House Plants

House plants are a great way of bringing the outside indoors. They can add colour to your home, both with their leaves and flowers and the decorative pots you keep them in. When choosing a house plant try to pick a young one that has recently arrived in store. Look for one that has vigorous growth, healthy/lush foliage and strong stems. All of this means the plant has far more chance of surviving when you bring it home. Avoid plants that are the opposite of above, especially ones that are pot bound or that have diseases. When a plant gets too large for its pot and the roots circle around inside the pot, the plant's growth becomes restricted. If your plants seem to dry out more quickly than they used to, but are otherwise healthy, they are probably pot bound.

Tropical or sub-tropical house plants (particularly flowering ones) should be kept in as warm a place as possible. A spot by House plantsthe window or above a radiator could work, but be sure the plant doesn't dry out . House plants that are mostly foliage prefer cool and shady areas, house plants such as cacti prefer quite dry conditions so again above a radiator would be ideal. Cacti usually only need watering once a week. It may be helpful to google your plants natural environment. If it’s suited to humid climates then the bathroom might be a good location, if it grows on the forest floor, don’t put it in direct sunlight.

Always use a good quality potting compost. Ideally a loam based compost as they dry out slower than others and as such hold water for longer. Loam soil is a combination soil, normally equal parts of clay, silt, and sand, which gives the benefits of each with few of the disadvantages. Loams are stable composts which means they’re suitable for bigger house plants and will support your plant as it grows. Depending on your choice of plant it may also need structural support, such as a moss pillar (for house plants that have roots along the stems like Philodendron) wire hoops (for Jasminum officinale) or tripods made from canes or bamboo for climbing plants like Ficus Benjamina 'Variegata' or Trachelospermum Jasminoides. It’s a good idea to loosely attach your plant to the support with ties to help encourage the plant growing along the canes or bamboo.

Here are 9 different house plants that I'd recommend, they are relatively easy to look after and quite forgiving plants which can almost be left alone/neglected.



Chinese Evergreen

A very forgiving plant, even if it’s overwatered it will be fine, there are several varieties to choose from.


These plants require little water but can be quite top heavy, so a large deep container would be ideal.

African Violets

One of the most popular house plants in the world! It has lovely purple blooms that appear throughout the year. All this needs is bright (indirect) sunlight and well drained compost. Fertilisers named after the plant would be beneficial too, though not essential. 

Spider Plant

One of the most common house plants. Often the one that gets forgotten in the conservatory corner or on the window ledge of the spare room! The plant will generate little versions of itself in the compost which can easily be potted up and brought on the make a new house plants. The flowers will also produce little new plants, these can be trimmed off, stood in a glass of water to encourage root growth then planted in soil. Spider plants should be watered once a week, but could easily survive for two if it’s not too warm.

Peace Lily

These are almost aquatic plants! They can take a lot of overwatering so there’s no need to worry about smothering them. An interesting fact about these plants (according to NASA) is that they are the best house plant for filtering the air, they can neutralise various toxic gasses, for example; benzene. Peace Lilies also have beautiful white leaf flowers. 

English Ivy

Another simple house plant to look after. Ivy only requires watering once a week and could do two weeks on its own. Ivy will look lovely trailing over a shelf or it could be grown up a bamboo tripod. English Ivy can grow indoors as well as outdoors, if you have some in the garden why not try bringing in a bit with roots attached for that outdoors indoors feel.


This house plant makes for a great display as the underside of its leaves are a shade of purple and the topside is different shades of green. Calathea are grown just for the foliage, these plants should be watered so that the compost is always damp and kept out of direct sunlight.

Phalaenopsis Orchid

These plants grow well in warm rooms, or near (but not next to) radiators. You should always check the advice on the tag, but most Orchids only need to be watered every 10 days. Depending on the variety you have the colour of the flowers it produces varies, but whichever colour you get, you won't be disappointed, especially with the displays they can produce which can last for around 3-4 months.


With regards to watering, a good way of telling how much water remains from the previous feed is to use clear pots. Most Orchids are sold in clear pots as they can particularly fussy when it comes to watering. Try to avoid leaving your plants sat in water as this can lead to root rot.

As we move into the summer months I would recommend misting your house plants regularly. As you move around the house tending to them, you will start to notice changes in their appearance and act accordingly. If the soil is always damp, leave it and allow the top third to dry out. If the leaves are drying out and crisping but the soil is well watered, your plant may have sun burn & need to be moved away from the window.

If you’re not doing it every day it’s easy to forget when you last watered your plants. It might be helpful to purchase reservoir or globe drip feeders to keep your plants going. These can be purchased online and come in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes. You simply fill them up with water then firmly press the hollow stem into the soil. As the plant drinks the reservoir will drain buying you a bit of time between visits. In using a reservoir you are allowing the plant to access the water it needs when it needs it.

If you’re going away you can control the watering of your plants by getting a two tray, fill one with water, turn the other upside down and position next to the one with water. Place some capillary matting (or a flannel if you don't have any) half in the tray with water and half on top of the upside down tray, then simply place the plant on top of the upside down tray, this will allow the plant to draw up what it needs.

Our final top tip is to make sure you keep on top of removing any dead/dying growth. This will encourage new growth and ensure that your plants are always looking their best!


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