10 Houseplants That Even You Can't Kill
The Debrief: Gemma from Sprout London fills you in on which plants to get and how not to kill them
ICYMI, using houseplants to make the inside of your house look like the outside, isn't going away. Made.com have an entirely new collection based around it and interiors website bible Houzz have promised they'll definitely stick around for 2016 - albeit with a 1970s vibe.
If you have yet to successfully keep a houseplant alive for more than a few weeks though, you're not alone. If your house is anything like ours (cold, small, mouldy and windowless) though then it's probably not your fault; you're not exactly sitting on the ideal environment to create an indoor jungle.
Luckily there are a few plants that will survive even the most useless of indoor gardeners' efforts. We spoke to Gemma from super cool plant shop Sprout London to find out how not to kill plants. Her number one tip? Don't water them every day! 'Not unless you’re in the tropics or it’s high high high summer and you're growing something like tomatoes.' She says.' She recommends, for most of the plants she suggests below, watering them once a week in summer and once a month in winter.
Also, be careful on choosing what you plant it in. Your copper pot might look nice but it might not be very nice to your plant. 'Always make sure your pot has a hole in the bottom so your water can drain freely!' Genna says. 'Plants don’t particularly enjoy wet feet and that’ll lead to rot which will kill your plant. So if you want to use something really nice that doesn’t have a hole in the bottom then keep it in a plastic pot and put that inside the copper pot so when you’re watering you can remove the standing water after 20 or so minutes.'
So, which plants are safe from even your shoddy 'black thumbs'?
For the totally useless indoor gardener
'OK' says Gemma. 'These plants thrive from neglect. You can leave them dry, they only need low lighting... They’re pretty much made for black thumbs - the opposite of a "green thumb". They are the Snake Plant, the Cast Iron Plant and the ZZ Plant. They’re all green foliage so they look good and you won’t see a flower out of them. They'll thrive on neglect so you can keep them dry, you can forget about them. You can put them in the bathroom, they'll also do well in windowless rooms. You can buy them quite large as well so if you’re after big potted floor plants that are striking looking then something like the snake plant looks quite good. It's quite "fashion".'
If you're kind of green thumbed
'These plants are forgiving with momentary neglect,' Says Gemma. 'But they do require a bit of care. They are Cheese Plants, Rubber Plants, the Peace Lily and the Spider Plant. The Peace Lily and the Spider Plant are particularly good for flats in london because they do help combat mold issues, they purify your air so if you’re in a damp flat or your bathroom’s very damp they can help clean your air. They’ll forgive your neglect but they will require the odd bit of watering.'
If you want something with flowers (but are still rubbish at looking after them)
'A Moss Orchid is quite good,' Says Gemma. 'Because it doesn’t like to be overwatered. If you look at it and go "hmmm I don’t know if that needs a watering" then you can leave it for another week and then water it and it’ll have nice doughy flowers.'
If you're a complete no-hoper
'English Ivy and Purple Shamrock are both quite hardy as well. Something like the Purple Shamrock will goes dormant with neglect so, if you go on holiday and you forget about it and you come back and it’s dead if you resume care it’ll come back to life. It's kind of a magic plant.'
Find out more about SPROUT over at their website and Instagram.
Like this? Then you might also be interested in:
Follow Jess on Twitter @Jess_Commons
At work? With your gran?
You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating