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House plants for the black thumb

by Jane Lampe |  | 1 comment

In the indoor plant world, there are two types of people:

1. The Green Thumb

2. The Plant Killer, otherwise known as the "black thumb".

While I'd like to think I'm a lovely green thumb, horrifically I *sometimes fall into the plant killer category.

I love my plants!! They make my home seem so much more homely and alive, but I hate to admit I do treat them with a bit of neglect.

While you may think that plants are really just nice to look at, they are actually a really important element to have in your home, especially at the moment as we are spending so much time there!! 

According to Fran Bailey in The Healing Power of Plants, plants play such an important part in our homes and workplaces, including:

  • Filtering our air of toxins
  • Adding humidity to our heated homes
  • Lifting our moods by simply having living things around us
  • Increasing productivity and concentration in the workplace
  • The can help us get better when we are unwell
  • They can literally bring a room to life!

So as you can see, the only valid reason I can see to not have house plants, is because you can't keep them alive?

Well for all you "plant killers" you no longer have an excuse! I've compiled a list of plants (with the help of our trusty plant bible Leaf Supply) that are so easy to keep alive, even I can keep them alive!

1. Monsteria

Photo Credit: @hiltoncarter

Photo Credit: @leafsupply

What are great about them?

I've always had the most luck with monsterias! And the beauty of them is they look fantastic and make your room look very stylish!!

They like to stretch out a lot which I love, so they can create a great jungle feel in your home!! I have one hanging on my wall in a pot and it looks fantastic! And I bought it about 16 years ago and it's still alive, so that's saying something!

How much light do they like?

Monsteria like lots of light, but not too much direct light so they get burned.

How much water do they like?

They usually like a good soak every week or so, but make sure the top soil is completely dry before you water them.

2. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)

Photo Credit: Plant Nomad

What are great about them?

Peace lilies are great, because they don't need a lot of light! So if you have any corners of your house that are a bit dark and need a bit of brightening up, these are perfect! I especially love the giant ones, they have really striking, lush looking leaves.

I have a particularly dark corner of my flat, and after trialling about 5 different plants, I've finally found a keeper in my giant peace lily! 

How much light do they like?

You can put these in the darker corners of your house and they will be fine. However, if you do give them more light they will be more likely to flower!

How much water do they like?

The great thing about peace lilies is that they will literally tell you when they are thirsty. Their leaves will go really limp. As soon as you water it, it will perk up again!! I'd say a good soak every couple of weeks. 

If you give it too much water it's leaves will go brown.

3. Zanzibar 

Photo Credit: @mowglistudio

What are great about them?

They are strong and hardy, and tough as nails. Seriously, if you can kill one of these you have no hope. They have a nice bright green foliage.

How much light do they like?

Like the peace lily, they don't need a lot of light.

How much water do they like?

A good soak about once a month is all it needs!

4. Rubber plant

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Photo Credit: Hilton Carter

What are great about them?

A bit of red adds a different texture and colour to the room, and they also get nice and big, and sculptural looking!

How much light do they like?

These guys do like a bright spot.

How much water do they like?

Once a week is fine.

5. Hoya Plant

Photo Credit: @leafsupply

What are great about them?

Don't tell the others, but my Hoya plant is my favourite. It's a great one for a shelf, or a hanging pot, because it's foliage spills over and looks lovely. It has a waxy leaf, hence why it is sometimes called a "wax plant".

How much light do they like?

You can get away with putting it in a darker spot. But once it has a "spot" try to leave it there if you can. I have mine hanging on a ledge in my kitchen.

How much water do they like?

Once every fortnight or so - maybe less in the winter! They need good drainage too.

6. Palm trees

What are great about them?

Palm trees add a really elegant, tropical vibe to the room, and a good meaty palm packs a lot of punch! Perfect for a corner of your lounge.

There are many different varieties of palms, but my favourites are a kentia or golden palm.

How much light do they like?

Palms like low-moderate light. But they do need at least some natural light to flourish.

How much water do they like?

Once every fortnight or so - maybe less in the winter! Make sure the pots drain well.

Photo Credit (both photos): Hilton Carter

There are sooooo many other plants to choose from for your homes!! This is just a handful, but we have some great books on our website that will give you so much inspiration for your place. 

We've got Leaf Supply, and Indoor Jungle by Sydney based Lauren Camilleri and Sophia Kaplan! These fab books explain all about all the fantastic indoor plants you can get for different spaces, and how to look after them in very easy to understand instructions, with beautiful photos to show you what they look like.

These gorgeous books also take you through some fantastic homes of plant lovers, if you need a bit of inspo for what might work at your place!

Hilton Carter, who is based in New Orleans, has an amazing eye for plants and styling, and his books Wild at Home and Wild Interiors teach you how to choose the right plants for different areas of your home, and how to care for your plants in all types of conditions!

Wild Interiors has even more homes to show you how the plant obsessed live.

Plant Style by Alana Langan and Jacqui Vidal of Ivy Muse in Melbourne take you through your house, room by room, and shelf by shelf, suggesting the right plants for your home, and how to care for them!

And finally, Fran Bailey's The Healing Power of Plants is a whole lot of plant info in a tiny little book!! It also talks about flowers too, and tells us all about plants that are good for your well-being, plants for a good night's sleep, and plants to reduce stress.

We have lots of great plants on our website too!

Comments (1)

  • Priscilla Millner on October 27, 2020

    Thanks for the watering tip for the Peace lily. I think I’m over watering mine! Great article.

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