Today I want to propose an exercise that seems very interesting to me to learn more about gardening: combining indoor plants in a single pot or container. Whether it is to obtain a decorative composition or to take advantage of the fact that in some pots we find more than one plant, it will also be an opportunity to learn more about them.
Tips for matching indoor plants
I think that combining several plants in the same pot or planter is something that sooner or later we all do. More or less consciously, the time always comes when we ask ourselves if it is possible to add another plant in the same container.
Personally, I believe that creating combinations with different plants allows us to learn a lot about them. And that’s why I encourage you to experiment with plants. Not only will you learn about them, but you will also lose the fear of manipulating them and find that they are much more resistant than they seem.
Fittonia aliveness is more “drooping” than the other varieties.
I have been creating compositions of indoor and outdoor plants in pots and planters for a long time. In my experience, the best advice I can give is to be aware that the combination created will be ephemeral. Plants grow, we cannot avoid it, and over time they will need to be transplanted, in a single pot or in a new composition. Some seasonal plants (especially outdoors) can die at the end of their growing season. With the onset of the cold, for example, my petunias passed away, leaving my external wall vases free, which filled my balcony with flowers and color throughout the summer.
For some, it is better to keep each plant in its respective pot and transplant it when necessary. For those with many plants, combining them together creating compositions can be a useful solution.
Reasons to match indoor plants
An example of which in this article you will find explanatory images: I have 4 different varieties of Fittonia, each in its own pot (in each pot there is more than one plant ). They are growing in different ways and combining plants will allow me to separate them, obtaining a colored combination that I think will last a long time and, in the meantime, will allow me to verify how they behave in a position with lighter than the current one.
By separating them one by one, we will see how their roots develop, we will renew the soil in which they are planted and we will also be able to obtain new plants to grow in single pots to see how far their growth reaches
Combine indoor plants with the same needs for light and water
Pruning some plants regularly allows us to shape them and get new plants from cuttings.
This should be the basic rule of any successful combination: to combine plants that have the same needs for light, water, and even fertilizer. In cultivating them together we try to achieve maximum visual and decorative impact.
In this specific case, in the last month I have let my Fittonia grow by observing their needs:
- All, with the exception of the one with red veins, are very sensitive to the lack of water. In fact, they are plants that are “exaggerated” in signaling the need for water: they demonstrate it with falling and apparently dehydrated leaves.
- The one with the white veins is more sagging, I will take advantage of this peculiarity when I combine them in the same container.
- Those with beige and pink spots have grown a lot in height, losing part of their charm. This indicates that it will be necessary to cut them regularly to keep them low and encourage their growth. Although we are still in the autumn, I will try to reproduce the plant, trying both in water and in soil, surely one of the two methods will give roots.
- Finally, I discovered that the one with the red veins maintains a more uniform height over time. It may be the specific behavior of this variety, or it may depend on the fact that different plants coexist in the same container and lack the nutrients to continue developing. I will try to transplant some of them in pots to check their growth in the greenhouse.
How to create a composition step by step
Separate the plants carefully but firmly. To facilitate the operation, water them a couple of hours before
- Water the plants a few hours before dividing them: the roots will resist better and break less easily.
- If possible, always use a container with a drain hole. Most plants do not like “flooded” soil. If it does not have a hole, remember to add a layer of clay or volcanic stone to the bottom to prevent excess water from coming into contact with the roots.
- Separate the plants carefully but firmly. Insert your fingers into the ground holding each plant from the base, separating them little by little. Some roots are likely to break during the process, but new ones will soon grow.
- Take the opportunity to remove any damaged or withered leaves. This is also the right time to cut branches and create cuttings.
- Use a universal or specific soil for green plants. If it is a plant that is especially sensitive to water, add clay to aid drainage.
- Before putting the different plants together, look at each individual’s appearance. Take the characteristics, height, and behavior into consideration when deciding which varieties to combine.
- Place them on the soil before transplanting them. Try to position them leaving enough space between them for them to grow.
- Transplant and water generously.
Take care of Fittonia
Four varieties of Fittonia or mosaic plant in a planter.
If you are thinking of combining indoor plants and including a Fittonia in your composition, here are the most important aspects regarding its care:
- Light: needs a bright position, avoiding direct sun. If you notice that the color of the leaves loses intensity, they are likely to be in an area with little light.
- Temperature: bears heat better than cold. During the winter, its growth slows down, try to find them in a room where the temperature does not drop below 15º.
- Irrigation: most varieties need two or three weekly irrigations during the summer. In winter, once a week will suffice. The plant itself will make you understand when it is thirsty. If the air is very dry, occasionally cool the plant with a sprayer.
- Fertilizer: Use a specific fertilizer for green plants every fortnight, from spring to mid-autumn. During the winter you can fertilize it once a month.
- Transplant: Put it in a slightly larger pot when you begin to notice that the roots appear from the drain hole. Use this moment to divide it if you notice too many plants in the pot.
- Pruning: to maintain the shape of the plant, thin out regularly. It will become more compact and will maintain the desired dimensions.