Home Edit: Easy-to-care for indoor plants


The indoor plant trend is booming – who doesn’t want to add instant colour to living spaces, especially during the dreary winter months? Not a green thumb? Not a problem – Emma from Norwood Garden Centre helps us to choose the best easy-to-care-for varieties that promise glossy green leaves with minimal care.

The Expert

Emma Northey from Norwood Garden Centre
Emma is the go-to for all things green, specialising in indoor plants, succulents, herbs, designs, gift plants, terrariums and potted gardens.

Emma’s Top 5 Tough House Plants

1. ZZ GEM Zamioculcus zamiifolia
A brilliantly hardy African perennial that can survive drought conditions due to its water storing stems and root system. This is a must-have house plant, especially for the beginner. Position in bright indirect light and water every two to three weeks in spring/summer, maybe once during autumn and then not at all in winter. The plant is slow growing and is happy in the same pot until it is completely crowded.


2. PHILODENDRON SP, Xanadu and Rojo Congo      
Rojo Congo has gorgeous large shiny leaves with hues of deep orange, red and green. Xanadu is a bushy plant with deep green lobed leaves. Place in bright light and water when the soil becomes dry. These Philodendrons can adapt to many conditions, from bathrooms to bedrooms and outside (placed undercover).

Norwood Plant Centre

3. SANSEVIERIA sp. (AKA Mother in Laws Tongue/Snake Plant)
These very robust plants originate from arid regions of Africa and Asia. Position in very bright to indirect light and water only in the warmer months when the plant is actively growing. This is the perfect low maintenance plant that will multiply and thrive with just the smallest amount of TLC.

Snake Plant

4. DEVILS IVY Epipremnum aureum
A very adaptable climbing or hanging vine that has been used as a house plant for many years. The arrow or heart-shaped leaves have many variations from golden or white variegations to straight green colouring. Water when the soil just starts to become dry and prune when required. This plant will grow in either very bright light or dappled light; it’s one of the most popular house plants due to its toughness and versatility.

Devils Ivy

5. DRACAENA Marginata, Red Edge Dracaena
A native to Madagascar, this sculptural indoor tree grows easily in bright light with good airflow. The architectural shapes of the semi mature trunks and long grassy foliage makes it a great feature plant. The thick trunks can store water making it somewhat resilient to dry spells, although the Dracaena is happier with regular watering every one to two weeks. This plant is slow growing and, with an occasional soil revamp and feed, can remain in the same pot for many years.


Top Tips For Maintaining Your Indoor Oasis

• Generally, house plants will need watering every week, but this is not a fixed rule – check by poking your finger through the soil, when it’s dry to the touch it’s time for a drink.
• Make sure your pot is free draining – the plant will rot if it’s left to sit in water.
• Light requirements differ between species, but as a general rule you should position plants no further than 1.5-2 metres from natural light.
• Remember to clean the leaves, wipe away dust and remove spent leaves and flowers.