Our houseplant obsession shows no sign of waning, in fact, it goes into overdrive at this time of year, when the trees outside are bare and we’re hunkering down waiting for spring. And it seems it’s not just us. If our Instagram feed is anything to go by, greening up one’s gaff is still as hot as ever as we head into 2019.
It's of no surprise really. The idea of transforming your home into a peaceful, green haven away from the stresses of the modern world makes total sense. And when furniture and art are expensive, a collection of plants makes for a great alternative. And that’s before we even get to the health benefits, and their ability to absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants, and generally make for a healthier home.
Yes, green is good. And if you’re yet to jump on the houseplant bandwagon, then now is the time. The shop is currently brimming with plants, big and small, weird and wonderful. And in case you’re in need of some pointers on where to start, we thought we’d give you a run down of our most popular plants. They're all available to shop online too.
Cacti & Succulents
Without doubt our best sellers. Get the watering and light right and they’re very low maintenance. The odd species of succulent vary, but in general they need as much light as you can give them, the rule being to keep them within a metre of a window as light levels can halve for every metre you move away from it.
They’re known for tolerating drought, but their growth rate is actually dramatically boosted if you water more often in the summer months, once every five days ideally. In the winter, however, when light levels are low, you need to keep them dry so they don’t rot. Watering just once a month is sufficient.
Fiddle Leaf Figs
Popular for their beautiful, large glossy leaves but often a bit tricky to keep alive. They love the light so be sure to position it in a bright, sunny spot in your house, and keep the leaves clean from dust and dirt. If they get too dusty, they can actually ‘suffocate’ as it prevents them from absorbing the light they thrive on. Overwatering your tree can be deadly, so make sure the soil completely dries out between waterings. And they also need plenty of nutrients to grow their large, beautiful leaves so feed them regularly with a liquid fertiliser.
We’ve heard whispers that ferns are going to be big this year. So this is the one we’re championing. Less finickity than other varieties and a super air purifier, this beautifully bushy fern features bright green, drooping fronds that look great in a hanging basket or on the edge of a shelf. Sensitive to watering routines, the soil should be almost always moist except in winter, during which you only need to water when the soil surface is dry. They need a high level of humidity to really thrive so make a great choice for a bathroom.
We love Calathea for their striking patterned leaves reminiscent of an animal print. The leaves stand out on strong upright stems creating a well shaped, pretty plant. Originating from tropical regions, they like relatively stable temperatures (ideally above 15C) and a well-lit position that does not get direct sunlight. You need to keep them well watered, although this can be cut back a little in winter, and they thrive in high humidity, so either keep them in a bathroom, or mist with water regularly.
The likelihood is that you’ve seen these beauties because Monstera Deliciosa's iconic, split leaves have featured extensively as the houseplant trend has gone from strength to strength. And it's safe to say this plant isn't going away anytime soon. They’re relatively easy to grow, can get huge and live for many years. They like a bright spot, and be sure to mist the leaves, particularly if the room is warm and dry. The leaves will also appreciate being given a wash sometimes to keep them clean and dust free. This plant likes a moist but not a waterlogged soil, so in the winter feel the soil before you water it. In the summer you can water more freely.