If playing The Sims has taught me anything, it’s that having a plant in a room can increase happiness. Other more scientifically back benefits include cleaner air plus improved memory & productivity.
Recently I visited a dear friend in Sweden, when I went into her flat it was brimming with potted plants. The atmosphere was very relaxing and calming & the feeling of being surrounded by greenery was definitely something I wanted to recreate in my own flat.
The only trouble is, save an indestructible Dragon Tree Plant, I’ve killed every houseplant I’ve ever owned. The main problem I think is getting into the routine of watering regularly and as many gardeners say, it’s about having the right plant in the right place.
Some quick searching brought up a decent sized list of easy to care for plants, my flat is a basement flat which is quite dark in most rooms, so shade tolerant plants were a must. The species I went for are:
Sansevieria trifasciata – Mother-in-law’s Tongue This one chosen as it likes it dry so won’t need much watering and it can grow in darker spaces.
Asparagus plumosus – Asparagus Fern Chosen for its gorgeous feathery foliage, needs good sunlight so gets one of my limited sunny spots.
Monstera deliciosa – Swiss Cheese Plant These plants I’ve always loved the look of. The latin name translates to ‘Delicious Monster’ which is just great! They can get very large so I’m going to have to keep it trimmed back for sure.
You can order many plants online but I headed down to a local garden centre to pick up some nice pots at the same time.
The plants I picked up for around a total of £35.00 plus a bag of compost to pot them up with (please use Peat Free compost! New Horizon is a good brand) and some Baby Bio fertiliser. A good idea is to pick up some Water Retaining Granules to mix in with the soil. These soak up water and release it again when the soil becomes dry meaning the plants are less likely to go thirsty between waterings. I bought a groovy little watering can too!
For the pots I wanted plastic or fibre glass over terracotta as they’re much lighter and easier to move. I went for Elho Green Basics Growpot which are a budget pot but actually were the most simple and modern looking, the black pot is more of a dark granite grey which suits the colour scheme in my flat. For 5 Growpots plus saucers it was just under £20.00 which is pretty good going!
Potting up the plants was easy enough (apart from it starting to rain half way through!). I used some bits of crock to cover the holes at the bottom (pieces of broken plates), mixed the Peat-Free Compost with the Water Retaining Granules and put the plants in their new pots making sure the compost was firmed down all around for a snug fit.
I played around with the positioning of the plants in my flat, although I only have limited places they can grow due to availability of sunlight. I’m really pleased with how they look, they make an immediate difference and now I just want them to all get bigger!
The hardest part will be getting into the routine of watering regularly. So far I’ve found they only need watering once a week or less but when summer comes around it will be every other day. With my little groovy green watering can on display it should act as a reminder for me but time will tell.
With the metal rack shelves in my kitchen I’m thinking of making a DIY Macrame Plant Holder so future blog post coming up!