Bringing the outdoors in brightens up any home and it’s a great way to start a passion for plants, however it’s not always as easy as it seems and some house plants can be very temperamental so here is a quick and easy guide to 5 super easy low fuss, low maintenance houseplants anyone can get to thrive in their home.
The Zanzibar Gem, or ZZ Plant.
This plant thrives on neglect tolerating drought conditions for a few weeks at a time, while also liking a shady spot. It has underground tubers and thick, waxy, dark green leaves which hold onto moisture. It’s not easily harmed by pests, is slow growing but can reach up to 60cm in height and only needs repotting when bursting from its current pot.
Common problems are yellowing of the leaves from overwatering and it is important to note that there are toxic elements to the plant when ingested so be careful around household pets.
I love this plant, it was one of the first I ever picked for my home and it’s followed me through a few moves. The Peacock Plant has beautiful striking pale leaves with dark green stripes and rich purple colouring underneath, these large round and glossy leaves balance on thin stems making it perfectly balanced. New leaves grow from the centre in curls showing the purple underside and slowly unfold to reveal their pattern.
This plant prefers part to full-shade and likes an average amount of water growing up to 60cm. They are hardy to -1 so can be kept outdoors in protected areas and mild climates but are primarily used as house plants in the UK.
A really common really well known plant, the Spider Plant has made a name for itself as being difficult to kill. It has a mop of variegated green and white foliage from which runners trail making this a great plant for hanging baskets or to really make an impact.
They like bright but indirect sunlight so they will tolerate being further back from windows, they also like well draining soil and can suffer with root rot if left to become boggy. Don’t worry if it becomes a little root-bound, they like it so don’t pot up in a rush - only when watering becomes difficult. If you want a lot of plants for your money this plant is easy to propagate as it’s many runners can be staked into a new pot of compost for a few days and when roots establish simply cut from the parent plant to have a new little spider plant.
Succulents are really easy plants to care for and a great place to start. They come in many varieties, colours and shapes, the common houseleek grows in a rosette-forming shape with vibrant green leaves and red tips, it’s simple and understated however in summer it can produce clusters of reddish-purple flowers.
Succulents retain water in their thick waxy leaves and as such need less water, in fact overwatering can cause rot, generally needing watering once every 1-2 weeks during the summer and up to monthly over the winter. The only caution is that you can never really just stop at one considering the choices available!
It’s so easy to access live herb plants from supermarkets that everyone can have a few on a bright kitchen windowsill and the flavour and freshness can’t be compared. Here’s a few to get you started:
Mint is so versatile in drinks and cooking that I have pots stashed all around the house and garden. It’s super easy to grow too, it can tolerate dryer conditions, it spreads easily so it’s recommended to keep it in its own pot but due to this it’s very easy to propagate from cuttings.
Sage, thyme, rosemary and most Mediterranean herbs also prefer dry conditions and actively dislike wet roots, so use a well draining soil and don’t overwater to get the best out of this classic trio which will be happily planted together.