Growing Under Glass: A guide to cloches

An elegant and practical solution for houseplants

Originating from France, cloches were traditionally used to protect fragile garden plants from being bitten by frost – but these beautiful bell jars (cloche is French for bell) were adopted by English plant enthusiasts in the late 1800s for decorative but practical use with indoor gardening.

Vintage Chic 

And now – thanks to our love of all things vintage – they’re making a welcome comeback. Here are a few tips to bear in mind before you think about getting in on the trend and putting your plants under the cloche.

Why choose a cloche?

Cloches not only look beautiful, they make for low-maintenance plant care, too. The enclosed environment acts as a mini ecosystem once established so there’s no need to worry about the frequent watering required for regular houseplants.

 

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Which plants work best?

Cloches provide a constant level of humidity by allowing moisture to recycle. These hothouse conditions make them ideal for humidity-loving tropical plants that thrive in a moist, warm environment. Here are a few of the plants that will thrive under your bell jar:

  • Maidenhair fern
  • Creeping fig
  • Baby tears
  • Mini English ivy
  • Philodendron
  • African violet
  • Orchid

DIY: miniature cloche garden

  1. To create your own miniature bell-jar garden, follow these simple steps:
  2. Choose a selection of humidity-loving plants
  3. Place a handful of clean pebbles in the cloche base for drainage purposes.
  4. Remove the plants from their pots, gently removing any excess soil.
  5. Place the pants on top of the pebbles.
  6. Place the cloche lid over the plants
  7. Choose a bright spot but avoid direct sunlight as this, combined with the heat inside the cloche, can lead to scorched leaves.
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