10 Best House Plants: Easy Care Indoor Plants & How to Keep Them Alive
One for our green-fingered Joanie Gals; nothing makes your home feel fresher than some lush house plants! A few splashes of greenery dotted around the house is a stylish way of bringing ‘the outdoors, indoors’ as they say. Creating an urban jungle is proven to improve both air quality and lift your mood, it’s win-win. Here’s our guide to the 10 best house plants - a selection of hard to kill indoor plants and some tips to keeping your plant ‘babies’ alive and well.
1. Aloe Vera
The hero, a living first aid kit. The Aloe Vera plant features tall spiky succulent leaves, filled with a cool medicinal gel that can be used to treat dry skin and sun burn. Place in the bedroom to promote a good night’s sleep - it’s one of several indoor plants that clean the air and remove toxins.
Light: Indirect light, will droop if it’s too dark
Water: A good soak every 10-14 days
Fun Fact: The leaves are called ‘pups’ and should be removed at the stem. Gel can be kept in the fridge
Danger: Watch out for mealy bugs! Use cotton buds dipped in gin to remove the tiny pests. Toxic to pets
2. Jade Plant
Crassula Ovata,the friendly one - commonly known as Jade Plant. These little suckers store water inside their plump pillow-like rubbery leaves in preparation for drought. With a bit of love, this house plant will grow into a cute miniature tree that can live long enough to be passed through generations.
Light: This guy will let you know if he needs more light as the distance between the leaves will increase as he stretches to find more light
Water: Hates wet roots, do NOT over-water
Top Tip: Thrives on neglect
Danger: Short roots, will fall over easily so try not to repot and let the roots crowd to strengthen
Too many variations to mention, the spiky fellas. Unusual, elegant and bold, the Cactus brings a little country and western to the party. These indoor plants can offer bold beautiful flowers when happy. Wear our Meredith dressto match your cacti…
Light:These desert dwellers like it hot, at least 4-5 hours on sunlight daily
Water: Drought tolerant, ensure entirely dry before watering again
Top Tip: Good drainage is essential - use soil mixed with sand
Fun Fact: The spikes are to fend off predators who may attack to drink their water stores
4. Snake Plant a.k.a. Mother-in-Laws Tongue
Sansevieria trifasciata,the ‘70s classic. The Snake Plant features tall, rigid leaves, straight out of Beverley’s living room in Abigail’s Party. Its nickname comes from the old-fashioned mother-in-law jokes, sharp and with a viper’s tongue. Reptilian patterned variegated leaves come in a variety of colours shapes and sizes.
Light: Indirect sunlight is ideal, but it will survive well in lower light too. Keep away from direct light
Water: Twice a week in summer and every 10 days in winter but water if the leaves start to droop. Can survive a month without!
Temperature: Doesn’t like the cold, likes dry warm air
Danger: Keep out of reach of children and pets, its leaves are sharp and toxic if ingested
5. ZZ plant a.k.a. Zanzibar Plant
Zamioculcas zamiifolia, the indestructible one. The Zanzibar plant has hardy, tall waxy leaves with potato-like roots. This full-leaved fast grower will quickly brighten a dark corner with its zesty green fronds, which turn darker over time.
Light: Low light
Water: Twice a week in summer, once every 4 weeks in winter. Doesn’t mind if he gets forgotten once in a while
Danger: Wear gloves when repotting - the sap irritates the skin and is poisonous if ingested
6. Euphorbia Acrurensis a.k.a. Desert Candelabra Cactus
The tall guy. Not actually a cactus, but its arm shapes are reminiscent of the classic western shaped ‘cartoon cacti’. Indoors, it will grow up to around 8ft and small leaves will sprout all-over when happy. Often found at the end of the yellow brick road in a certain Swedish home store.
Light: Rotate to ensure even light distribution or weight will cause to unbalance. Hate’s air conditioning and draughts
Water: Ensure one person is in charge, requires a stricter watering schedule, if in doubt under-water
Top Tip: Water from the top and allow water to trickle to root, which also removes dust!
7. Chinese Money Plant a.k.a. Pancake Plant
Pilea peperomioides, the lucky one. It is said that the round pancake-like leaves of the Pilea, or Chinese Money Plat, bring luck and fortune to the homeowner. These photogenic beauties grow rapidly and will require supports until their trunks are mature enough to support their weight.Propagate offshoots easily in water, so you can share the wealth with your friends.
Light: Indirect or direct light, pretty happy wherever!
Water: Water if dry, twice a week in summer, once a week in winter. The leaves will show you by drooping when they are thirsty
Top Tip: BBQ kebab skewers make excellent supports
8. Monstera a.k.a. Swiss Cheese Plant
Monstera Delicisosa,the tropical one. In the rainforest these dark green friendly giants grow to 60ft tall. The holes in the Monstera plant’s leaves form ONLY when conditions are correct and the plant is happy, earning their Swiss Cheese moniker.
Light: Tolerates low light but becomes larger and more dramatic in indirect light
Water: Regularly to stop the soil drying, enjoys a shower every now and again to remove dust
Top Tip: Cut strips from soft old T-shirts to tie back to support - this saves on the space they will take up and promotes upward growth
9. Rubber Plant
Ficus Elastica,the elegant one. The Rubber Plant boasts large, waxy verdant leaves, on strong branch-like stems. Keep the leaves dust free with a regular wipe down with a wet cloth. Enjoys a good misting.
Light: Needs bright but indirect light to thrive, will sunburn easily
Water: Does not tolerate sitting in water, so ensure plenty of soil drainage. Leaves that turn yellow or brown signal over watering
Top Tip: polish with mayonnaise (yes, mayo!) for a high shine finish!
10. String of Pearls
Senecio rowleyanus,the one that looks like beads. The String of Pearls plant features pretty trailing spherical leaves, on long skinny tendrils which flow from the pot like Old Gregg’s hair - they’ll grow up to 3ft long if happy. Succulent green orbs, and pretty cinnamon scented flowers, this unusual plant is a real showstopper.
Light: Direct or indirect, will hang in a window or trail off a shelf
Water: Let it dry out completely before watering again
Top Tip: Try String of Bananas and String of Dolphins for cool variations