Easy Planting - Ideal for Students (and other novice houseplant lovers!)
Be Inspired by our range of indoor plants. Houseplants are idea for keeping your space bright and fresh – whether it be your bedroom, kitchen or bathroom. They add a unique charm to any room and are beneficial for your health. However, many people can be put off by the idea of committing and keeping houseplants alive, especially if your space is dull or dark. Another concern people always bring to us is how much water their plant needs – there is such a thing as caring too much. On the other side of the coin, there is not watering enough, causing many plants to shrivel, wilt and inevitably die.
But what if we told you that there were some plants that thrive off neglect? Plants that even the most inexperienced indoor gardener would sustain with no trouble. Equally, we understand that it is currently ‘back to school’ season, and many students may be looking for some plants to brighten up and freshen their new dorm rooms. Students lead hectic lives balancing their work with critical social time, and so the last thing they need to worry about is taking care of a needy plant that is incredibly sensitive to its prime conditions.
We have rounded up our very best, easy-care plants for you into one place, to help you pick your next room mate. Read on to find out our expert suggestions.
Cacti And Succulents
Cacti and succulents are right on trend at the moment, and we don’t see them going away any time soon. They are a huge hit in-store, whether as an individual plant or as an arrangement. With the right care, these guys can last for years. These plants are particularly unique as they come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes which makes them suitable for everyone.
We recommend watering all of your houseplants just once a week, but these plants can survive with much less than this. Generally, a splash of water is enough to sustain the above-mentioned, with a little bit more in the hotter months. In Winter, you should let the plant dry out before watering again.
TIP: the soil on the top of your plants will dry quicker than the soil surround the roots, so ensure you check the bottom of the soil either through the drainage holes on your plant pot or by sticking your finger or a wooden stick about a centimetre into the top. If you water the plant when the bottom is still wet, this can cause the roots to rot. This can be applied to the majority of houseplants.
The main difference between cacti and succulents, besides appearance, is that they react to water differently. An underwatered cactus may shrivel, reduce in size and fade in colour. Any of these characteristics are a sign you need to water your plant. An underwatered succulent, however, may have wrinkled and discoloured leaves- almost as if it’s ‘skin’ has lifted. An overwatered cactus actually looks like it is surviving well- it’ll appear plump and full. However, the roots underneath will likely be rotting and eventually, the cacti will follow the path of an overwatered succulent, which go soft and slimy.
This family of plants like a bright spot ideally, but can suffer if in direct sunlight for too long. The perfect place would be on a north-facing windowsill, or somewhere where it avoids an entire day of full sun (for example, south-facing windows would not be ideal in the summertime).
Also known as the snake plant, or mother-in-law’s tongue, Sansevierias are possibly the easiest and most hardiest houseplant to care for. Native to Mexico, Africa and Asia, these plants are built to resist all types of conditions.
Similar to the cacti, your Sansevieria likes to dry out completely before it is watered again. This can usually take about 2-6 weeks, so this plant is perfect for people who travel often, and/or are forgetful planters. They are also resistant to direct sunlight and so are perfect for porches and conservatories. Sansevierias are so easy to look after and can last for a very, very long time.
It’s a well known fact that most dorm rooms are often quite compact, with your bed, desk and wardrobe crammed into the small area. One way to utilise a small space like this is to free space on your shelves and desk (for necessities such as books and folders), and hang your plants. Of course, hanging plants are a brilliant feature for any space and look inspiring at a feature piece on a shelf or bookcase.
Hanging plants come in a variety of shapes and sizes; some bushy and full, with others sparse and trailing. Here are a few of our best sellers:
Also known as the Devil’s Ivy or Pothos, Scindapsus is a flowering plant that features large, green leaves with yellow detailing. They thrive well in low-light rooms, perfect for dark, small, or high-up spots. Another selling point of this plant is that it is brilliant for cleaning your air; brilliant for bottom-floor rooms and flats without opening windows. Watering is simple- a small amount once a week, keeping it on the dry side.
This plant is also very versatile as it can also be grown up a moss pole if you have that little extra room. A moss pole is a hollow, plastic pole covered in fibres which mimic the trees that climbing plants would naturally grow up in the wild. Simply clip or stake the stems of the plant to the pole and wind them around. Regularly mist the pole to keep it moist and your plant will start to naturally grow up it. They can grow up to 10ft tall.
· Hoya Plant
The Hoya plant, also known as the Wax plant, is also a popular flowering plant. It produces clusters of star-shaped flowers that produce a sweet aroma. Hoyas are brilliant for the less experienced or more forgetful gardener as it requires the bare minimum of care to survive. The houseplant likes a bright spot in indirect sunlight- similar to the cacti and succulents. Water only once the plant has dried out (this may be more in summer than in winter).
At Bents, our Hoyas feature a fantastic colour palette- an interesting combination of yellow, green and pink leaves/stems.
· String of Hearts
Dissimilarly to the other hanging plants, String of Hearts is a very long, trailing, sparse plant. It features unique heart-shaped leaves of a silver-green colour, with a purple underside. They grow incredibly quickly, but are no hassle to prune back if necessary. To take care of this plant, keep out of direct sunlight and allow the plant to dry out in between watering. If overwatered, the leaves can start to fall off and mould can grow underneath the base of the stems, on top of the soil.
The Cheese plant (officially, the Mostera Deliciosa), is a foliage plant of unique characteristics. Its large, separated leaves are very recognisable as a key feature in a lot of modern, Scandinavian style homes, but are a great addition to every room no matter what the style or size. These plants start small, but can grow up to 10 feet tall on a moss pole. They can survive without one until they get to a large size, but eventually this plant will need to be trained onto a moss pole so its aerial roots have something to cling onto; in the wild, these plants use other plants to climb, and so the moss pole mimics this. The immature leaves at the bottom of the plant will form as a solid leaf, but as the plant matures, the new and taller leaves will unfold with unique splits and holes, which is where it gets it’s nickname as the ‘swiss cheese plant’. Partial shade is ideal for this tropical plant.
Although a little bit of effort is required in order to sustain the plant, you could always bring your plant to a professional, like our Houseplant team here at Bents, and we will happily assist you to add a moss pole to your plant.
For a slightly more confident houseplanter… Ferns
Ferns require a little bit more maintenance than the rest of the plants on this list, and so we recommend it for the more mature (or daring) houseplanter.
Ferns enjoy reasonably dark spots due to their natural habitat usually being in the undergrowth of woodlands, forests and rainforests globally. Their soil likes to be damp at all times- but not waterlogged. It can be tricky to find this medium but it is best to leave the plant until it is on the drier side before watering again, just to be safe. Ferns do like a humid atmosphere (ideal spot: a bathroom), however can easily survive in a bedroom or living room just by misting the leaves. Ferns are also remarkable for purifying air.
Some variations include: the Phlebodium fern (also known as Blue Star). This fern has a unique, finger-shaped leaf with a silver-blue colouring; the Asparagus fern- a fuzzy appearing variation of fern that can be potted into a hanging basket as well as a regular pot; and the Boston fern has a bushy and almost cartoonish appearance that creates a wonderful pop of bright green to any room.
Here at Bents we have an extensive range of quality houseplants as well as expert advice on how to care for them. Just ask any of our house plant colleagues and we will be happy to recommend the best choices to enhance your indoor environment.