How to look after houseplants
PUBLISHED: 12:02 24 January 2018
Houseplants are a hot interior trend at the moment and can completely transform a room - but they have their downsides! Gardener and broadcaster Toby Buckland delivers his expert advice
Houseplants are the greenery ‘de jour’, cleaning air and bringing a feeling of life and wellbeing to our homes. That’s the upside; the down is mud on the floor, drips on the carpet and, worst of all, those tiny fruit flies that zip around whenever you brush by a leaf. A pot saucer and a mini Haws-style watering can is the solution for the first two problems; fruit flies are harder to remedy. They love peat-free compost, so if necessary exchange for soil-based John Innes 3, or cover the surface where flies lay their eggs with a generous topping of horticultural grit to block their path.
If you still have a cyclamen and poinsettia knocking around from Christmas, don’t feel guilty once past their best. They’re seasonal for a reason – put them on the compost and exchange for a longer-lasting flowering peace plant that has lustrous dark green leaves and produces a continuous succession of snow-white spathes. Or plump for the most fashionable houseplants of all – cacti and fleshy-leaveed succulents. Perfect for a sunny windowsill, there are dozens from domes, paddles and columns to collect.