Too much kindness – rather than neglect – might kill off these nearly indestructible plants! If you have children, there will come a time when you will be asked to recommend attractive and easy to grow houseplants for a first home or a student’s flat. Encourage your young offspring, who may also be budding plant lovers, to plant up our potting recipe that’s designed to please, without requiring constant care and lots of watering. In fact, we can guarantee that these potted plants will flourish and survive without the ‘tender loving care’ of a nervous and inexperienced young gardener.
Choose a modern ‘bling’ pot, but remember that most glazed pots might not have drainage holes. Don’t be afraid to drill some holes in the bottom of the pot, as long as you use a sharp drill point. Also place a thick layer of gravel inside the pot, before filling it with potting soil to aid drainage.
Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’ (Motherin- law’s tongue) is a very trendy house plant with a reputation for being nearly indestructible. There are, nowadays, lots of other showy varieties available that are equally elegant and tough.
Sansevieria dooneri comes from West Africa and we found our plant in full flower at the nursery. These plants sometimes flower very irregularly, but, when they do, you will enjoy the sweet fragrance released at night.
For colour contrast against the mottled leaves of the sansevieras, we picked a miniature x Cryptbergia ‘Rubra’, a bigeneric hybrid with narrow and prickly burgundyred curving leaves. These bromeliads – which are just as tough as the sansevierias – grow into thick clumps in the garden and are often used in subtropical styles as a border plant.
Echeveria shaviana x affinis ‘Black Prince’ is a chocolate-brown succulent which grows into a dense rosette. Bright red flowers appear in late autumn.
• Place your pot in bright light, or even in direct sunlight.
• Only water when the soil has completely dried out and be careful not to let water reach the centres of the sansevieria leaves at the base of the plants, or they will rot.
• Keep the foliage clean and free of dust by wiping it regularly with a damp cloth.