Top 10 easy-care house plants

Indoor plants fill your house with cheer. If you are a new plant owner, there's nothing better than seeing your plant produce a new leaf or flower for the first time. But you do need to give your house plants the proper care and attention. And that is sometimes easier said than done because many people don't know that it's not just about watering your plants. Some indoor plants are very low-maintenance, making life easier for people who aren't blessed with green fingers. Have a look at this list of easy-care house plants that we have put together with you in mind:

1. Rhipsalis

The Rhipsalis is a great little succulent that comes in a range of shapes, so you can enjoy this mistletoe cactus on your coffee table as well as hanging from your ceiling. The coral-shaped leaves and bright green colour give the plant a cheerful look. Position it in a bright spot and water lightly once a week – that's all you have to do to let the Rhipsalis shine. Fill your entire room with these crazy little plants and pretend you're living in an underwater world.

2. Cactus

The cactus is a tough plant that originates from desert areas, so it is used to extreme conditions. As well as being able to handle drought, the cactus can also withstand high and very low temperatures. Position it in full sun where it will get at least five hours of sunlight. The biggest mistake that people make with cacti is either watering them too much or not at all. Although the cactus can handle drought, it does need some water. A splash of water once a fortnight is enough during the growing season and once a month is sufficient for the rest of the year. Every now and again, allow the potting soil to dry out completely before watering again.

3. Aloe vera

The Aloe vera is a popular plant thanks to its healing properties, with its gel being used in increasing numbers of toiletries and medicines. The succulent is very easy to care for. Simply give it a splash of water once every one to two weeks and reduce this to once a month during summer. Leave the soil to dry out completely, just like with the cactus. Place the plant in partial shade where it will still get a few hours of direct sunlight each day. If you want to use the gel from the Aloe vera yourself, simply cut off part of the leaf and squeeze out the gel. The plant will then heal itself.

4. Sansevieria

The Sansevieria will make you feel as if you're on safari at home. Originating in Africa, this plant has hard spiky leaves that look just like an animal's tentacles. Use it to bring a touch of the desert into your home. As the Sansevieria is used to extreme conditions, it needs very little looking after. During the growing season, give it a splash of water once a fortnight and place it in a bright spot. However, you may need to water it slightly more often if the succulent is getting lot of direct sunlight. Always check that the potting soil has dried out completely before watering again and make sure that you don't water the plant too much or too frequently. Practically the only way to kill the Sansevieria is by overwatering, so it's the ideal choice for people who always forget to water their plants.

5. Bromelia

The Bromelia is our flowering favourite! This plant has become extremely popular thanks to the cool pineapple plant, which is part of the Bromelia family and produces a pineapple above its magnificent green leaves. But we think that all the plants in this family are worth a look. The flowering indoor plants have magnificent colours and will add a striking touch in any setting. Just like many flowering indoor plants, the Bromelia likes a light spot, but make sure that you keep it out of the bright midday sun. Keep the plant's potting soil slightly moist at all times and only give small amounts of water at a time. Spraying the leaves and flowers every now and again will keep the plant happy.

6. Dracaena

Is that a real dragon in your living room? No, it's a cool Dragon tree. The Dracaena is another desert plant that also makes an ideal house plant and will add a Western touch to your living room. If you want to imagine that you're in your very own cowboy film, then our star player needs very little help from the rest of the cast. This plant will flourish in either a bright or a shady spot and only needs a splash of water every two to three weeks in summer, dropping to once a month in winter.

7. Kentia

If you want to feel like you're lying on a tropical beach, then the Kentia palm is just the thing for you. You can enjoy its wonderful fronds without having to spend lots of time looking after them. Position the palm in partial or full shade, as too much sunlight will scorch the palm's leaves and turn them yellow. Water once every five days in summer and sparingly once every ten days in winter. The Kentia palm comes from the rainforest so it will enjoy a regular spray with water, which will also reduce the chance of disease and pests.

8. Philodendron

If you're looking for an indoor plant that's easy to care for and still fits with the current greenery trends, then the Philodendron is the obvious choice. The fantastic leaves in all kinds of shapes mean this indoor plant is perfect for modern living rooms. Place this exotic plant in a bright spot and keep the soil moist by watering sparingly every now and again. Overwatering is bad for the plant but it will enjoy being sprayed with water once a week. So you can enjoy a touch of the tropics in your home with very little effort needed.

9. Bonsai

Bonsai trees will add a touch of calm to your home; not just because of their Zen appearance but also because they require very little looking after. These small trees need water when the potting soil starts to feel dry, but make sure that you check down to a depth of around a centimetre. As the soil also needs the right nutrients for Bonsai trees to grow properly, always make sure that you use special potting soil designed for them. You should also feed them during the growing period so that they can develop properly. Repot them regularly to stop the roots becoming pot bound. And make sure that you enjoy these fun little trees, as nothing is more relaxing than sitting by your Bonsai tree and meditating after a tough day at work.

10. Mangave

If you've never heard of a Mangave, then that's hardly surprising as this exclusive succulent is only available from a few plant specialists. It is a cross between an Agave and a Manfreda, creating a hardy plant that retains its colour all year round. The Mangave is in a class of its own, both indoors and outdoors. Water just once a fortnight in summer and once a month in winter. Always let the soil dry out completely before you water again. Keep a close eye on the temperature if the plant is outdoors, as temperatures below -5°C are bad for the Mangave.

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