Who doesn’t love an indoor plant or 10?
Not only do they add a lush, natural accent to your décor, but indoor plants also offer a whole heap of health and lifestyle benefits.
But while we can’t get enough of them, we all know that indoor plants are a bit like pets. They bring us joy but need light, food, love and attention to thrive and stay alive. Put your hands up if you’ve killed off one or two!
The good news is anyone can be the perfect plant parent with the right know-how—and Jack’s here to make it fun and easy.
So, let’s dig in (literally!) and begin your journey to becoming the ultimate plant whisperer—from helping you decide the best flora to pick to showing you how to take care of your indoor plants to keep them perky.
Blooming brilliant benefits of indoor plants
First, let’s dive deeper into the benefits of having indoor plants. After all, if you’re going to put effort into caring for them, it’s good to know your efforts are being rewarded. Here are some of the best:
- They purify the air – Indoor plants are said to be natural air purifiers. They absorb harmful toxins and release clean, fresh oxygen. This means they supply you with better quality air, which is great for your health and wellbeing.
- They reduce stress – Research has shown that being around plants can help reduce stress levels. They have a calming effect on the mind and body, leading to a more relaxed and peaceful environment.
- They boost productivity – Studies have found that having plants in the workplace (or your home office) can increase focus, productivity and creativity as they have a positive impact on mood.
- They improve mental health – Indoor plants have been linked to improved mental health. They can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and promote a sense of wellness.
- They add natural beauty – Let’s not forget the most obvious benefit of indoor plants: they add natural beauty to any space. And with so many different plant varieties, you can create a unique, personalised indoor oasis!
Types of indoor plants to pick
Whether you want to create a lush jungle vibe or just add a pop of colour to your space, picking the right plants is the fun part! So, before we dive into how to take care of indoor plants, let’s find the perfect flora for you.
Plants – The green guys
- Money plant –The money plant is a popular, easy-care indoor plant with distinctive heart-shaped leaves that are glossy and often flecked with shades of green and yellow. It’s also known as devil’s ivy or pothos. They look great in modern and minimalist spaces.
- Palm plants – Palm plants are characterised by their long, thin stems and large, feathery fronds arranged in a circular pattern. They add a tropical vibe to your interiors. Popular varieties include the areca palm, the lady palm, and the parlour palm.
- Jade plant – Jade plants have thick, woody stems and fleshy, oval-shaped leaves that are typically a deep, glossy green. They can grow up to 3 feet tall in the right conditions. It’s also known as the money tree or friendship tree.
- Lucky bamboo – Lucky bamboo is another easy-care plant. It has long, slender stems often twisted or braided into decorative shapes, and its thin, bright green leaves grow along the stem. Into feng shui, this is for you!
- Aloe vera – Aloe vera looks great in modern interiors due to its unique and sculptural shape. Its fleshy, spiky leaves grow in a rosette formation and can store water. Got a cut or burn? Break a leaf for some medicinal goodness.
- Monstera – Also known as the Swiss cheese plant, the monstera is native to tropical rainforests. It’s a great statement plant, boasting large heart-shaped leaves with distinctive splits and holes, giving it a unique holey appearance.
- Fig leaf – The fig leaf is a popular indoor plant known for its large, lustrous leaves that resemble the shape of a violin or fiddle. Pick this fine fellow to add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any space.
Flowers – The colourful ones
- Peace lily – With its lush green leaves and delicate white flowers, the peace lily is a true friend to all who love a little tranquillity in their lives! This pretty flowering plant is tough and resilient, so it is great for indoor plant newbies, but it does best with a little love and attention.
- Lavender – Lavender is known for its soothing aroma and beautiful purple flowers. With its delicate petals and calming scent, it can make your home feel like a day spa. If you want a plant that smells as good as it looks, this species is for you.
- Anthurium – This easy-care exotic indoor plant is a true showstopper with its glossy, heart-shaped leaves and vibrant flowers that come in shades of red, pink, and white. It’s like a tropical getaway in a pot!
- Moth orchids – Moth orchids boast long, graceful stems and beautiful blooms that resemble fluttering moth wings. Over the years, they’ve symbolised fertility, wealth and luxury! They’re great for adding sophistication to your space.
- Kalanchoe – With its succulent leaves and low water needs, the kalanchoe is perfect for busy plant parents. It’s like a burst of sunshine on a cloudy day, with its bright, bold blooms and succulent leaves. Choose from shades of red, magenta, pink, orange, yellow and white.
- Wax flower – Wax flowers or hoyas are delightful little species to bring into your home. Their pretty, delicate clusters of star-shaped, white to pink flowers with five-point centres add a touch of romance and charm to any interior.
Vines – The lovable creeps
- Philodendrons – Philodendrons are a popular indoor plant known for their lush green leaves and easy-care nature. Vining philodendrons have long, trailing stems that can grow up to several feet long and can be trained to climb a trellis or stake or grow down from a hanging basket.
- Creeping fig – This little adventurer is popular in homes across Australia and New Zealand. With its tiny leaves and creeping vines, it’s great for creating a beautiful living tapestry or natural-looking backdrop in your home! It’s usually a medium to dark shade of green.
- String of pearls – The string of pearls is a distinguished-looking creeping plant. Its unique, trailing stems adorned with tiny, pea-shaped succulent leaves will catch the eye of everyone who visits. It can be trained to climb a trellis or tumble out of an indoor hanging basket.
- Spider plant – This classic houseplant has been a home staple for generations. With its long, slender leaves that arch gracefully like the legs of a spider, it’s no wonder the spider plant got its name. While not technically a vine, its long, elegant runners resemble one.
- Wandering jew – Also known as Trad, this fast-growing guy is a fleshy-leaved creeping plant. Its vibrant purple and green leaves add a pop of colour to any room it sits in, and it works great if you’re trying to create a bold, contemporary aesthetic.
- English Ivy – English ivy is a versatile and charming houseplant loved for its lush, trailing foliage and ability to grow pretty much anywhere. We love its delicate heart-shaped leaves. It looks great falling over shelves or an indoor hanging basket.
- String of hearts – String of hearts, aka Cupid’s arrow vine, is a heartthrob in the houseplant world. With its delicate, heart-shaped grey leaves and cascading vines, it’s no wonder plant lovers love it! It’s great for a whimsical or romantic aesthetic.
Herbs – The flavourful fellas
- Coriander – With its delicate, feathery leaves and pungent scent, coriander (also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley) adds a distinctive flavour to a variety of dishes, from Mexican salsas to Indian curries. It adds some zhuzh to any kitchen windowsill.
- Chives – Chives have slender, hollow green leaves and pretty purple flowers and add a touch of elegance to any indoor garden. Their mild onion-like flavour makes them great for soups, salads and omelettes. They’re super easy to grow, so perfect for beginners.
- Mint – Mint is all about its bright green leaves and sweet aroma and is a favourite among gardeners and cooks. It’s a winner in tea, salads and soups—and, of course, mojitos! It’s simple to grow and will fill your home with a refreshing scent.
- Thyme – With its small, delicate leaves and woody stems, thyme adds a distinct aroma and taste to various dishes, including roasted meats, stews and marinades. It can be grown in small pots or containers, making it perfect for windowsills, balconies, or even your kitchen bench.
- Basil – Who doesn’t love basil? It brings a taste of Italy to every meal. Its bright green leaves are slightly pointed and come in various sizes and shapes, depending on the variety. Basil plants can grow up to 2 feet tall, so make sure you’re picking them regularly.
- Oregano – Oregano is a great herb to grow indoors. It loves full sun, so sit it on a sunny windowsill. It’s characterised by its rich green colour and small, oval-shaped leaves that create a bushy appearance. Its earthy aroma creates a homely vibe.
- Rosemary – Rosemary is a fragrant and flavourful woody herb often used in Mediterranean cuisine. It has needle-like leaves that are dark green on top and grey-green underneath and small blue or purple flowers that bloom in the spring and summer. It’s great with roasted meats and veggies.
- Sage – Sage is a good-looking plant with velvety silvery-green leaves and a woody stem. It emits a wonderfully pleasant aroma. It also produces small purple or blue flowers in the summer, which add a pop of colour. Its strong, earthy taste goes well with poultry, fish and veggies.
How to take care of indoor plants
Now you’ve got a good idea of what plants you want to bring into your home, it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty of keeping them alive and happy!
The first and most important thing to know is that every indoor plant is different. Because of this, make sure you check the labels for each of your plant babies with care and do some further online research if you need to.
Indoor plants differ from outdoor plants, generally needing a more tender touch.
Keep them moist
Okay, moist isn’t our favourite word either (!), but most indoor plants prefer to be kept moist, damp or wettish, but definitely not waterlogged.
This means you should water your plant babies thoroughly, allowing the top layer of soil to dry out before watering again. We suggest sticking your fingers in the soil at least once a week.
Sit them in indirect light
Most indoor plants require bright, indirect light. Some, such as Ivy and Monstera, can tolerate lower light conditions, while others, like aloe vera, fig leaf and many herbs, need more intense light.
Be sure to research the light requirements for your specific indoor plant.
Up the humidity
Indoor plants love high humidity—around 60-80 per cent is ideal. This is higher than most homes, and indoor spaces would typically be, especially in winter when you’ve got the heating on. Here are a few ways you can up the levels:
- Buy a humidifier – The best type of humidifier for indoor plants is a small area, cool-mist humidifier. These increase the humidity just where you need it.
- Place a tray of water near your plants – As the water slowly evaporates, it adds moisture to the air, creating a more humid green environment.
- Spray the leaves with a fine mist of water – Tepid rainwater is best as it’s chemical-free. Move your plants to a sink, bath or outside while you do it to avoid damage to furniture.
- Put them in the bathroom – Bathrooms are naturally steamy, thanks to hot showers. However, double-check your species, as not all like the overly clammy conditions.
- Stand plants on watered gravel – This creates a damp microclimate that evaporates, increasing humidity and plant happiness!
Select the right soil
Indoor plants need good soil to grow because it provides them with essential nutrients, water, and oxygen. Nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are crucial for plant growth and development. A well-drained potting mix is a good pick for most plant species.
Feed them fertiliser
As well as loving good quality potting mix, indoor plants benefit from regular fertilisation, which tops up the nutrients in the soil. In periods of active growth, feeding your green guys every 2-4 weeks will keep them lush and blooming (if they’re flowering varieties).
Plant fertilisers come in many forms, including liquids, sprays, granules and tonics.
Keep them pest free
Keep an eye out for common indoor plant pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. If you notice any signs of infestation, treat the plant with an appropriate pesticide.
Keeping things natural is always good, especially in enclosed spaces, so we recommend something like neem oil to nuke those little critters.
Give them support
Indoor plants that may need stakes or support include tall and vining plants such as the monstera and English Ivy. These plants can grow long and heavy, and their stems may not be able to support their weight, causing them to lean or bend.
Staking indoor plants
Staking or providing a trellis can help to keep the plant upright and prevent damage to its stems or leaves.
Some flowering plants, such as orchids or peace lilies, may also benefit from staking to support their delicate blooms.
There are many different types of stakes you can choose from to suit your budget or aesthetic, including bamboo stakes, coated PVC garden stakes and deco garden stakes. We love the natural aesthetic of eco-friendly bamboo.
Adding stakes is easy. Simply pick one taller than your plant and insert it into the soil, being careful not to damage the roots.
Next, use plant ties to secure your plant to a support stake or structure to prevent it from falling over or bending under the weight of its own growth. Plant ties can also help to train plants to grow in a certain direction or shape.
There are plenty of plant ties out there, but we recommend natural ties such as:
Not only is keeping it natural better for the environment, as they’re biodegradable, but they also don’t cause any harm to your plant babies and can be easily removed without damaging them.
Natural plant ties also allow for some flexibility as plants grow and expand, unlike plastic ties that may become too tight. Plus, natural plant ties look great and don’t take away any of the natural beauty.
Ready to test your plant parent skills?
So there you have it, budding plant parents. That’s everything you need to know about how to take care of indoor plants.
When it comes to picking the right indoor flora, flowers and herbs, think about the look you’re going for in your rooms and spaces, as well as the amount of time you have to devote to plant care.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different varieties and get creative with your plant placement. And remember, your plant babies are counting on you to give them the love and care they deserve. So don’t let them down!
Now all you need to do is grab your plants and head to your nearest local supplier or hardware retailer to pick up your Jack products.
If you’ve mastered the art of indoor plant support, why not share your skills on socials and tag @meetdiyjack?
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