Have you noticed that houseplants are back?
I know they’ve always been around, but they seem to have become much more popular recently, fancy looking photos of them are popping up all over magazines and on places like pinterest.
I like having greenery inside, especially at this time of year when the days are short and not so much time is spent in the garden.
Not only do they look nice, apparently they’re good for you too, they purify the air and help create a restful mood, in the same way that being outside in nature does. Studies have shown that hospital patients in rooms with plants in them have less stress than patients without plants.
Now that all sounds great, but most of us struggle with keeping houseplants alive, or at least in tip-top condition. What seems to help is recognising that they like different conditions depending on where they originate from.
Succulents are one of my favourites, I love all the different leaf shapes. They originate from the desert and are happiest in warm, sunshine, those fat leaves store water and the waxy covering helps to seal it in.
This damp, grey corner of England is a bit of a challenge for them, so I keep mine on the sunniest windowsill and let the soil dry out completely between watering again. It’s also helpful to empty excess water from the pot they’re in a couple of hours after they’ve been watered.
Although the blue-grey ones look nice, the ones with green leaves cope better inside, it’s all to do with being better at photosynthesis.
I bought these tiny ones from Homebase, and was hoping to buy a whole army of them, and at 99p that’s not too extravagant, but these two were the healthiest pair left, so it’s just the two for now.
I’ll pot them on into slightly bigger pots soon and use a multi-purpose compost mixed with grit and a good layer of shingle in the base to help the soil drain.
Happy gardening, Jill
all photos: Jill Anderson