Posted: 17 June 2020
For anyone unsure on looking after house plants it can be quite daunting. How much water do they require? Do I need to feed them? How much sun do they need? Fortunately, this post will explain the top 5 easiest house plants to look after whether you’re buying your first or 100th!
The Sansevieria or “Snake Plant” is incredibly easy to look after. It will tolerate very long periods with no water or light which makes it perfect for any room or position at home.
The trick with the snake plant is to not over water it. Water it once a month at most and let it completely dry out before even thinking about watering again. With this great benefit of the snake plant, anyone wanting a house plant that requires almost no attention or care will allow you to ease in to collecting house plants as it is a completely stress free process looking after these beauties.
Much like the Sansevieria, most Cactus’ can go very long periods with no water. They do this by storing water in its stems and columns, and protecting these with lots of sharp spines prevents animals from eating them.
Most Cactus you find at garden centres will be perfectly fine sat on a window sill with indirect sunlight and warmth. You will only need to water these once a month during their growing season, March to September, and even less when they become dormant.
There are many kinds of succulents you can buy including Crassula, Haworthia and Echeveria. All of these can be placed on a sunny window sill and don’t require much after care. The trick with watering any kind of succulent is to completely soak the root system either in a bucket of water, a sink filled deep enough to fit the pot in or with a watering can and then letting the excess water drain away. The succulent will then be happy to go without water for a good 2-3 weeks or until the soil has dried out. Repeat this process every time you water them as it closely resembles the rain patterns and soil drainage in the wild.
Calathea are most commonly known for their ability to open and close depending on the time of day. In the day the leaves stand upright and open out, displaying beautiful leaf patterns and colours. At night they fold up and close down to reserve energy as they “sleep”.
Calathea will tolerate indirect sunlight and semi-shady areas of a home which make them perfect for being near doorways, windows or hallways where light is still able to penetrate through the house. Make sure to water them once a week during the warmer weather and less frequently as it comes round to Winter. Make sure you don’t place them next to radiators as this will dry them out completely and most certainly kill them.
Calathea prefer damp/moist, free-draining soil to maintain their shape and structure. They don’t like to sit in water so make sure to remove any excess after watering.
In recent years, the Alocasia has burst in to popularity with house plant lovers and collectors. It comes in a multitude of varieties that resemble animals including Zebra patterned stems and Stingray shaped leaves.
The Alocasia pictured above is known as “Zebrina” after its Zebra patterned stems. Each stem produces large green single leaves much like the Monstera Deliciosa “Swiss Cheese Plant”.
Much like Calathea, Alocasia prefer to have moist soil all the time to prevent its giant leaves and stems from going floppy. Water them at least once a week and make sure they have plenty of drainage to stop the roots from rotting. You can mist them now and again to resemble the humid conditions they would usually be found in.