Best houseplants for beginners

Best houseplants for beginners

Brighten up your life with houseplants

The last few years have seen a huge rise in houseplant sales as we strive to connect to nature and improve our well-being by tending plants. Houseplants vary in the amount of care they need to thrive; cactus can survive a certain amount of neglect but at the other end of the scale a Maidenhair Fern needs to be regularly watered and it’s leaves misted with tepid water otherwise its delicate fronds will quickly dry out. Houseplants can bring life to an otherwise uninspiring space, try grouping several together to create impact, they will generate their own microclimate and need less watering.

Best beginners for a hot sunny indoor windowsill

Aloe vera come from desert regions so thrive on a hot sunny windowsill. It does not need much water so it’s ideal if you don’t have a lot of time to devote to tending houseplants. When it gets large enough to re-pot use a dedicated cactus compost. It has a soothing sap so ideal if you get burned, just snip off the tip of one of it’s leaves and apply to the burn. If you have a sunny kitchen windowsill this would be an excellent position as not only would it thrive in the hot sun but the kitchen is where you would be most likely to be burned. 

aloe vera

Best beginners houseplant for a shady spot in the house

Boston Fern Nephrolepis exaltata 'Bostoniensis' is a lovely fern with arching stems and can reach a large specimen, about 2ft across. It would be ideal for a bathroom or kitchen as it loves a humid atmosphere. Keep the compost just damp and spray with tepid water every couple of days. If it’s allowed to dry out it will quickly start to drop its fronds. Make sure it is not placed anywhere that receives direct sunlight otherwise the delicate fronds will burn.

Best beginners houseplant

Spider plants are the ideal houseplant for beginners as they are tolerant of a little neglect. They like a sunny position but away from direct sunlight, this can scorch the tips of their leaves. Keep just evenly damp and wait for the surface of the compost to dry out before watering again. If you live in a small space they look fantastic placed in a hanging pot especially when they start to produce little plantlets. These plantlets can be separated from the parent and planted up in a good peat-free houseplant compost, once they have grown a little they make super gifts for birthdays or Christmas or just because.

These suggestions are just a tiny percentage of the houseplants we stock here in store, other easy plants include Phalaenopsis, succulents, Kalanchoe, air plants and African violets. Our Houseplant Department staff are only too happy to talk you through your options.

Angela Slater

Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas.