You don’t need to be an expert gardener or have a large space at your disposal to create an oasis of green inside your home. You just need to choose the right plants.
When the nights begin to draw in, you might start to miss the great outdoors: long walks in nature, meals al fresco and even simple strolls around the park, which undoubtedly restore us both physically and mentally. If this sounds familiar, why not bring some green space into your home? This way you can beat the autumn blues and, at the same time, purify the air, promote relaxation and bring a personal touch to your home. There are many more beautiful and easy-to-care for indoor plants than we can possibly imagine, even for those of us who are not green-fingered. Below are some of our all-time favourites.
Cacti and Succulents
Ideal for those of us who are not so green-fingered or those with little time to dedicate to the home, these can be placed anywhere, even in rooms that don’t get much natural light. They seduce us with their variety of shapes and colours and require no special attention: in the winter months you barely need to water them, however, avoid water collecting in the dish at all costs. To create a more striking effect, group together pots of fatter plants or create compositions with smaller cacti, or – if you are short on space – place the pots on the window sill (as long as they are not too close to a radiator).
Sanseveria (or snake tongue)
With its characteristic, long, marbled leaves, sanseveria is very easy to grow and extremely adaptable. It flourishes with either little light or full sunshine, its only requirement is a dry climate – note that it originates from southern Africa - and moderate watering. When properly cared for, you may be lucky to see small, fragrant, white flowers appear in the summer months.
Peace Lily (spathiphyllum)
Due to its periodic flowering and ease of care, the Peace Lily has become a popular houseplant. And that’s not all it can offer. This beautiful, ornamental plant also helps to purify the air in the house, absorbing volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which cause so-called indoor pollution. It favours shade and humidity: especially in winter, when central heating tends to dry out the air. It is therefore important to water it regularly (the soil mustn’t dry out) and spray its leaves with filtered water once a week. Its ideal environment? A bathroom with little natural light.
Saintpaulia or African Violet
The attractive African Violet is not hard to please: its small root system means it is happy to be kept in a small pot. It can be placed anywhere in the house (provided it’s not too dark or exposed to direct sunlight) and requires regular, but not too frequent, watering. Avoid water collecting in the dish to prevent root rot. The name Saintpaulia comes from the German colonel, Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire, who discovered it in Tanzania at the end of the 19th century. He was fascinated by it and decided to introduce it to Europe.
With its attractive sheen, the Yucca brings joy to any home. It is no accident that it’s also known as “trunk of happiness”. Like all plants originating in hot countries, it should never be allowed to get cold, so it’s best to place it near a window away from air currents. In winter, it should be watered occasionally, don’t let the soil dry out completely, while in spring and summer give it plenty of water (if you have a balcony or terrace you can also put it outside). There are several varieties that can reach considerable heights: generally, the indoor variety doesn’t exceed two meters.
Growing Aloe at home means not only having a beautiful decorative plant but also a natural remedy for minor scratches and burns. The gel contained within the fleshy leaves of this plant has been famous for its many properties (soothing, regenerating, moisturising, etc.) since the time of the Egyptians. When required, do not be afraid to cut a leaf off to extract a small amount of gel; the wound on the plant will seal up and heal. As for care, place the pot away from air currents and keep the soil dry enough for the leaves to remain succulent.
Last but not least, a vital part of your sanctuary is décor. Go for natural materials and fabrics. Just like plants, natural fibres also “live and breathe”. They contribute to creating a healthy microclimate and help your home flourish.
Did you know?
On the subject of plants and gardening, did you know that COEX fabrics have the potential to biodegrade? Using technology that is 100% natural and biodegradable, COEX fabrics (within certain parameters regarding weight and weave) can be turned into compost and used as organic fertiliser.