1. ZZ plant - Zamioculcas zamifolia
The ZZ plant is known as being ‘virtually un-killable’ and is a super plant for those beginning their houseplant journey. It thrives in low light so is great for a shadier corner of the home with its dark, glossy green leaves helping to add a pop of colour. The only light this plant won’t tolerate is bright direct sunshine. The ZZ plant will survive on minimal water and you must always allow the compost to dry out between waterings (which should be once a fortnight during spring and summer). Feed it once a month and you will have a lovely, healthy growing plant with minimal fuss.
2. Snake plant – Sanseveria trifasciata
This almost indestructible, structural and striking plant is another must-have for the beginner or someone who travels frequently. The snake plant will survive in a shady spot but will really thrive in a sunny location so is perfect for a south-facing windowsill. To keep this plant looking its best, don’t overwater. The snake plant is a succulent which means it can store water in its leaves so always check the compost is completely dry before watering. Make sure it is in very free-draining compost and never allow the roots to sit in water.
3. Aloe vera
Like the snake plant, Aloe vera enjoys a sunnier location and is also a succulent so will only need watering when the top level of the compost has dried out. Make sure the roots never sit in water and that it’s planted in a free draining compost such as one for cacti and succulents. A great bonus to Aloe vera is that it has a gel inside it that can be used to treat many skin conditions including sunburn, burns, skin irritations and insect bites. Simply cut off a leaf, split it lengthways and apply the gel directly to the skin.
4. Jade plant – Crassula ovata
Also known as the money plant, this long-living succulent is supposed to bring money and prosperity to the household. The Jade plant can be bought as a small succulent or as a much larger plant that looks like a mini tree. If you frequently forget to water your plants, then this is the one for you as it prefers to be under watered. The best location for the Jade plant is somewhere with bright but indirect light but in the winter let it have a few hours of direct sun to help minimise leaf drop.
5. Peace lily – Spathiphyllum wallisii
Another fairly easy houseplant to look after with the added bonus of producing pure white flower-like spathes. This plant likes humidity, lower light levels and moist soil so is the perfect partner for the bathroom or a darker kitchen. Although the peace lily requires more watering than the others it will always tell you when it needs a water as the glossy green leaves start to droop. Keep it watered weekly and feed once a month during the spring/summer.