Whether you have a gloomy office, less than desirable student bedroom at Uni or a cosy living room, there are stylish and immortal pot plants that will survive and help you too do the same! You’ll sleep better if you keep a snake plant by your bed as it gives out bursts of oxygen at night, which will help you to breathe easier. Aloe Vera can also be put to work in your kitchen as it has this canny knack of being able to neutralise benzene found in most detergents and plastics!
Filling your home with plants will also make it a tranquil space that’s perfect for doing a spot of yoga. Deep, steady breathing is a major part of yoga, and plants like Ivy and the Boston Fern make great air purifiers. Plants can also help balance the look and feel of your space and will encourage a sense of calm and happiness. Their intricate shapes and forms also make them great meditation anchors!
On trend now…
The most common bromeliads produce a ‘vase’ of leaves that can be lilac-pink flushed or green and with chocolate coloured stripes or spots. The stiff ‘artificial-looking’ flower spikes, which are made up of brightly coloured bracts emerge from the centre of the vase making it a particularly useful plant to display in contemporary and trendy tropical décor styles.
Guzmania Bromeliads are no-fuss and adaptable. They require a temperature of at least 13 C and low light, so should be kept away from sunny windows. To water fill the central cup of the plant and replace frequently to keep it from rotting. The flower spike will naturally fade with age, so when it’s past its best, simply discard and buy a replacement
Aechmea fasciata, also known as Urn Plant or Silver Vase Plant
This exotic Urn Plant makes a great houseplant as it is so easy to care for. Find it a spot in bright light, such as a west facing window then all you have to do is keep urn in the centre of the plant where the flower arises out of 1/2 way full of water. Be sure to flush out that vase every 1-2 months with fresh water so bacteria doesn’t build up.
Vriesa is valued for its stunning, long-lasting spiky flowers
Vriesa flowers emerge from thick, lance-shaped foliage, which grows in a rosette shape. It is available in more than 200 varieties with blooms in various shades of green, yellow and red
Depending on the variety, the striking leaves of Vriesa can be plain green, spotted or banded in a range of greens, yellows, reds and even violets
It’s easy to get hooked on cacti and succulents
Cacti can be spiky, ridged, tall, squat and hairy and smooth fleshy succulents and both types of plant are very collectable. The key to success is plenty of light, so you’ll want to keep your plants as close to the window as you can, but be careful not to let them get sunburned on a south-facing windowsill.
You can combine several succulents in the same container to create a dish garden
The fastest way to kill cacti and succulents is with too much water. They like to have their roots soaked with water but then left to dry out before being given another drink. Take care to empty the drainage saucer so plants don’t sit in water overnight. Growth slows in autumn, and winter is a time of rest.
Lithops plants are often called “living stones” that’s exactly what they appear to be! These plants mimic stones in their natural environment of Africa, growing just a few centimetres above the soil surface. They thrive with little water, neglect and blistering hot temperatures.
Living stones are perfect for growing on a sunny, south-facing windowsill
Moon cactus are popular and especially with children as they are fun and funky plants. These small grafted plants are made up of a round top cactus, which is a mutation that lacks chlorophyll so is naturally red, orange or yellow, above a taller green ‘base’ specimen.
These quirky plants make ideal roommates as they are very undemanding and will withstand most maltreatment except for heavy handed watering and feeding. All you need to do is check on them occasionally and give them water about twice a month… and that’s it!
Moon cacti come in a variety of colours, making them ideal for the ‘would-be’ collector
Grow this ‘lucky’ plant and it’ll improve your bank balance!
Crassula ovata has many names but is most commonly called the money plant because according to Chinese Feng Shui rules, if you display them in your home their vibrant energy will improve your bank balance! This iconic houseplant, which is often displayed in Chinese takeaways, is tree-like, with trunk and branches, and smooth fleshy leaves. It is so easy to look after that plants are often handed down in families.
The money plant is a perfect choice for a sunny window and will survive even if you forget to water. Small plants can also be used to add height to succulent bowl gardens
Grow Hen and Chickens succulents
Sempervivum, also known as “houseleeks” or “hen and chicken” plants, are not only easy-going but also are exceptionally hardy and whilst they are able to thrive in cold and hot, dim light or strong light, they are perfect for cold windows. They require the usual watering regime for cacti and succulents, which means they can be killed from excess watering.
They are available in many forms and colours, green through browns, yellow, orange, pink and red although they need to be grown in full sun to fully exhibit the different colours. Small silvery hairs are also commonly found along the leaf margins and in many varieties the leaf tips bear a tuft of longer hairs that can form a “cobweb” over the surface of the rosettes. All these features makes them highly collectable.
Sempervivums are fun to grow too, as the mother plant, or hen, sends off numerous offsets, which will cluster around her base like chicks. These offsets can be easily repotted, or the plants can be left to form a large mat.
The range of different leaf shapes, colours and textures makes semervivum ideal for budding collectors
Try this flu jab booster! The cheap and cheerful pot mum is a miracle worker as it is especially good at reducing the frequency of colds and sore throats and is one of the best flowering plants to purify the air and remove toxic chemicals from the atmosphere.
It’s also good at getting rid of paint fumes in newly decorated rooms!