Indoor plants are a vital feature of the well-furnished hall. It is here that guests gain their first impression of the inside of your home. Beautiful leaves and flowers are an immediate indication of a well-tended house. If your hall is large, well-lit and heated in winter then you are indeed fortunate and should make the most of the opportunity. Don’t scatter a few pots about – go for the bold and the unusual.
A Moth Orchid in flower may not attract much attention in a large living room where it is surrounded by ornaments, pictures, books etc, but it certainly would if stood in solitary splendour on a hall table. Here is the place for the large and illuminated indoor garden, the stately tree, the group of Azaleas in full flower, and so on.
Unfortunately most halls present a very different scene. They are poorly lit, subject to draughts, cold at night and tend to be narrow passageways rather than square or rectangular rooms. Flourishing but unexciting plants will look better than struggling exotics, so choose from the ‘easy’ group if you want a permanent resident in a problem hallway.
But your display does not have to be unexciting if you are prepared to treat it as temporary, and there are two ways of doing this. You can place brightly-flowered but inexpensive plants there and treat them as disposable displays in the same way as cut flowers. Alternatively you can practice rotation with foliage plants. This calls for removing the pots when the plants start to look sickly and placing them in your well-lit ‘hospital’ room (spare bedroom, kitchen etc) until they recover.
The favorite site is a table near the front door. Make sure the plants are kept out of the line of traffic at this congested spot. Never obstruct the staircase. Do not choose spiky or thorny types such as Cacti. Ferns are usually an excellent choice.
A well-lit spot near the hall window or at the top of the stairs is often the best hallway environment. Garden bulbs, Azalea, Cyclamen, Erica, Cineraria and Primula will usually last longer on a hallway or landing windowsill than in a centrally-heated living room. Keep the size of the plant in keeping with the space available. A large plant in a small hallway will make the area look even smaller. Consider using the same varieties in both hallway and landing to link the two areas together.