You only have to spend a few minutes on Instagram to notice how much the houseplant trend has taken off even more lately! Accounts such as @thejungalow @apartmenttherapy and @urbanjungleblog provide fantastic plant inspiration and make me want to turn into a crazy plant lady. Some may say that that ship has sailed! Anyway, here's three more of my favourite plants - one's easy to care for, one's a bit more tricky and the third slightly trickier still. But they are all worth it!
1. Spider Plant. 'Chlorophytum comosum'.
Everyone has owned a spider plant and some point in their lives I reckon! They have a great 1970s vibe to them so they tick not just one but two huge current interiors trends boxes - houseplants and all things mid century. They look great in macrame plant hangers too.
On top of that, they are super easy to care for so they are a must have plant for your home.
You can pick them up at any garden centre or DIY store for around £5. They will tolerate most conditions but prefer indirect sunlight. If the light is too bright, i.e. on a windowsill then the leaves go pale and bleached out looking. They love weekly watering but will survive much longer without - they go pale and floppy if left too long without water but - lucky for us - they spring back to life in a matter of hours once watered again. If they are looked after properly with weekly watering and regular feeding then they will reward you handsomely with prolific growth in the summer months and lots of babies!
To propagate them, simply snip the baby spider plant off and pop it in a jar of water.
After about a week, you should see white roots starting to appear. You can then pop the baby spider plant into a small pot of potting compost.
2. Chinese Money Plant. 'Pilea Peperomides'
These are a relatively new houseplant and only became available in Europe in the 1980s (according to Wikipedia!). I love their big glossy round leaves. They're slightly harder work than spider plants in so far as they like lots of light and plenty of water. I've found I've had to move mine around the house a bit to find the right spot and in the summer months it's required watering up to 3 times a week. I picked the large one in this pic from eBay as a baby plant about a year ago for about £10. It loves being in the kitchen under a skylight - look how much it's grown in a year and that's one of six babies it's produced in front of it.
The babies start as mini plants that grow from the mother plants roots.
Once it's 2 or 3 inches high and with a few leaves I just gently pull it away from the mother's roots and pop it straight into it's own pot of potting compost, being sure to keep it moist, but not soggy!
3. String of Beads. 'Senecio Rowleyanus'.
I fell in love with these succulents when I first saw them in on Instagram plant accounts. I bought this one from a plant seller on eBay for about £15 and it has tripled in length in less than a year. Lots of people say these plants are hard to keep but I've found it OK - as long as it has plenty of indirect light and is not over-watered. It's easy to forget these plants are succulents and need little water - I only water it once a week at most and that's only if the soil has completely dried out since the previous watering. In the winter months, it needs even less. I think they're well worth the effort - look at the amazing texture they add!
To overcome this, I re-potted it into a deeper pot and supported the bead strings by letting them drape over the table. Then, just in case it doesn't survive, took lots of 4 inch cuttings, rooted them in water for 10 days and popped them into their own pot.
Wish me luck because it really is my favourite plant ever!
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