4 houseplants even you can keep alive

There’s a widely held belief that when it comes to houseplants, succulents are by far the easiest to maintain.

Well, I beg to differ. Despite my very best efforts, I have never been able to create a healthy and happy home for them. (You can read all about my struggles in this old blog post.)

While I can’t be sure about the reasons, I think it may have something to do with the fact that they just don’t enjoy being indoors and since my flat has the surface area of a chia seed and no balcony, there’s really not much I can do to fix this. Plus, I may have a tendency to be a little too generous in my watering habits, which is really hard to shake.

Whatever the case may be, the fact is succulents are a no-go for me.

But you know what? That’s totally fine, because who needs succulents when you can fall head over heels in love with lush, leafy plants and experience the unparalleled joy of having them love you right back?

Over the past three or so years, I’ve managed to cultivate a thriving little indoor jungle that just seems to be going from strength to strength. And can I tell you a little secret? It hasn’t been due to any efforts on my part – these plants just seem super eager to grow

So, if you’ve been struggling to get an indoor garden of your own going, here are a few plants – tried and tested by me – that will definitely ease the process:

Peace Lily

Sometimes I think this Peace Lily of mine is indestructible. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve arrived home after a weekend away to find it completely wilted, leaves sadly drooping over the sides of its terracotta pot.

The first time this happened, I was absolutely distraught and thought my prize plant was on death’s door. I’ve come to learn, however, that all it takes for a Peace Lily to revive is a good watering and within an hour or two it will be back to its perky old self!

Light preference: Peace Lilies prefer shadier conditions and should never be placed in direct sunlight. They tend to do quite well in bathrooms.

Watering: As mentioned above, these are thirsty little plants and can be watered on a regular basis. If you’re afraid of overwatering, the best course to take is to wait until the leaves droop a bit and then to give it a good quenching.

Flowering: I haven’t identified a specific pattern of flowering. Some mornings I’ll just wake up to find a tiny new white bloom unfolding, with another two or three following in its wake. Once the flowers turn green, simply snip them off and wait for new ones to bloom.

If you want to buy one right now, check out Plantify.

Hen-and-Chicks/Spider Plant

I just love the descriptive names for this plant! They, of course, refer to the fact that it so eagerly reproduces tiny versions of itself, which look like little chicks milling around their mother’s feet… or like tiny little spiders hanging from a web.

These hardy little plants are super low maintenance and pretty to boot – really the perfect choice for anyone who isn’t confident in their gardening skills just yet.

Light: They enjoy bright, indirect light.

Watering: Make sure your spider plant’s soil is never soggy, as this can cause root rot. It’s best to water moderately about once a week or when you notice the soil has started drying out.

Propagating: One of the things I love most about my hen-and-chicks is how easy it is to propagate! All you have to do is snip off one of the chicks and place it in a little pot of its own. You can also first place it in water to encourage root growth, but it’s not necessary.

Umbrella plant

Named for its parasol-shaped leaf arrangement, the umbrella plant is undemanding and a real joy to have around. When happy in its surroundings, it grows quite vigorously and pushes out new leaves (they look like tiny little stars at the start) on a regular basis.

Light: They have a preference for bright, indirect sunlight.

Watering: Umbrella plants are extremely forgiving specimens and will forge ahead bravely without water for extended periods of time. Do try to water them at least once a week, however for best results.

Staghorn Fern

You’ve probably seen pictures of staghorn ferns prettily mounted on pieces of wood, reminiscent of their animal trophy namesakes. This definitely seems to be the most popular way to display these attractive little plants, but it’s not the only way. I bought mine in a little terracotta pot and have kept it in there quite successfully. Maybe one day I’ll mount it too, but for now, it seems pretty happy!

Light: Unlike other fern species that prefer shady areas, these guys are happiest in bright, indirect light.

Water: I’ve found that my staghorn fern’s soil dries out quite quickly. I keep a close eye on it and just give it a good soaking once it seems completely dry. It also enjoys the occasional misting.

If you want to buy one right now, check out Plantify.

Side note: I also administer plant food every two weeks to help keep the soil nutritious. I’m currently using Nitrosol Liquid Fertiliser and it’s the bomb! Since you dilute a capful in 3 litres of water, a very little bit goes a long, long way!

Featured image by Kaufmann Mercantile on Unsplash

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