Adventures in space come in many shades

COLOUR COORDINATED: Crotons come in a multitude of contrasting hues.
COLOUR COORDINATED: Crotons come in a multitude of contrasting hues.
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Space, as Captain James T Kirk used to say in Star Trek, was the final frontier. Homeowners tend to think smaller.

To them, black holes are the cupboards under the stairs; a Galaxy is a bar of chocolate; a space is somewhere to be filled with something like furniture, a TV or even a plant.

But what kind of plant? If the space isn’t particularly large and is warm and dry, it could house a cactus. If the space lacks light, then perhaps an aspidistra would be ideal. And if the space is big, then give it a big plant, a bold and colourful foliage plant.

Surprisingly, there is no shortage of leafy giants that can transform a spacious room and provide year-round interest. The likes of the Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) and the blushing philodendron (Philodendron erubescens ‘Burgundy’) will be quite happy to reach for the ceiling.

But for something quite eye-catching, go for a croton, those dashingly-colourful evergreens which relish bright, warm corners. Water sparingly in winter and feed fortnightly when daylight lengthens.

Crotons come in a multitude of contrasting colours – their glossy leaves have veins of yellow, red, orange, pink and even purple, and if there’s a container spacious enough to hold three or four, then the result could be spectacular.