One of my favourite ever trips was to Vietnam; we hiked through the Sapa National Park and through the jungle that essentially won the war for the Vietnamese. It’s thick tropical jungle, where downpours feel constantly imminent and the wildlife is simply stunning. I think that’s where my love of different looking plants started.
One day we had to walk past a tree covered in tiny red flowers, which we were soon told were very poisonous bugs...I was fasinated by the danger and the beauty all rolled up into one. Since then I've always leaned towards more unusual looking plants; black flowers, blue pollens, hairy spider-leg-like branches are totally up my street.
Number One resembles a miniature jungle; think Little Shop of Horrors and you’re half way there. Each plant has been carefully thought out for it's benefits and therefore placement as well as it's subjective beauty. Not all plants are particularly good for you, for instance, did you know that most plants tend to send out carbon dioxide at night? That might not sound too extreme, but if that plant is in your bedroom absorbing all that good oxygen while you also try to inhale it, it sounds slightly more carnivorous!
Here's what I hope is a handy run down of the plant I own and where they live to help you add a bit more green to your living space. Apparently, having a plant even on your desk improves productivity by between 20-45%. How insane is that! Plus, they always look cool on the ‘gram…so, what’s not to love?
Having an aerial dryer, means that hanging plants are the perfect choice for the Kitchen. But having them hanging up they draw the eye up celebrating the height of the ceiling and our spider light.
Hairy alien hanging plant a.k.a. Mistletoe Cactus
This guy is very popular on my Instagram and is thriving on the aerial dryer because he is used to getting light through a heavy tree canopy. He needs watering once a week, and must sit in it for too long; so he's perfect for minimal care! Everyone that sees him thinks he looks like samphire.
Rabbits Foot Fern
Big and bushy, with creepy stands hanging out of the pot that almost look like hairy spiders legs (officially called rhizomes), this guys certainly looks the part. He fills a lot of space which makes the dryer feel full, even though there are only two plants on there. Plus, he too is easy care and non-toxic to cats and dogs, which is a huge plus!
Named as such because it's near impossible to kill! However it is toxic to cats and dogs, so keep it high and away from any prying paws! This guy is easy to look after and is almost guaranteed to stay green, even in very dim light. This is why he lives the furthest away from the window and still look great.
The living room is the place where we spend the most time and so I like it to be as green as possible. The feeling of the tropics makes me feel like I'm on holiday, especially when I've got a Piña Colada in hand! Here's what we have growing that contributes to my chilled vibes:
This guy is basically in the dictionary next to 'tropical plant'. He's all over Pinterest as he is a great addition to any room. Huge green leaves are an instant trigger for feeling like you are on holiday. Although from the heat of South America, he likes to have some sunlight but nothing too direct as this would turn his leaves yellow. I've also had to give him some support otherwise he falls over to one side (which could also be due to a lack of water!).
These blooms are almost stereotypical in British homes these days, but after a tour around an Orchid farm in near Exeter, I'm totally digging them. Most people don't know that Orchids create vanilla, and can grow in the air as they like to hang from trees. Unexpected and very cool. They do need some TLC in the way of orchid food and the occasional spritz, but nothing too dramatic.
This looks like a palm tree but isn't actually part of that family. It's thin leaves are great for adding a sense of the tropical to any room, plus it doesn't need direct sunlight, so it's perfect for shadier rooms. I water mine once a week, and he happily sits on the mantle piece. It's naturally an air purifier too.
I mean, I had to have this for the name alone, but the pink tipped palm perched at the top of my first staircase is almost indestructable. It barely needs watering although you can definitely tell if he has been! He's toxic to pets but he cleans the air, hence sitting in the hallway - the centre of the house. He clears benzene, formaldehyde, xylene and toluene out of the air...which is pretty cool! He grows slowly but could end up being about 6ft, which I'm hoping for!
This treasure was found in Tesco of all places, and was really cute for a long time. It's hard to know whats up with him now as no more pineapples have been produced, although they can take two years to grow...in the meantime, the low level tropical leaves look cute sitting by the stairs. The benefits of pineapple plants include the fact they produce oxygen and improve the air throughout the night and could aid better sleep because of this!
Aloe Vera's had a bit of a moment recently, and it's no surprise with it's long spiny leaves full of healing gel. They are super easy to look after and I keep ours in the wet room because of the humidity. This means I barely ever actually water it, because the roots can rot so quickly if left to sit for too long. It needs a pot with good drainage, but in return it adds a bit pop of green and a relaxed feel.
Mother-in-Law’s Tongue or Snake Plant
The family bathroom currently houses this beaut, which obviously again I bought because of the name! Realistically they are the lowest maintenance house plants needing water every 3 to 6 weeks and like a humid environment, although that's not essential. They are virtually indestructible and they also purify the air at night like the pineapple plant; filtering out formaldehyde and nitrogen oxide - grim!
Prayer Plant or Calatheo Roseopicta
The purple undersides and stems of this plant make it interesting to look out and a great way to add a bit of natural colour into the room. The growth goes from tight tubes into big flat leaves, which are green and white with a purple underside and merlot coloured stem.
It loves a humid environment, out of direct sunlight. He's non-toxic to pets too, so safe to sit on the floor where he can be big and bushy!
It is however one of the more difficult plants to maintain, and mine currently is feeling a bit sorry for itself needing more regular watering and a more humid environment. So, it's more suited to those with a green finger!
I told you, it’s a jungle in here! For any questions or a few more pictures of my plant obsession, head over to Instagram and ask away!