Feeling like filling your home and your spare time with a barrage of beautiful houseplants? We don’t blame you…Plants in the home are a perfect way to add calm, ambiance and life to your surroundings with minimal effort — and it would be nice to add something tasteful to your video-chat backdrop! But what if you don’t know your bonsais from your bromeliads? Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a botanist to be a proud plant parent. Here are our top six houseplants that are easy to care for, and hard to go wrong with…
Known for the soothing gel its leaves produce, this plant is not only seriously good-looking but surprisingly easy to maintain too. They have spiky leaves with white spots all over, giving a tropical feel to any room. The beauty is that they don’t need much watering — once a week should do it, and they have to be really dried out before they start to get thirsty again. Make sure you use soil for cacti and succulents, as normal soil will be too moist for the plant.
Soak heavily once a week when soil is dry to the touch
Prefers bright, indirect sunlight
A ceramic (not plastic) pot with good drainage
This plant lives up to its name with its thick, rubbery leaves, and makes a real impact wherever its placed. It’s perfect for putting in the corner of a room or beside a sofa to add some greenery, and looks like you’re a planting pro even though they’re really easy to care for. In winter months you can almost forget about them, and they just need a little care and attention when it gets warmer.
Keep soil moist throughout spring and summer, and water monthly in autumn/winter
Find a bright spot away from direct sunlight
Will grow to the size of the pot, so choose a large pot if you want a tree-sized plant
Air plants are a strange species, and grow really quite differently to normal houseplants. They require no soil, and no watering! Well, sort of…They need to be bathed and misted to keep them moist. They can look really stylish in a glass container, and there are lots of different types too, all with long, twisty leaves.
Mist regularly and soak in water for 2-3 hours once a week in warm months, once a month in cold months
Likes bright, indirect sunlight, but the harsher the sun the more it will need misting
Place in a glass globe with no soil (it seems strange, we know!)
Just the name of this plant conjures romantic images, with its trailing, heart-shaped leaves like something that would have tumbled down the Juliet’s balcony as Romeo stood below. They’re perfect for popping on a bookshelf to trail down the side of, or for dangling from a hanging planter. As long as you make sure the soil never gets too drenched or too dry, you should be fine with this happy, hardy plant.
Keep lightly moist in warmer months, and water when completely dry in colder months
Prefers bright light with some direct sunlight (but not all day)
A sturdy ceramic pot that can sit on ledges, or a hanging planter
These are a favourite among lazy plant-keepers as they are relatively difficult to kill. As they once belonged in the desert, they’re used to going a while without water and as long as they’re placed somewhere sunny they should be happy as Larry (whoever that is). There are so many different types to choose from when it comes to cacti, from plump, bulbous plants to tall, towering things that wouldn’t look out of place in a Western.
Water sparingly, and leave to dry in between
Likes to be in a nice sunny spot, and will grow towards the light
A ceramic or glass pot — but cacti aren’t too picky
No these plants don’t taste like cheese, and we certainly don’t recommend giving them a nibble. They get their name from the holes that their waxy leaves develop, a bit like your favourite Emmental. Like the rubber fig, they’re great for making a big impact with minimal effort and can grow to quite impressive heights.
Water when soil is completely dry to the touch
Prefers a bright room with shady spots — no direct sunlight
Grows to the size of its pot, and can reach up to 10ft tall if you let it!
01. Got some leftover packing material? You can break up bits of polystyrene and add them to your soil to give extra drainage for plants like Aloe Vera and Cacti.
02. Houseplants don’t need as much water as outdoor plants – just make sure to give the soil a little poke every now and again to check if its dried out.
03. If your plant has big leaves, make sure to give them the occasional dust. Not only will it look nicer, but this will help the leaves drink in all the light they need.
04. Try to turn your plant pots weekly to avoid them growing in one direction towards the light.
05. If the soil starts drying out really quickly and growth is slow, it may be time to re-pot your plant into a bigger container.
06. Houseplants aren’t keen on drafty areas, so keep them away from windows, doors and vents.
07. Don’t bother with the fancy fertiliser – they can do more harm than good.
08. Don’t let your plants sit in water for too long if you’re using saucers to catch drips. Just empty out the saucer and hold the plant over the sink.
Now you’ve got it sussed which plants you’d like to start with, it’s time to pick a container that will nurture your new little (or large!) lifeform and look lovely in your home too. Thankfully, our Friends of Joules can help with just that. Friends of Joules is our online marketplace for contemporary country living, and we’ve teamed up with a whole host of creative businesses to give you an amazing collection of products, including lots of planters, pots and baskets that are perfect for houseplants. Here are just a few…