Why Not A Florida Room For Flourishing Flowers and Foliage

With flourishing flowers and foliage just across the threshold here in Florida, you wouldn’t think we would bring the outdoors in, but everyone does, and on a much larger scale than in colder climates. 

Here new homes are planned to include a Florida room, designed with plants as the central theme, a family room, and a place for comfortable alfresco living and informal entertaining. A wonderful idea that can be duplicated in any climate.

Flowers FoliagePin

Florida Room For Indoor Plants

Florida rooms began appearing in print in the early 1950s, just about when we moved here from New York.

We discovered that these indoor plant havens evolved gradually from the breezeway, a passageway from house to garage, open to the elements on both sides and enclosed. 

Instead of this connecting link, a full-fledged room has developed, roofed for protection against tropical rains and walled with jalousies or awning windows that can be opened wide for air circulation.

Since this room is usually placed where it will be shaded in summer, it is often the coolest spot in the house during hot months; in winter, it catches the sun and, with windows tightly closed, is comfortably warm. The walls are mostly glass, and the lavish use of plants blends the outdoor and indoor garden.

Built-in Window Boxes

Architects now provide built-in window boxes, tile sills, and ledges to hold pots, plant bins at floor level, or planting areas on the floor itself. Fountains or shallow reflection pools add interest and provide a cool note in summer. 

The floor is usually some easy-to-care-for, water-resistant material such as terrazoóa, a kind of polished concrete in which marble chips are embedded – or ceramic, rubber, or plastic tile. Decorations are light and colorful, with rattan, wrought-iron or similar furniture to emphasize the garden atmosphere.

Wide Range Foliage Material

The plants are, of course, most important, and I have learned from experience that a wide range of foliage material can be grown successfully.

I prefer to keep my plants in individual pots placed side by side in plant bins, boxes, or floor wells, so the containers are hidden from view. This system makes it easy to arrange plants for the best effect or remove any that need spraying or washing to the kitchen sink or outdoors.

It’s important to place a thick layer of pot shards, gravel, or other coarse material in the bottom of bins or boxes with no drainage holes. 

Some charcoal added to potting soil seems to help prevent soggy or sour soil. I take special care to avoid overwatering, for even plants with adequate drainage in the pots can become waterlogged if water remains in the bottom of the saucers or jardinieres in which they stand. 

Regular feeding, repotting, and spraying are part of the routine-just as with plants grown indoors anywhere else.

Having a verdant plant room in your home takes only a little effort, and it’s so worthwhile. I think it is one of the best gardening ideas I have ever come across.

44659 by Bess L. Shippy