Houseplant style tips
I grew up with a house full of houseplants. As the child of a diplomat we moved countries every couple of years, and my mother would put great effort into making the rental houses and flats feel homely. The way she did this was to cover the house with textiles and fill it from top to bottom with plants – I mean insane amounts of plants – jungle level. I remember my father saying ‘right that’s it, you’re not to spend another lire / franc / kroner on plants’, and the minute his back was turned she would sneak off to the garden centre to fill a few gaps she’d spotted in the hallway.
There’s no doubt that my love of all things botanical comes from my mother, though unfortunately she didn’t pass on her green fingers. I own lots of house plants at a time but I have been known to kill off even a cacti.
So! Here is a list of some of my favourite and most indestructible houseplants – fill up your shelves, floors and windowsills with a wide variety to give your home that ‘jungle’ look.
String of Pearls
The String of Pearls, below, has survived living with me for quite a while now, enough time to feature heavily in my work.
String of Hearts (Rosary Vine)
The String of Hearts is also a brilliant trailing houseplant which adds a bit of contrasting colour from the aubergine backs of the leaves. Do not overwater!
Don’t underestimate the rubber plant! These guys grow enormous and are fairly sturdy and easy to grow. They do need decent light, though.
Ferns are actually not that easy to look after but if you do, you’ll reap the rewards. They offer huge swathes of such a vibrant green – you just have to remember to mist them!
Finally, succulents. Cactus have made a huge comeback in recent years, in instagram and real life, we can’t escape them! There’s a reason though. Easy to grow, structurally interesting, the frisson of risk from getting too close to the spikes… they’re fun and easy and great for kids to get growing.
Final tip – don’t limit plants to downstairs! They’re lovely to have around in the bedroom and bathroom too if you have space.