Let’s face it, indoor plants are tricky to look after (and keep alive). Correct watering; ensuring the right amount of sunlight; the right potting soil – it’s important to get the balance right in order for them to thrive. Two gardening experts share their favourite hardy indoor houseplants and plant varieties.
Sue Both, GardenShop’s GardenGuru, is a fan of Peace Lilies, Bamboo Palm and Moth Orchids:
1. The plant Spathiphyllum varieties or Peace Lily
About Peace Lily requires little care and maintenance. With very little attention they will still give you stunning white flowers all year round and a decent amount of green foliage. They make a great feature displayed in white or black pots and are a great addition to a modern look in your house. The Peace Lily is also a great plant for purifying air.
Do Water two to three times a week and keep in high light (avoid direct sunlight).
2. The plant Chamaedoraea elegans or Bamboo Palm
About Bamboo Palm has tidy soft foliage that will add a tropical feel to your home. Available from about 30cm up to 1m, they are easy to grow if you start with a healthy plant – make sure you don’t purchase a plant that is wilting or has brown leaves.
Do Water when the soil surface is dry. Ensure adequate drainage and use high-quality potting soil. Plant can be kept in low light conditions but will grow taller with more light.
3. The plant Phalaenopsis Orchid or Moth Orchid
About Moth Orchids are a visual treat and have spectacular blooms that can last for up to three months.
Do Make sure they are not overwatered (water thoroughly and let the water completely drain out). Let them sit in a bright room but without direct sun. Also feed them with orchid food once a month.
Craig de Necker, managing director of The Friendly Plant, says that Ficus varieties, Dracaena varieties and Syngonium varieties have a relatively low light and water requirement and do not require any specific maintenance regime or seasonal maintenance.
4. The plant Ficus varieties
About Ficus plants are one of the most popular types of foliage plants. Included in the variety is the Fiddle Leaf Fig, Rubber Tree and Bonsai.
Do Ensure that the plants are placed close to natural light (windows, skylights etc.) and that they are watered regularly. Ideally, they should also be fertilised around twice a month with good-quality pot plant food. It is also important to note that if there is an air conditioner in the vicinity, this can lead to the plants drying out prematurely.
5. The plant Dracaena varieties
About It’s hard to go wrong with dracaneas, which come in a wide variety of shapes, colours and sizes. Dracaena includes Lucky Bamboo, Ribbon Plant and Deremensis, all hardy and easy to grow.
Do The plant is tolerant to a wide variety of lighting conditions but grows well in bright, indirect light. Excessive sun can cause the leaves to brown, as well as too little humidity. Try misting the plant leaves if low humidity is a problem. Put the plant in a pot with drain holes to prevent root rot.
Sue Both shares her top tips for indoor plant care:
1. Never over-water indoor plants. Make sure that you pour off all excess water after you have watered your plants – they should never stand in drip trays with water or in pots that have no drainage holes.
2. Feed indoor plants once a month with liquid plant food like Nitrasol.
3. Place indoor plants in high light areas but not direct sunlight.
4. Do not plant indoor plants in garden soil – use proper potting soil.
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