Sales in houseplants have seen a steady rise over the past few years. By 2018, there was already a sharp increase in sales of 65%, and 2020 caused a super boom in their popularity. The desire to bring some nature into our homes had everyone rushing online and to garden centres to get their fix, so much so that sales sky-rocketed by 500%! At one point, stock intended to last twelve weeks lasted a mere fortnight.
Unfortunately, not everyone is a natural Alan Titchmarsh and as our social lives came calling again, people found that their spiky green friends soon appeared a little pathetic. Plant parents everywhere have been frantically Googling and posting Instagram stories asking for advice on plant care, and which plants are the low-maintenance heroes they’re searching for. So I’ve put together a list of chilled-out plants to brighten up your home without burdening you with too much responsibility.
This air-purifying beauty is a fantastic place to start. Also known as devils ivy, this plant won’t mind if you leave it in bright, medium or low light environments, and won’t make too much fuss if you leave it to dry out every now and again. It also works well if left to hang and trail or trained to grow up a moss pole. Watching it grow up a pole is exciting, but watching it sprawl and freely find itself when hanging makes for a wilder look.
The spider plant is one of the most recognisable house plants out there, and it’s easy to see why. Not only do they look fantastic as a standalone plant, but the spiky leaves also make it a great addition to every corner of your home. Thankfully it’s not overly fussy about the amount of light it receives, as it survives pretty well in almost all lighting situations. Its thick, tuberous roots retain moisture so well so that it won’t shout if the watering routine is a little slack from time to time.
This may not be one of the more well-known plants, but I’d recommend getting this on your ‘To Buy’ list immediately. Sticking the ZZ in bright sunlight encourages quick growth, but it won’t shrink if you put it in low to medium light situations either. It grows much like a tree thanks to many leaves growing from its stems, but don’t expect huge leaves, as they typically grow a couple of inches in length and an inch or so in width. You can expect a fleshy, deep green leaf which can be mistaken for plastic, funnily enough, it’s almost as easy to look after as a plastic plant.
Written by Tom Loughran