Why get a houseplant? Well, why wouldn’t you? Not only do they improve the appearance of a space, but they have also been proved to increase creativity, boost moods, reduce stress and eliminate air pollutants. So why not get one (or more!) and see whether you notice any changes. Below are our top picks from our office:
Succulents and Cacti
Succulents and cacti are perhaps the most popular among students as they thrive on neglect. Most you can ignore for a month and they will still be perfectly happy. It is very easy to over water them and once you have there is no going back (we learnt this the hard way!), it is much better to underwater them than overwater them.
If you do decide to buy a succulent, it is best to research the exact plant and find out how often to water them, just remember you can’t undo it if you overwater them. It is also recommended to give them succulent food, how often you should do this will depend on the plant.
Our top succulent picks:
There are many different varieties of Peperomia, above are two different types, so you are sure to find one that suits you. These types of plant can easily be put in a cute pot to style them up, it also works well as some hair for Groot!
Aloe is very easy to look after, it is slow growing and only needs watering about once a month. They are a unique looking plant and instantly make a room look more homely.
Orchids come in various colours and sizes. This one is a cute mini orchid. They flower every few months for a couple of weeks and don’t require much maintenance. They are usually watered around once a week or less. You can buy an Orchid fertilizer from any garden centres, some are in a small bottle that need diluting, or you can get a spray bottle and give the leaves a spray every couple of weeks. If you’re planning on going home for a couple of weeks and are worried that no one will be around to water it for you, you can always buy an Orchid food drip feeder which should see it through until you return.
My personal favourite plant is the mosaic plant, the veins on the leaves are stunning, they come in both a green and pink colour. These are very easy to look after, as when they need water they will faint to let you know! They usually need watering around once a week.
These are perfect if you need the plant to tell you when they need watering (I tend to overwater plants so it is helpful to know when they actually need water), but they do require the room to be warm the majority of the time as they can’t stand cold temperatures for long periods. They originate from the rainforest so their natural habitat is warm and humid. Another consideration before getting one is that they do need watering around weekly (or when it’s fainted), and if it isn’t watered, then it will die off.
Spider plants are known for being very easy to care for, it is very hard to overwater them but also they can survive well with little water. If you water it well before leaving for a few weeks, it likely will be fine until you get back! Another good thing about these is that as they get bigger, they will start creating mini spider plants on the stems (see third photo above). You can then cut these mini ones off and plant them in some soil, add a little water and you have another spider plant, but watch out as you may end up with a lot more spider plants than you intended! The middle photo is one of the babies from the big spider plant which we potted and is thriving.
There are many varieties of Calathea which means that there are many different leaf shapes, sizes and colours available, the photos above are three different varieties which we have in our office to give you an idea. They need watering around once a week and if they aren’t getting enough water, their leaves will begin to curl up which is an indication that you need to give it a water.
These are perfect for anyone who is around enough to give it a water (or has a housemate who will be there). However, if you do leave the house for an extended period and it hasn’t been watered, leading to the leaves curling up considerably, they usually do come back if you give it a decent water, but this will of course depend on how long you it has been left with no water.
Devils ivy is easy to care for and looks stunning when drooping from the top of a wardrobe or cabinet. They can tolerate most light conditions too. They are usually lightly watered about once a week but they will be fine if left for a few weeks unattended too, just made sure you give it a water before you go. They can grow quite fast, if you find that it is getting too big, just simply cut off it back to the desired length.