So all you Cupid’s out there…Valentine’s Day is approaching! Many people give flowers, which I think, is a simple and thoughtful way of expressing to that special someone how you feel. There is something about receiving flowers, it is a gesture that is sure to bring a smile to someone’s face and when you arrange them in your home, you can forever be reminded of that certain someone…But, the sad fact is that the day does come when they end up in the rubbish bin.
So why not give your loved one a House plant this Valentine’s Day?
If proper care and a little bit of love is shown, your humble house plant is sure to stick around for years to come.
Here are my Top 5 selections:
1. Fiddle Leaf Fig
I had to mention this guy, he’s flavour of the month and is gracing every interior and lifestyle magazine. I recently bought my first one from The Fitzroy Nursery on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.
- Prefers a well lit room
- Only water when the pot is completely dry
- When watering submerge the pot in water and give a good soaking
- Dust leaves occasionally
2. The Orchid or Phalaenopsis
For a real wow factor (especially when gifting a plant) is to opt for a flowering plant and the Orchid is a perfect choice. They can be a tad temperamental and require a little know-how but the blooms last for months and months and make a perfect styling piece for your home decor.
I once read in order to care for orchids, you need to think like an orchid. These guys thrive in tropical conditions and prefer latching on to other living plants and objects They are ‘epiphytes’. If you can attempt to replicate their natural surroundings you will have a happy orchid that blooms regularly. I am still trying to get my guys to re-flower!
- Needs a warm position with filtered light
- Optimum light but not strong afternoon hot sun
- Loves humidity, get a spray bottle and spray the plant and flowers 10-15 times on occasion
- Air flow around the roots
A lot of store bought orchids are now sold in cheap plastic pots with soaked moss which can promote root rot as the plant is never allowed to completely dry out. When the orchid has finished blooming, you can re-pot using orchid specific potting mixture. Cut away all the dead and blackened roots and remove as much of the moss as you can. For more tips on caring for your orchid follow this link here
3. Cacti and Succulents
A perfect gift to give this Valentine’s Day or any occasion for that matter is your humble cactus or succulent. It would actually require effort to try and kill these little guys and just need a warm and sunny position in your courtyard, garden or window sill.
A cactus guru once told me if you need to wear a cardigan or sweater then don’t water your cactus! They don’t require any watering in the winter months. In summer the occasional water or spritz with a water bottle once a week or fortnight, depending on the heat is what is necessary.
We have always had cacti and succulents in our home, think of it as my tribute to the motherland Texas, but now more than ever these guys are so popular and actually fetch quite a lot of money! My Dad, has the BEST cactus garden with so many varieties and many of them flowering. A shame that he lives on the other side of Australia as I would raid his garden every chance I got. Propagation is relatively easy too, basically you can snap most succulents off and stick them in the ground and they re grow. Cactus are much the same, use tongs to grab them as they can be spiky!
- Don’t overwater
- Neglect them! They’ll love it
- SUN, SUN, SUN for the cactus
- You can buy specialized fertilizer to promote flowering but generally lots of sun does this.
4. Mother-in-law tongue or Snake Plant
The name of this plant is not that appealing, but don’t let that put you off as these plants are so versatile and tolerate all kinds of indoor conditions. I love these plants as they are quite architectural with stiff leaves that stand upright and are basically fool-proof. Over-watering or no water at all will kill these guys.
The Snake plant is the completely green variety and the Mother-in-law tongue has the yellow edging on the leaf.
These plants again are often found in your glossy interior and lifestyle magazines, as they are a Stylist and Designer’s dream. Their sculptural leaves can give height and structure to a space or are substantial enough to stand alone in a large, unusual pot.
- Allow the pot to completely dry out before watering
- In Winter only water monthly, or when the soil is dry to the touch
- Prefers bright light and a warm position
5. Peace Lily
This plant has been a staple in many homes for years and years and I certainly know why. Their luscious, glossy green leaves and white bloom is captivating and they really are quite hardy. My Mr. Peace loves a spot by the window which gets a warm filtered light. On occasions he goes outside to spend a day but is much like me, he despises the HOT sun and you’ll find him wilted and in shock, if left outdoors on a hot day. If this does happen, leave him in a shallow sink of water for a few hours.
- Filtered, warm position
- Hates the hot sun, will wilt and get burnt leaves
- Cut off spent blooms to promote flowering
- Water whenever
So there you go, my Top 5 picks for indoor plants. Try saying I love you with a house plant this Valentine’s Day!