How to care for your indoor plants…

pileaHouse plants are possibly the one thing you could do for your home to instantly lift your decor and bring life into your space.  They are cost effective, beautiful and good for you too, by producing oxygen and cleaning the air.

Recently house plants have become ‘trendy’ (never went out of trend in my book). A couple of years ago the mother in laws tongue was all the rage, then the fiddle fig leaf and more recently the Pilea is the plant du jour.  But no matter how you wish to follow the design trends, house plants are tricky to look after for some.  Believe me I’ve killed many plants in my time.

plant life

In my home I have many, many plants.  Some are doing better than others, I’m in no way an expert in gardening but I do love to try.  Here are a few tips that I’ve learnt in growing house plants:

* Which plant: Choose a plant to suit your space.  If you have a tiny room there is no point buying a huge cheese plant.  Same goes for a large space – really think about proportions.

* Time: Think about your time and how much you have to care for your plant.  Time poor?  Then perhaps a succulent or a terrarium is the one for you.

* Water: Watering is possibly the biggest killer of plants.  Too little or too much can be disastrous.  Here is a little guide:

Fern – Water thoroughly, then allow the top 1 inch to dry out before watering again.

Ficus – Requires a humid environment, so could be best placed in the bathroom.  Only water once the soil has dried out.

Succulents – Water your succulents sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out completely before re-watering.

Pilea – Allow the soil to dry out and then really soak well.  A sure sign it needs a drink as the leaves will droop.

* Care: I find that caring for your indoor plants is just a case of trial and error.  Move your plant around over a period of a couple of weeks to find a spot in which it will flourish.  Most prefer a light position, but not in direct sunlight.

* Give: Plants are the perfect gift.  If you have a Pilea (also commonly known as the friendship plant), you will have plenty of ‘babies’ to pot on and share with your friends.  I have given them to people as house warming gifts, thanks for dinner and for birthdays.

* Source: Your local garden centre should have a large variety of house plants for sale.  Ask the staff there for help in sourcing a particular species.  I’ve also seen cuttings and small plants for sale on ebay.  Ask your friends and neighbours if they have any cuttings to spare and have a go at growing these on.

For more inspiration please have a look at my Botanical board on Pinterest.

Lou Archell, a writer, photographer, stylist and founder of Littlegreenshed.  A UK lifestyle & travel blog

Lou is also a busy mum of two amazing boys and the founder of Sisterhood Camp – an annual creative retreat for recharging and empowering brilliant ladies, Lou is passionate about supporting and inspiring others whether through her workshops, writing, photography or lifestyle hacks.

  • I have killed numerous houseplants in my time – it is probably worth mentioning that some plants are better watered from the base rather than the top, i’m sure that’s how I’ve killed a few over the years!!

  • I love house plants but I don’t have many suitable places to keep them. My living room doesn’t receive much light so I need to look into suitable plants for dark spaces. I do have a Rubber plant that seems to love it in there but everything else grows leggy and starts to look a bit sick. My kids are taking me to the garden centre this week to choose a plant for my 40th :)

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