With more and more professionals and employers embracing remote work, 2022 is seeing a noticeable rise in greener workspaces in the home. Australian bushfoods can certainly take pride of place in a home office, though it pays to be smart about your choice of plants.
As a rule of thumb, we recommend choosing shade-tolerant species like those with dark green leaves and plants with thicker, tougher and shiny foliage. Understory rainforest trees and some herbs can thrive indoors with adequate care. Here are a few of our favourites:
Succulents are typically suited for the outdoors, but given a sunny spot and strict water restrictions, your Samphire can be grown as a trailing plant. This is due to the plant becoming “leggy” as it tries to increase its green surface area in response to lower levels of light. For best results, lay the juicy leaves carefully across your desk or let them trail from a hanging basket.
Tip: Adding a little sea salt to the soil once in a while will produce a saltier flavour in the leaves.
Warrigal Greens may love the sun, but they’ll also tolerate a little shade. Suitable for pots, you should see some success in offices and study rooms that get plenty of morning sunshine.
Waterings should be generous but infrequent, allowing the pot to completely drain after each session. In colder regions, this plant behaves as an annual, however growing it indoors may encourage continued growing throughout Winter.
Fun fact: Warrigal Greens were used by European colonists as a substitute for spinach.
Bring a piece of your micro-food forest indoors! Native Wintercress is a herby Brassica vegetable whose sometimes-short lifespan may be prolonged by warmer conditions and frequent pruning (aka. plucking and eating).
Choose a well-drained potting mix and place in a sunny spot. Just keep an eye on moisture levels if this plant gets direct afternoon sun.
Related: What is a micro-food forest?
We don’t usually recommend growing the fragrant Chocolate Lily indoors, but there’s no reason you can’t make it work if your office meets the growing conditions.
First, you’ll need room for a medium-sized pot (at least 20cm deep), so the plant’s tubers have space to grow. Next, you’ll want at least 8 hours of sunlight, which may require a room with large windows facing multiple directions. Finally, you must love the smell of chocolate.
Related: Meet the Chocolate Lily
Red Back Ginger
Alpinia caerulea ‘Atherton’
The Red Back Ginger is our favourite plant for indoor growing. Attractive and shade-tolerant, this bushfood species is Australia’s answer to the exotic Lucky Bamboo, Happy Plant, Cast Iron Plant, Peace Lily, and Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, commonly found around offices and study rooms.
While it might not flower and fruit so readily indoors, its spicy root will keep on growing beneath the surface, provided it gets sufficient water and nutrients.
Did you know: Tucker Bush Red Back Australian Ginger was deemed a WA State Winner in the 2021 delicious. Harvey Norman Produce Awards. Learn more…