We’re not going to bore you – you’ve undoubtedly heard about the various benefits of having house plants: they purify air, improve our sleep, aid our respiratory function and, of course, add interest to any room.
But an unplanned visit to your local garden centre (or IKEA) for an impulse purchase can leave you with a house plant which causes you hassle and, in the end, leaves you with a very sad, feeble, and failing specimen. We won’t mention the feeling of failure you’ll harbour after neglecting a living thing you were actually responsible for!
Fear not, budding horticulturist – we’re here to pair you up with the plant of your dreams…
You like things to be aesthetically pleasing, challenging to care for and the thought of a mainstream house plant from IKEA makes your toes curl. We recommend a prayer plant.
Beautiful, complex and originating from the West Indies, the prayer plant purifies the air but requires a moderate level of care with bright light. Then, at night, it will do this really lovely thing where its leaves all fold together as if it’s scared of the dark. Aw!
You’re conscious of the environment, you know your carbon footprint and there is no vegetable you haven’t heard of (we absolutely salute you!).
There’s only one plant for you – Aloe Vera. Not only does it have good looks in abundance, your home will smell delightful and it’s super useful. Try it as a hair conditioner, make-up remover or a healer for acne and cuts – just be sure to water sparingly.
You like things with a story – antique rugs, vintage paintings by unknown artists, and you perhaps own some sort of tweed-covered cushion, waistcoat or purse. We recommend taking inspiration from the Victorians and investing in a citrus tree. They’re trickier to care for than most, and certainly require sunlight and a warm room – but you’ll be rewarded annually with colourful, sweet smelling fruit and a hearty dose of satisfaction that you grew it all yourself.
For those who can’t be trusted…
So you’ve read through all of the above. You still think it’s too much work. We still have the plant for you. A cactus.
A warm-ish spot in your living room, a little water now and then would help – and your cactus will thrive. And if you forget – fear not. They’re succulents, which means they store water and won’t turn brown and rot if you forget about it for a while.