Flats & Houses

10 Popular House Plants To Liven Up Your Livingroom

Nothing adds life and colour to a room like a nice houseplant. Surrounding yourself with plants – especially if you live in the city – means fresher air and lower stress levels. Here are 10 popular houseplants to liven up your living space. Don’t worry if you’re a total houseplant beginner – they’re all super easy to care for! Check out these popular house plants to find the one that’s right for you.

1) Aloe Vera

Probably the most iconic succulent ever, the aloe is a great beginner’s houseplant. Not only does it cleanse the air of chemical pollutants, but the goo inside the leaves heals cuts, burns and other skin complaints. They grow best in good light (windowsills are ideal). They can tolerate large amounts of drought as well as dry, radiator-heated rooms that other plants won’t. Just don’t overwater them. Aloes grow super slowly, so be prepared to pay if you want a huge one.

2) Spider Plant

The spider plant is not only a great air purifier, it’s well-nigh indestructible! These low maintenance-af plants look equally great in a plant pot or a hanging basket. They reproduce in the warmer months by growing long stalks with dozens of babies, which you can cut off and repot to grow your own spider plant army, or just leave dangling like the ones in this pic. You can water spider plants normally, but they also like being misted with a spray bottle (wash out and reuse an old heat protection or hairspray one) as their long grooved leaves funnel water straight to the centre of the plant. Putting them in super bright light won’t harm them, but it fades the leaves a little.

3) Ivy

According to NASA (seriously) the good old English ivy is the best air-filtering plant on the planet. This stuff can even deal with formaldehyde without breaking a sweat. (If you live in London, this is the plant for you. Buy two dozen and put them everywhere.) They like medium heat and sun, and aren’t fussy about regular watering. Like the spider plant, ivy looks awesome in hanging baskets or perched on the edge of shelves because it trails. Make sure you put the basket somewhere you’re not likely to brush against it, though – poison in the leaves will irritate your skin.

4) Snake Plant

Also known as ‘mother-in-law’s tongue’ (hahaha) this lovely succulent gives spider plants a run for their money in the Most Indestructable Plant contest. They’re visually dramatic with their deep green patterned blade-like leaves, and are very good for cleansing the air. Snake plants are the dark horses of the succulent family, because they prefer indirect light and as such they’re a great option for slightly shadier rooms. In terms of moisture, they conform to the traditional succulent model –  overwater at your peril!

5) Dragon Tree

I read a blog post by a woman who left her dracaena uncared for in an empty house for six months while she lived abroad. It wasn’t exactly looking healthy by the time she got back, but with a little TLC it soon got back to its normal self. These super-hardy little palms can grow to 15ft and will make a real statement as well as reoxygenating your room. They’re also perfectly happy in low light. Like spider plants, dragon trees like being misted, but don’t water them so much the soil becomes soggy.

6) Rubber Plant

With its broad variegated leaves, rubber plants are characterful as well as excellent purifiers. They are fine with cool temperatures and indirect/relatively low light. Those who have been driven to distraction by light-hungry plants stretching during the English winter (looking at you, echeveria!) will welcome the rubber plant with open arms. It doesn’t like dry air much though, so mist it or wipe the leaves down with a wet cloth. In the wild, rubber plants can grow into 50ft trees, but like dracaena, will take their lead from the size pot you put them in. A bigger pot means a bigger plant.

7) Boston Fern

Like most ferns, the Boston thrives on low light and high humidity. The best place for it is therefore in a shady corner of your bathroom, where it will cheerfully beautify your living space under conditions that would kill many other plants. The best thing is, any time you bath or shower this ups the humidity, so you’re providing the fern with water just by going about your daily business. Once a month you can soak the whole pot in water to fully hydrate it, then let it drain. The trick is to make sure the soil is always damp.

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8) Jade Plant

This cute plant’s trunk-like stem makes it a common candidate for bonsai. Keep it small and dainty in an average pot or allow it to grow into a mighty shrub. It’s a succulent, and likes similar conditions to aloe. Jades enjoy being soaked to fully hydrate them, drained and then left to their own devices for a long time, making them perfect beginner’s houseplants. They’re also easy to grow – just gently twist a leaf off your plant and stick it in a pot.

9) Peace Lily

These exquisite plants are as practical as they are aesthetically pleasing. Peace lilies are super drought-tolerant – wait till the soil is totally dry before watering or you run the risk of killing the plant. They can also handle multiple light conditions. In moderate light, they’ll have more of their distinctive white “flowers”. In shadier conditions, enjoy luscious green foliage. Peace lilies don’t care about fertiliser – once a year will be fine for them. The only maintenance is repotting; if the plant’s growth seems crowded, or if it droops within a week of watering, move it to a pot two inches wider.

10) Ponytail Palm

This is one for your bright, south-facing room! Despite the mop-top of leaves, the ponytail palm isn’t actually a palm; it’s an enormous tree-like succulent that stores water in its chubby base. Nonetheless, they can grow to 20ft indoors, so over time this plant will be a show-stopper. Like all succulents it loves direct light but will cope with medium, and needs little water. Repot when the plant starts to get top-heavy or it will tip over!

What are your favorite popular house plants? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured image source: weheartit.com

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