Three-in-one house plant display

Follow Kevin Smith's practical video guide to combining house plants in one pot.

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In this No Fuss video guide, Kevin Smith combines three house plants in a single container.

First, he plants stately, elegant anthurium, pairing it with feathery fern Nephrolepis. He finishes off with a dainty variegated English ivy, the white of the foliage providing the perfect foil to the white anthurium flowers.

This container scheme is ideal for a cool area without too much direct sunlight, such as a porch. Whichever plants you opt for, be sure that they all enjoy the same growing conditions.

Watch now, for your guide to creating a three-in-one house plant display.

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Three-in-one-house plant display: transcript

I don’t think we’re adventurous enough with houseplants. Many people don’t realise that you can combine several together in one container, much the same way you would in the garden. Now, the first thing you need to do is make sure that you choose your planter carefully.

The one that I’ve got here is lined with plastic, which means that it’s going to retain moisture and nothing’s going to seep out of the bottom. The first thing you need to do once you start planting is put a layer of grit in the bottom of the planter. Now, this just helps with drainage. It means that any water that is sitting in the bottom of the pot is going to sit in the grit at the bottom and not in the compost that I’m going to add in a moment. The next thing to do is add compost to the planter. Now it’s important to choose a special houseplant compost or something that’s described as for indoor plants. It’s particularly open and free draining, meaning that the roots don’t become saturated and waterlogged.

The really important thing with houseplants is that you choose things that like the same growing conditions. This collection likes cool temperatures and not too much direct sunlight. So it would be ideal for a porch, perhaps, but certainly not a sunny windowsill. I’m going to add the tallest plant first. This is an anthurium and has beautiful white flowers that last a really long time. I’m just going to gently tease the roots a little bit, so they can find their way off into the compost. I’m going to position it near the back to form the sort of backbone of the display – just push it in.

Next is this nephrolepis. This is a fern that’s suitable for growing indoors. The process is much the same – carefully remove it from the pot. It’s great, really spills over the edge and softens the look of the whole thing. Finally, I’ve got this little variegated ivy to just trail down the edge of the planter and the white leaves pick up on the white flowers of the anthurium. All I need to do now is fill the gaps between the plants with more compost. It’s important that the roots of the plants are directly in contact with the soil. Pushing it down with my fingers just to make sure there are no air pockets.

I’m going to give it quite a good drink now, but I don’t want to saturate it too much. And then, going forward, you need to water regularly, but you don’t want the compost to become really drenched and the plants to be sitting in soggy soil. All I need to do now is find somewhere to put this indoors.