In our South Yarra store, we often get asked which indoor plants are the easiest to care for. For those lacking a green thumb, we have come up with our top three house plants which require as little love as possible!
Peace Lily / Spathiphyllum
With its full and luscious glossy green leaves and small white blooms, the peace lily looks beautiful all year round. This makes it the ideal house plant, along with the fact that it is very easy to tell when it needs a water. When the spathiphyllum needs a drink, it’s leaves will droop but this is quickly and easily fixed.
The peace lily will need to be watered no more than once a week and even less in cool climates. It loves well drained soil so be sure to let the soil dry out in between watering and be careful not to over water. It does well with regular fertilizing and enjoys a humid environment such as a bathroom.
Tip – The peace lily prefers bright filtered light but can also do well in low light levels which make it an excellent house plant.
The succulents which do best indoors are naturally green, whilst ones which are brighter shades of red, purple and orange prefer full sun. Succulents are drought tolerant plants which means they don’t require much water to survive and store water in their fleshy leaves or stem. It also means that they prefer a sunny climate so do best if they are positioned on a bright windowsill or positioned where they can enjoy sunshine for long periods.
Succulents despise wet roots so the quickest way to kill it is by overwatering. Remedy this by planting in a pot with drain holes and watering using the soak and dry method. When the soil has completely dried out soak the soil completely and don’t repeat until the soil has completely dried out again, usually every 2-3 weeks.
Did you know you can easily grow new plants from a succulent cutting? If you have a large succulent outdoors, simple cut off a small stem, pop the stem in a pot of soil and the cutting will put down roots. Easy!
Tip – You may notice the lower leaves of your succulent drying and falling off the plant. This is completely normal! All plants lose their lower leaves, and this is nothing to worry about.
We understand, you’d love a flowering plant which is easy to care for. That’s where the elegant phalaenopsis orchid comes in.
Again, the phalaenopsis orchid is a plant which requires very little water. In fact, sometimes customers bring their beloved orchids into our store crying out for advice because they can’t keep them alive. Nearly every single time the roots are sopping wet which is a sure-fire way to kill them.
We recommend phalaenopsis orchids are kept in their garden pots as they like to be root-bound. The pots can then be styled inside a larger pot of your choice or a glass vessel lined with bush moss. Orchids also love the soak and dry method. To water we recommend removing the garden pot from the larger pot, soaking in water and letting the water drain out completely before returning to its display pot. You will only need to do this every fortnight or so when it has dried out completely.
Phalaenopsis orchids are a tropical plant so they enjoy a warm humid climate, away from drafts and away from direct sunlight. They’re a bit fussy like that, but once you find the perfect home for them you will find they’re easy to care for.
Tip – Pick the lower flowers off as they wilt and dry up. Eventually you will be left with a bare stem. Cut the stem down to just above the third node (little brown bump on the stem) and continue to fertilize and care for the plant as you would if it were flowering. It will repay you with beautiful blooms again within a year.