Annie is a passionate home gardener and enjoys the world of micro-blogging via her instagram luxe.botanica. Having moved from city living to a sleepy coastal town, she’s managed to fill her home with greenery and has become an avid collector of aroids and other rare and interesting plants. A chemist by trade, she loves being creative after hours – preferring to spend her time taking photos, painting and planting.
We all love flowers in bloom but house plants, mainly plants grown for their foliage, have been the IT trend for 2017. When I buy houseplants I always consider its needs verses its growth habits. I do enjoy looking after them and admiring their progress, and with a bit of time and patience they can be rewarding all year round. I’ve compiled a list of common but so-worth-the-hype plants as well as some that are lesser known. So with that, here are my top seven that, in my opinion, make for the perfect house plant:
1. “Fiddle leaf fig” tree | Ficus lyrata
Why it deserves to be in your home: Probably very little needs to be said here. Lush green foliage, large leaves giving it an almost cartoon-like appearance. Their shrubby yet eventual tree shape means maximal greenery with minimal required floor real estate.Secrets for good growth: Give bright indirect light. The FLF doesn’t like cold or wet feet, so a well draining, slightly raise pot is preferred. The leaves need a good wipe down from dust. For centereed growth, rotate the pot. They would rather dry out than be overwatered.
See also: “Rubber tree” | Ficus elastica
Why it deserves to be in your home: Not for the faint at heart, the monstera deliciosa is as they say, a monster. It’s a rapid grower in the right conditions, and can reward the home with huge cut-out leaves. It can be trained to grow on a trellis – this is highly recommended as they get top heavy with no support other than a few aerial roots. It certainly puts the jungle in ‘urban jungle’.
Secrets for good growth: A moss trellis is great for monstera deliciosa as it gives strutural support as well as a source of water for the aerial roots.
See also: “Swisse cheese vine” | Monstera obliqua
3. “Chinese money plant” | Pilea peperomioides
Why it deserves to be in your home: This is truly the plant that keeps on giving. With cute circular leaves radiating from a central stalk, this plant puts out little plantlets that you can harvest to get a whole new plant to gift to friends. Not to mention it would give your plant collection extra brownie points as this plant isn’t often sold in nurseries.
Secrets for good growth: They don’t like to dry out and a bit of bottom watering helps the roots reach down. Harvest plantlets with a clean sharp blade at the roots just beneath the soil.
See also: “Aluminium plant” | Pilea cadierei
Why it deserve to be in your home: it’s always been there, and dare are I say, the quintessential house plant in generations past. Their fleshy leaves come in all shapes and sizes and they don’t ask for much. You can loop the bendy woody stems round and round itself, on a trellis or hanging off a shelf. They grow reasonably quickly and from time to time, a mature pant will put out a bouquet of tiny, almost porcelain flowers with a divine fragrance.Secrets for good growth: Allow surface to dry out between waterings and repot only when absolutely necessary.
See also: “Indian rope hoya” | Hoya carnosa compacta
5. “Giant bird of paradise” | Strelitzia nicolai
Why it deserves to be in your home: think spectacular green leaves fanning out from a single stalk. Once mature it does require it’s own designated spot. Sit back and feel those lush, beachy, palm springs vibes.
Secrets for good growth: Give as much light as possible without being in direct sunlight, mist regulary for extra humidity.
See also: “Banana tree” | Musa spp.
6. “Air plant” | Tillandsia spp.
Why it deserves to be in your home: aside from airplants being a great conversation starter, they are so easy to care for, and incredibly deocrative. They can simply perch on a windowsil, tabeltop or be attached anywhere with a bendy wire. They are low maintenance and great in adding a point of difference in your collection.Secrets for good growth: If the leaves are curled inwards at the edges it’s a sign that they need a good dunking in water. I usually fully submerge them anywhere between 15-40 minutes weekly to fortnightly, shake off excess and let dry in a well ventlilated room.
See also: Tillandsia xerographica
Why it deserves to be in your home: Its trailing or climbing capabilities, hardiness in varying light conditions and easiness to propagate satisfies novice and advanced plant owners alike. Drape the vines effortlessly down a shelf or train them up a trellis as a living room divider.Secretes for good growth: grows faster with more light, trim and and replant for a bushier plant, grow a few stems in a vase of water indefinitely.
See also: “Satin pothos” | Scindapsus pictus