Image source: http://www.whatoliviadid.com/2016/10/interview-with-lizzie-evans-smug.html
If you have not really had indoor plants before or have been unsuccessful with them in the past, I am sure you associate indoor plants with only the big leafy plants that are either messy, hard to maintain or end up looking tacky. Indoor plants are generally dismissed from the typical household because people think that in reality they won't look as good as the ones you see in beautiful styled homes in magazines. However you don't need difficult plants to bring living greens into your home and create the fresh, relaxed homely atmosphere that only plants can bring. Whatever your experience is with plants, their are ones that are perfect for you.
The health benefits of living with plants
Firstly, let me lure you into the world of indoor plants by making sure you know just how good they are for you! Being around plants (aka. nature) improves concentration, memory and productivity. Being “under the influence of plants” can increase memory retention up to 20 percent, according to a University of Michigan study.
Indoor plants have also been shown to reduce cold-related illnesses by more than 30%. This is due to their effect of increasing humidity levels and decreasing dust. Even better news, people with plants in their homes have improved mood, less stress, and plants have been known to contribute to lower blood pressure.
In addition to filtering chemicals, plants also put out clean air by absorbing CO2 and releasing Oxegen, improving the air quality around them. This can stop you from getting headaches and help you sleep better.
Cacti and Succulents
My two favourite go-to types for starting off with indoor plants are succulents and cacti, as they are small and easy to handle, happy indoors and extremely low maintenance. These little guys happily grow in almost any container making them extremely versatile, so you can get really creative and tie it into the theme of your space really easily. Succulents absorb CO2 and produce oxygen all day and night, becoming a natural air freshener.
In is very important when picking your Cacti and succulents that you make sure they are for indoors and filtered light. There are many species that love to be out in the sun, so be sure you select the right ones and you won't go wrong with keeping them happy and healthy.
image source: https://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/stories/15-great-plants-terrarium-your-home-or-office
Hardy leafy plants
Outside of cacti and succulents, there is a huge variety of leafy plants that love the indoors and are seriously low maintenance. Here are my top 3 picks!
1. Boston Fern - These guys love the bathroom as they like the warm humid air an they look great in there! So long as you water them weekly they will flourish in any spot of your bathroom.
Image source: https://patch.garden/plants/boston-fern-111/
2. Pothos - This climber comes in a variety of leaf colour combinations and is just the hardiest plant I know! Find the darkest place in your house or office and it will survive it! You can even cut a bit off and put it into a jar of water and it will continue to grow as a water plant - no soil required! These guys look great hanging, cascading down a shelf, on a pot stand or just spread on the floor. If you have a dark room AND your bad a remembering to water plants, this is your guy!
3. Chinese Evergreen
Nice and compact, big no-fuss leaves, this guy is super cute and will brighten up any room. Water him when you remember and he should be fine! Making it a great option for those that need their plant to handle neglect pretty well!!
Image source: https://www.ftd.com/the-chinese-evergreen-plant-by-ftd-basket-included-prd/c28-4892
After you have developed your green thumb for indoor plants, here is where you graduate to! If you are good at remembering to water your plants and have spots in your place with some great natural light, its time to get one of these beauties into your home. They will transform your large living spaces by giving them the serious wow factor. Not quite there yet? Most of these plants are sold as fake ones in stores like Adairs and Freedoom, and I tell you - they look very real! So instead of missing out, have your little pants real and your big ones fake ;)
The monstera has one of the most recognisable leaves when it comes to indoor plants. This guy says 'tropical summer holiday' like no other plant. While this plant is still quite hardy, it does need some care to help it grow nicely. Stakes help this plant from growing all in one direction and falling over! Note that it's big leaves will always position towards the sun, so keep that in mind when choosing a spot for it.
Image source: https://www.houseofhome.com.au/blog/monstera
2. Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree
These trees are just so beautiful with their big bright green leaves. You can prune them to keep to a size that fits your place. It's important that they get a good dose of daylight each day, but not direct sunlight - this will damage their leaves. As this is a tree, you will need to do seasonal fertilizing and trimming to keep it happy and healthy.
image source: www.theeverygirl.com
3. Mature Cactus
Like all cacti, big ones are quite easy to maintain. They need little water and a decent amount of filtered light. Large cacti are absolutely striking, I just love the feel they give to a room. However, there are a couple of reasons why you shouldn't jump straight into a big cactus as your first one, firstly they aren't cheap! Cacti are very slow growers making them relatively expensive for a big one like this. Also there is a nack to learning how to water these guys, so you want to start small. While they don't need much water, most people under water their cacti. Other things to note for big cacti, you need to know when to up their pot size, have really good drainage for them and if you want to re-position them, you need to do it slowly. A dramatic change in light can really upset these guys.
I hope I have inspired you to get some of these beauties in your home, because no matter where you live, there is an indoor plant that would flourish in your home.