MY FAVOURITE HOUSE PLANTS {AND HOW I CARE FOR THEM}

MY FAVOURITE HOUSE PLANTS {AND HOW I CARE FOR THEM}

Over the last six months or so I've developed a new obsession: house plants. I'm so inspired by what they can do for your home, the way that a bit of foliage can add lots of natural colour {especially if you have lots of white rooms like me!}. I also think I'm just enjoying having things to nurture as a mum-to-be!

Either way, my collection has grown from a few succulents, a couple of cacti and a cyclamen to around 30 and counting. This is nowhere near enough for me!! I want plants everywhere. Mr L is joyous about it, as you can imagine!

Now I am by no means a plant expert however I thought I would take you through some of my favourites together with a few tips I have learned along the way.

If you are thinking about adding more plants to your home, I would say go for it! Just take some time to consider which types of plants would suit your home best and how you would prefer to take care of them. For example, if you are a super busy person who always forgets to water I would advise plenty of cacti and succulents which are much more difficult to kill.

The other thing to consider when expanding your house plant collection is scale, shape and texture. I really love mixing up varieties and sizes to create a bit of a statement, rather than dotting them individually around the house. Experiment with different colour pots, planters and baskets too and place your plants at different heights for added interest. They don't all have to be on a table or windowsills!

Favourite Houseplants Monstera.jpg

Swiss Cheese Plant

{monstera deliciosa}

I will start with my favourite!

I absolutely adore this plant, even though it's become a bit of a cult must-have and is all over interior trends at the moment.

I bought mine from a large garden centre about a year ago, although I have seen them in places like Homebase too. You can either buy them small like I did, and let them do their thing {grow big big swiss cheese hole leaves!} OR you can buy a more established plant that has already been trained up a support.

The monstera is a climber, reaching up to 10 feet in its natural habitat {yup!}. It sprouts aerial roots to help it cling on to a trellis or support – but you can let them grow without support for quite some time, like I have, so the leaves kind of hang and splay out as a bit of a statement. 

Plant facts + tips

  • Native to the tropics, therefore likes a warm room {18˚C is ideal}
  • Needs indirect light – the more light you give it, the more swiss cheese holes it is likely to have!
  • Grows very big and tall over time, will eventually need supporting
  • Water weekly
  • Re-pot once a year to refresh soil and nutrients
  • Wipe clean the leaves regularly with a damp cloth
  • Loves humidity – give it a mist of water as a treat!

 

Favourite Houseplants Ceropegia 2.jpg

String of hearts

{ceropegia woodii}

My mum gave me both of my string of hearts plants and I think they are so beautiful. This plant is a succulent so it is quite happy to be neglected – a really good choice if you are a bit slack on watering yours!

These plants are best placed up high so that their trailing vines can hang freely, they look lovely positioned on a shelf or would work well in a wall-mounted planter too. I have one in the lounge atop one of the bookshelves and another in the main bathroom trailing down from the window next to the bath.

I haven't yet tried it myself yet, but ceropegia grow their own tubers along the vine, meaning you can snip them off and propagate a new plant in some soil. 

Plant facts + tips

  • Grows up to 13 feet in length
  • Flowers in summer/autumn
  • Prefers dry soil and minimal watering, I give mine a little every 5-7 days
  • Remove any dead vines as they appear

 

Favourite Houseplants Snake Plant.jpg

Mother-in-laws tongue

{Sansevieria trifasciata

This plant, also known as a snake plant, is very distinctive with two-tone leaves and a sharp-looking, upright structure. 

If you are in the habit of killing plants perhaps this is a good one for you, it is very tough and resilient so if you forget to water it for a few weeks it won't shrivel up and die immediately.

Mine seems to have sprouted a few babies so I am going to re-pot it soon and see if I can get them going in some new little pots!

Plant facts + tips

  • Originates from Ethiopia, but first cultivated in ancient China
  • Prefers indirect light – more light will make the leaves yellower, less will make them darker and greener
  • Water every 3-4 weeks
  • Has strong roots - re-pot annually to allow growth

 

Favourite Houseplants Calathea.jpg

Zebra plant

{Calathea}

I really love the big leaves and pretty pattern of a Calathea. You might hear these being called rattlesnake plants too, their patterns do vary quite a bit depending on the variety. I'm not actually sure which one mine is!

Calathea are really great houseplants because they don't mind a bit of shade, in fact they are much happier being popped out the way of direct sunlight – mine lives on my dressing table in the guest bedroom which is north-facing but still gets a good dose of filtered light throughout the day.

It shouldn't need too much water, I always know when mine is thirsty as it starts to very slightly splay and drop. I once forgot to water it for about 2 weeks and it flopped right down! 

Plant facts + tips

  • Native to tropical South America
  • Prefers indirect light and humidity
  • Water regularly, but do not waterlog the pot
  • Remove brown and dead leaves as they appear

 

 

Favourite Houseplants ZZ 1.jpg

ZZ Plant

{Zamioculcas Zamifolia}

Another one of my faves. I like the shape of the ZZ plant, the deep green shiny leaves and the fact it's so easy to keep. 

The only drawback to this plant is that it collects dust very easily! I just pop it under a cold shower to freshen it up.

Plants facts + tips

  • Grows slowly, do not expect much from it!
  • Prefers minimal watering – treat it like a cacti
  • Does not like direct sunlight

 

 

Favourite Houseplants Aloe Vera.jpg

Aloe Vera

{aloe barbadensis}

I haven't left this lovely plant to last, it's one of my favourites {can you have toooo many??!} and looks brilliant pretty much wherever you put it! I have a few aloe veras now, this one pictured lives upstairs and moves around between rooms – I am always faffing with where things live – and I have a couple more in the lounge which are a completely different shape. 

I feel like I have ended up saying this a lot in my houseplant tour, but again this one is super easy to keep / difficult to kill! It really doesn't need a lot of care, just be sure not to water it too much and put it somewhere with plenty of light – from there it will happily do its thing without much fuss.

Plant facts + tips

  • Aloe vera is a succulent, so does not like too much water - allow it to dry out completely before watering it again
  • Pop it somewhere bright and light
  • Cut the leaves off to soothe burns and rashes - you can wrap them in foil and keep them in the fridge {although hope you won't be planning on burning yourself that much}

 

So there you have it. I am currently anchored to the house awaiting the arrival of a baby but believe me, this newborn is going to be seeing A LOT of garden centre visits this summer as I carry on acquiring more plant babies!

As ever if you have any questions about any of the plants or want any other tips I will try my best to help {but I'm still learning so can only speak from experience so far!}

~ ceels

 

 

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