Martin McCarron chooses his top three houseplants and explains the dos and don’ts of looking after your indoor friends
Over the last few years houseplants have really made a comeback and are now firmly in fashion. And growers are breeding some vibrant varieties of Calthea, Monstera, Scindapsus, so there really is one for all aspects of the home.
People are also that bit more confident with them due to the vast amount of information available on the internet (which can be good and bad sometimes). I know the benefits of working with plants and how they can really help lift your mood as well as soften and add character to a room.
Before I reveal my top three houseplants, do you know the number one killer of houseplants that I see? Answer: overwatering. Saying ‘I must water my plants every Saturday’ doesn't work, especially during the autumn/winter months. Simply touch the top of the soil of your plant and if it’s dry give it a small amount of water. If it’s slightly damp leave it for another few days. Anyway I digress, here are my favourite (hard to kill) houseplants:
1. Monstera - Cheese Plant
These are so easy to care for. I have one in my house, and in all honesty the most attention it gets is having its dead leaves removed, watered every two weeks and kept out of direct sunlight. It’s really that simple.
Due to their size and growth rate of one to two feet per year, they will need a moss pole and be tied to keep upright. Once established, they're easy to spot in any part of your room making them a great statement piece or focal point.
2. Spathiphyllum - Peace Lillies
When it comes to houseplants, peace lilies are a classic and that’s because they are very easy to care for. Having said that they do need to be in proper growing conditions.
They tend to enjoy medium to low light. Which kind of light you need to provide will depend more on what you want your peace lily plant to look like. When they are placed in more light, they tend to produce the lovely white spathes and more flowers. Whereas, plants in low light will flower less and will look more like a foliage plant.
You will be pleased to know they prefer under-watering rather than over-watering, so keep it to a minimum. Simply touch the top of the soil to see if it is dry. If it is, water your peace lily. If the soil is still damp, the plant does not need to be watered.
Over the last few years houseplants have really made a comeback and are now firmly in fashion
3. Calthea - Prayer Plant
Visually, these are my favourite. They come in so many colours and shades it’s impossible not to like them. They are also fantastic for air purification in the home. Closely related to the Maranta (Prayer Plant), both are known and loved for their striking, ornamental foliage, which opens with the morning light and closes again at night time.
The lovely markings on the foliage are the main talking point. They cope well with low light levels but love humidity. One thing to keep in mind is Calatheas need to be watered with filtered or distilled water, or rainwater – not tap water.
Happy indoor gardening everyone :)