp., ferns, Asparagus spp. (asparagus fern).  Never take the plant from one environment straight to an environment which is in extreme contrast though; the move could be too much of a shock (eg. it is better to move your ferns outside in summer and place them in a protected spot under a big tree: the change will then be minor).  Avoid placing indoor plants in draughty positions or near to a gas heater or air conditioning vent.  Temperatures should not drop below 5ºCelsius for the less hardy indoor plants (even overnight).  Place the more exotic, tropical plants in a more humid room such as a bathroom.  Low light intensity areas should be avoided for most indoor plants.

Indoor plants which adapt to low light:
Aglaonema  spp., Brassaia actinophylla syn. Schefflera actinophylla,  (umbrella tree), Aspidistra elatior, Bromeliads, Fatshedera lizei, ferns, ivy, kentia palm, Maranta leuconeura, Monstera deliciosa, Philodendron spp., Pothos spp. syn. Scindapsus spp., Sansevieria spp.

Indoor plants which require bright light:
Begonia spp. (flowering types), Cacti, Caladium hortulanum hybrids, Coleus blumei, Codiaeum variegatum pictum (Croton), Cyclamen persicum, Geogenanthus undatus, Saintpaulia hybrids (African violet), succulents

Plants which must be moved outside occasionally, depending on which country you are living in:
Aucuba japonica, Azalea hybrids, Bamboo, Chlorophytum comosum, Fatshedera lizei, Ivy, Zebrina pendula, Monstera deliciosa, Ficus spp., Philodendron scandens, Adiantum spp. (Maidenhair Ferns), Maranta leuconeura, Crassula spp., bromeliads, ferns (in general).

 
Indoor plants which grow well with no heat in winter if inside in a temperate or warm climate:
Aspidistra elatior, Billbergia spp., Cissus spp., Chlorophytum comosum, Fatshedera lizei, Ivy, Zebrina pendula, Monstera deliciosa, Ficus spp., Philodendron scandens, Maranta leuconeura, Crassula argentea (jade plant), most ferns, Asparagus spp. (asparagus ferns)

Indoor plants for a dry atmosphere:
Aechmea spp., Bromeliads, Clivia miniata, Chlorophytum comosum, Calathea spp., Pilea spp., Ceropegia woodii, cacti and succulents.

 

SUGGESTED READING
books written by our principal John Mason and the staff
click on a book for details or to purchase
            
 

FREQUENT QUESTIONS

Why Choose This Course

  • Unique course materials (developed by our staff) and more current than some colleges (many reviewed annually); as a result, ACS graduates can be more up to date.
  • We work hard to help you understand and remember it, develop an ability to apply it in the real world, and build networks with others who work in this field (It’s more than just serving up a collection of information –if all you want is information, buy a book; but if you want an education, that takes learning to a whole new level).
  • Start whenever you want, study at your own pace, study anywhere
  • Don’t waste time and money traveling classes
  • We provide more choices–courses are written to allow you more options to focus on parts of the subject that are of more interest to you; a huge range of elective subjects are offered that don’t exist elsewhere.
  • Tutors are accessible (more than elsewhere) – academics work in both the UK and Australia, 5 days a week, 16 hours a day. Answering emails and phone calls from students are top priority.
  • We treat students as individuals –don’t get lost in a crowd. Our tutors communicate with you one to one.
  • Extra help at no extra cost if needed. When you find something you cannot do, we help you through it or will provide another option.
  • Support after you finish a course –We can advise about getting work, starting  business, writing a CV, etc. We can promote students and their businesses through our extensive profile on the internet. Graduates who ask will be helped.
  • Support from a team of a dozen professional horticulturists, living in different parts of the UK, and in both temperate and tropical climate zones of Australia.

About ACS

ACS was started in 1979 by John Mason, who at the time was a gardening author, horticultural consultant and lecturer in horticulture at several colleges across Melbourne (in Australia).  Over the summer that year John discovered that there were thousands of applicants going to be turned away from horticulture courses at Burnley Horticultural College (now Melbourne University). There were simply too few courses being offered for the number of people wanting to study horticulture in Australia. This situation prompted a move to establish a correspondence course at Burnley; but after months of unsuccessful lobbying for support from government; John wrote a course, and with help from a colleague at Council of Adult Education, marketed it.

Standards were originally set in line with what were seen to be the standards of Australia's top horticultural college; and over the years, those standards have never been reduced. This makes our courses longer and more demanding than some other colleges; but it has also led to us building a credibility that stands tall in the horticulture industry across the world. 

In the early 1990's John started visiting the UK and becoming involved with the horticulture industry there. Around the mid 1990's ACS began offering RHS courses, and in 2003, John was formally recognised for his contribution to British Horticulture by being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture. ACS, as a school, established an office and staff in the UK in 2001, and has expanded considerably since then. Today it is formally affiliated with five other colleges in the UK (including Warwickshire College); all of who license and deliver ACS courses. 

A team of leading horticulturists work for the school's horticulture department, including 12 faculty members in both the UK and Australia