2. African violet
African violets are almost the ideal indoor plant. They’re sweetly compact, bloom copiously for long periods and seem to thrive on very little care. However, with a small amount of love and the right position, they’ll reward Mum with pretty flowers in shades of pink, purple and mauve for months on end. They love a spot that’s well-lit and warm, but away from direct sunlight. Like cyclamen, they hate getting their leaves wet, so it’s best to water them from the bottom, by sitting the pot in a saucer of water until the soil draws up the amount of moisture it needs, then discarding any excess. A little regular houseplant food will also keep them in top condition.
3. Moth orchid (Phalaenopsis)
Moth orchids come in a variety of sizes and colours, adding a touch of elegance to any room and maintaining their exquisite blooms for up to four months. Despite their fragile looking beauty, they are actually very easy-care and not too fussy about low light. Moth orchids are potted in bark or moss and should only be watered when the potting medium feels dry to the touch – they hate being too wet!
4. Guzmania (Bromeliad)
Although many bromeliads prefer to be outdoors, the guzmania is happy to be inside in a warm, well-lit position. And what a spectacular indoor specimen it is! With long, glossy green leaves and big, colourful flower spikes in shades of red, scarlet, yellow and orange that can last for several months, the guzmania likes a warm, well-lit position, with moist soil and the occasional addition of a slow-release or liquid fertiliser.
5. Peace lily
The peace lily, with its glossy green leaves and sculptural, white, lily-shaped flowers is ideal for less well-lit indoor spots. It’s on our Top 5 list because it’s virtually indestructible. Certainly, it will wilt and look sad if you forget to water it, but it doesn’t hold a grudge and responds well to a little attention – regular (but not too much) watering and occasional fertilising and removal of dust on the leaves. It really is a fuss-free indoor plant that will provide a little oasis of green – and peace – to Mum’s home.