Houseplants for beginners

It’s impossible to flick through the pages of an interiors magazine without seeing beautiful spaces adorned with healthy-looking and inspirational house plants. Gone are the days when we’d forget water a lone peace lily on a bookshelf in a far-flung corner of our homes – indoor plants are more popular than ever thanks to their ability to breathe life into a room and instantly affect our mood.

Sunny conservatories
While it can be tricky getting plants right in a conservatory – too hot in summer, too cool in winter, you can play around with creating some wonderful plant displays. The excellent light means the plants you chose for this room will thrive. Palms, dragon plants and spider plants make for some architectural interest, and you can experiment with hanging baskets to give interest at different heights.

Succulents, which conserve moisture and are therefore great for bright spots, are a great way to add colour all year round. Fruit trees, such as lemons, are fabulous additions, with year-round colour and the prospect of something good to eat!

Dark spaces
North facing sitting room or spare bedroom? You may think no plant will survive without the full sun on its leaves, but you’d be wrong, and even the least green fingered among us will have success growing shade-loving plants.

You’re not limited to ‘boring’ plants, even in a dark space. Indeed, you’ll want to bring as much colour to the space as possible and you can do this through carefully choosing your plants. Indoor begonias, especially polka dot, have beautiful, spotty leaves guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

Cast iron plant, golden pothos, begonias, ivy and even some cacti adore a little bit of shade and will thrive in the sunless spots in your home. For impact, try a parlour palm, which grow to up to 2.5 metres – a show stopping addition to your indoor space.

Windowsill warriors
There’s not much better than looking out over your windowsill into the garden, coffee in hand. Making your windowsills sing with colour is a simple task but be careful to choose the right plants for the sun exposure. Orchids are a firm favourite, but make sure they are positioned on an east or west-facing sill.

Pilea perperomiodes (missionary plant) have pops of round leaves and are sure to brighten up your view, while streptocarpus may be native to South African woodland, but they love bright light on a west-facing windowsill. Flaming Katy will bring a splash of colour and is easy to look after and the Kalanchoe tomentosa (panda plant) has velvety leaves grey leaves you’ll never tire of looking at.

Whatever the light and space in your home, you can find a plant to suit your needs.