Top 10 Indoor Plants (And How To Keep Them Alive)

Your Home and Garden|April 2019

Top 10 Indoor Plants (And How To Keep Them Alive)

Frothy fronds, sculptural stems and bead-like trails of foliage – take your pick from this lust-worthy line-up of living greenery

Carol Bucknell

1 Bird of paradise

We prize them as garden plants in warmer parts of New Zealand but bird of paradise (Stelitzia reginae) is now a rock-star house plant, too.

These tropical sun lovers need warmth and plenty of bright light (3-4 hours a day minimum) to thrive and flower, although you may have to wait a few years for them to bloom. Mist leaves every couple of days to maintain the humidity levels they need. Water regularly but slow it down in winter when their growth slows, allowing soil to dry out between waterings. Likewise with feeding; apply a standard liquid fertiliser every couple of weeks during their active growing period.

Resist the urge to repot too often as bird of paradise are happy with their roots constricted but hate them being disturbed and may stop flowering as a result.

2 Mother-in-law’s tongue

Also known as the snake plant, Sansevieria trifasciata is a tough, low-maintenance succulent with a sculptural upright form that looks great mass planted in a trough or large pot with a free-draining potting mix.

Slow-growing, they prefer a sunny spot but will happily tolerate lower light levels. Water moderately in the warmer months but reduce in winter and never overwater. There are many cultivars, most with some form of their signature marbled foliage.

3 Bamboo palm

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April 2019