The mother spider plant is nothing without her dangling spiderettes, so she looks best on a shelf or mantlepiece. Put it in a bright room but out of direct sunlight. You can create more by putting some spiderettes in pots next to it, cutting them away from their mum once roots have formed.
Succulents need light and heat and it can certainly get hot in the kitchen! A north-facing window gives you all the light they need. Treat them to the occasional watering with the cool dregs from your kitchen kettle. Aloe vera is handy for minor skin cuts or scalds – wash wound, then break off a leaf and rub the oozing gel into it.
How to care for indoor succulents
Watering depends on individual needs. Push a pencil about 10cm into the potting mix and, if it comes out with crumbs, there’s enough moisture there. If it’s clean, water the plant mix.
There’s always a corner or void in a room where no piece of furniture can fit or be functional. Consider a large, green and glossy philodendron – it adds colour, charm and needs only the occasional wipe to clean off dust. Aim for bright, indirect sunlight near a window where the sun’s rays don’t actually touch the foliage.
Feed indoor plants with liquid fertiliser (dilute according to instructions) once a fortnight in spring and summer and monthly in autumn and winter.
The architectural structure and shiny, dark green foliage make Zanzibar gem, or ZZ, an attention getter. Make it a statement plant on a tall stool or a long, lean planter in a warm, well-lit spot.
Is the ZZ plant hard to kill?
It copes with deep shade but grows more slowly when deprived of light. It’s one for the spotlight!
The cast-iron plant is as tough as its name suggests – except when exposed to direct sunlight. Put it in a shady corner well away from windows. If your bedroom curtains or blinds are often closed, this is the place. There it can grow up to 1m tall, even when you forget to water it. Allow potting mix to dry out between waterings.
Too much direct sun scorches your hardy, ruby-tinged rubber plant but it sulks in the shade. Apply the Goldilocks treatment – let it rest near an east-facing window as the morning sun is just right! It likes a damp but not too moist environment – so apply the ‘pencil test’ to check whether it needs water.
Maidenhair fern grows naturally in shady, moist corners of your garden. Replicate these conditions indoors by putting one in your bathroom and letting it absorb the moisture filling the air during your showers. If your extractor fan removes moisture, mist air around fern.
Fleshy leaves make sansevieria (aka mother-in-law’s tongue, but that’s a bit unkind) fairly indestructible. It copes anywhere, but to maintain its attractive foliage, bright, indirect light is best. The leaf blades are striking so put it where it’s not crowded out by furniture – perhaps near your front door.
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