Best Indoor Plants
We love indoor plants for so many reasons – they help us connect with nature, purify the air and blur the boundaries between inside and out – but plenty of people are scared to bring potted greenery into their home. If you’re a self-described ‘black thumb’, read on for our pick of indoor plants and top tips to keep them alive and thriving.
From teeny tabletop cacti to statement-making mature specimens, cacti are an easy way to bring greenery into the home and channel a Palm Springs vibe. Our favourite cacti for height and sculptural form are Euphorbia ammak and Euphorbia ingens. The secret to a healthy cactus, as you’d expect, is to avoid overwatering; take them outside for a good soak just once a month, wiping down the leaves at the same time.
Another low-maintenance indoor plant that punches above its weight for visual impact, Rhipsalis capilliformis is a semi-succulent trailing plant that looks amazing draped over the edge of a shelf. Watered lightly but regularly and placed out of direct sunlight, Rhipsalis will reward you with a waterfall of tangled threads.
There’s a reason why this beauty is such a popular gift – nothing says elegance like a real Phalaenopsis Orchid in bloom. Look for plants with undamaged flowers and preferably only partially opened buds. If looked after and watered sparingly, they can flower for 12 months indoors. When the flower is finally finished, place outside in the shade and they will re-flower the following season.
Narrowing down a list of favourite indoor plants is nigh impossible, but no list of potted stars is complete without mention of the following. Ficus lyrata, or fiddle leaf fig, can grow to a towering height – they have a reputation as tricky to grow, but get to grips with their slightly finicky nature and they’re worth the investment. Monstera deliciosa (fruit salad plant) grows quickly, but can be contained if kept in low light in a small pot, and is easy to take care of. Dracaena ‘Janet Craig’ is the black thumb’s best friend, a bulletproof plant that loves low light and thrives on neglect.
Tips for growing indoor plants
Though all plants have different requirements, nervous plant owners can turn around their growing game by being aware of these common pitfalls.
– Don’t overwater: more plants are killed by overwatering than underwatering. In indoor conditions, plants grow slowly, and there’s no wind to suck water from the soil. If the soil is damp below the surface, don’t water. If you’re not sure, put water in the drip tray at the base; if the water is still there at the end of the day and hasn’t been sucked up, the plant has enough water for at least a week so the remainder should be emptied.