Having plants onboard a superyacht sounds like a reach. Maybe it is, but then sometimes when you overreach, you reach perfection. That is the case with superyacht gardens. Think of the environment that a superyacht would provide for lush green plants- plenty of sunlight, a breeze, and, quite literally, a sea of water! Alright, saline water has to be carefully measured and managed using modern landscaping technologies before being used on plants, but it is water nonetheless.
Bringing nature onboard- whether a garden in the cabin, on the helm deck, or potted plants- is not only aesthetically appealing but it also brings life to the yacht by breaking the monotony of stainless steel, wood, and glass. Lush green plants become a part of the yacht’s breathing ecosystem and can help in purifying the air and combating pollution.
Right from the outset, it is imperative to know that landscaping for either the interior or exterior of any water vessel will require more expertise and investment compared to landscaping on land.
A yacht might require special recesses in the decks, more grow lights due to changing weathers at sea, more temperature control, special irrigation and drainage systems, and much more.
Although not all plants that do well on land will flourish on a superyacht, there are several types of plants that would fare very well at sea. You just need to choose plants that are resilient enough for the sea. You also need to confirm if the countries the yacht will be visiting allow foreign soil into their borders.
If you aren’t sure, the best plants to bring on board are plants that can grow both in traditional gardens and hydroponic conditions. Hydroponics grows in a water solution without needing any soil. You can then support their healthy growth with correct plant nutrition and adequate lighting, most preferably LED Grow Light.
With that in mind, which plants would be great on a superyacht? Here are 7 suggestions for you:
1. Peace Lily
Peace lilies are tropical plants that require plenty of water and sunlight to thrive. They mostly grow on the forest floor, where they bloom throughout the year. They are always green, happy, and healthy, and sometimes produce off-white flowers in the early summer when growing under the right conditions.
They can also grow in a vase filled with water, without any soil, but with enough light. Most peace lily varieties grow up to 16 inches tall, but there are a few varieties that grow to 6 feet in height. The latter would be great for a superyacht deck.
- It’s a good air purifier. It is a good absorber of harmful vapors from alcohol and acetone
- It’s a low maintenance plant
- Its flowers are white and beautiful
- Peace lilies thrive best in high humidity. You can help keep humidity high by misting their leaves
- Add fertilizer once in a while, but be careful not to overdo it. Administer houseplant fertilizer every two months.
- Maintain the superyacht temperatures above 70°F (21°C). Being tropical plants, peace lilies don’t do well in cold environments or near drafty windows. However, these plants don’t love direct afternoon sunlight.
- If you are growing the plant in water, ensure that its base is suspended above the water line, most preferably by adding gravel at your pot’s base. Gravel allows proper drainage so that the lilies aren’t constantly wet. Too much moisture can cause rot.
2. Spider Plants
Chlorophytum comosum, or the spider plant, would be great for your superyacht because it can grow in almost all conditions. It doesn’t need too much water.
Benefits of spider plants:
- It is known to lower systolic blood pressure in humans.
- It is said to lower ratings of pain and anxiety for patients in hospitals. That might work for you too in case you get sick at sea.
- Can absorb nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide effectively.
- It is very appealing as an indoor plant.
Caring for the Spider Plant
- Ensure that the soil in your growing is moist most of the time. Moist, not soggy!
- Provide sufficient indirect light.
- Maintain the temperatures at around 55 to 65 degrees F. (13-18 degrees C.).
- Prune the plant once in a while.
3. Philodendron Plant
Lacy leaf philodendron is a huge indoor/outdoor plant that originated from the rainforests of Brazil. Its branches spread up to a radius of 3 feet from the stem, and it can grow to a height of up to 3 feet.
Naturally, its leaves turn yellow when old. It is a nice plant to have on board if you want to make a dramatic statement on your superyacht.
- Improving the quality of the air you breathe.
- It is said to have a calming effect on people and can help you stay alert at all times. Perhaps that is because of its sheer size; the big mass of green will make your yacht feel fresh and vital.
- Provide the plant with medium, indirect sunlight. Too much sun might cause its leaves to turn yellow before their time.
- Keep the temperatures between 65 – 78°F in the daytime and at around 60°F at night.
- Water at least once a week. Under-watering will turn the leaves brown and sometimes make them fall off. Over-watering will make the leaves droopy.
Spinach is a vegetable that can grow indoors incredibly well in a hydroponics system. You need veggies for your superyacht galley or kitchen, don’t you?
Speaking of the kitchen, you most likely have limited kitchen space which makes it essential to bring on board space-conscious décor and other items.
Ready-to-Assemble Cabinets, for example, are designed with key attention to detail in order to provide people with space limitations with adequate storage. They help you maximize the potential of your superyacht kitchen for optimal functionality.
Benefits of spinach:
- You don’t need any prior gardening experience because they are very easy to grow and care for.
- They grow in incredibly small spaces.
- Keep the temperatures between 65 – 70°F during the day and 60 – 65°F at night, right from germination.
- Plants need at least 12 hours of light every day for maximum chlorophyll production and in order to facilitate vegetative leaf growth. LED Grow Lights are the best lighting source for these veggies, but HID and fluorescent lighting works great too. Note that the plant does not do well in excessive light.
- Water the plant every day until it is ready for harvesting. Ensure that the soil isn’t fully wet; just fairly moist. Also, ensure that the spinach foliage doesn’t get any water.
- Provide the plants with hydroponic nutrients from the age of 2 weeks in order to optimize their access to Calcium and Magnesium.
5. Chinese Evergreen
This lucky, leafy, and colorful tropical plant is native to China and the Philippines, hence the name. It is also known as aglaonema. On top of its aesthetic beauty, the Chinese swear that the plant can bring luck (good Feng Shui) to a space. It is multi-colored, with white, pink, and dark green being the dominant colors.
- It is stunningly beautiful
- It is among NASA’s top ten clean air plants, particularly due to its ability to remove benzene and formaldehyde from closed spaces.
- Chinese evergreen is a low-light plant. They are fine in fluorescent-lit bright spaces.
- Place them in at least 60°F-80°F temperatures.
- The plant is tolerant of low water conditions. Moisture from the air and occasional watering is enough if humidity is high enough.
- If humidity in your superyacht is low, you can mist your plant or place it in water in a pebble tray to boost humidity levels.
These beautiful, heavenly-scented, and evergreens herbs can heal and can be a great addition to your kitchen.
- Great for culinary seasoning in your superyacht kitchen. It has an unbeatable, delicious flavor. Who doesn’t love a rosemary roasted chicken?
- It has a spiritual aspect to it.
- If mosquitoes and black flies are bothering you at sea, rosemary is a great repellent.
Tips for Care:
- Provide excellent drainage. Don’t let the soil dry out completely, but don’t make it overly wet.
- Provide at least 8 hours of direct sunlight or grow light daily.
Syngonium podophyllum, or Goosefoot, is another Feng Shui plant that can bring you good luck and encourages positive chi or energy. It’s five-lobed leaf shape represents water, fire, earth, wood and metal- the five elements of Feng Shui.
- It helps cleanse the air.
- Its Feng Shui aids inspiration, can help reduce stress and anxiety, and can alleviate sleep disorders.
- The plant is attractive and easy to grow.
- Provide it with bright filtered light, but don’t expose it to direct sunlight.
- Keep its soil moist but never soggy.
- For utmost Feng Shui, shower the plant once a day to rid it off dust accumulation.
- Pruning supports new growth, which is necessary for keeping the leaves full and attractive.
Of course, being on a superyacht means that you constantly discover beautiful natural scenery. But you don’t have to get to land to see the beautiful scenery; you can bring it on board. If you don’t trust your gardening skills, which is unlikely because the 7 plants we’ve described above are easy to care for, why not hire a gardener as part of your crew?