Top 5 Indoor Plants of 2016 | AND How to Care for Them! / by Shannon Kelly

As a stylist, one of the most popular questions I get asked when pulling a home together is which kinds of plants are best for indoors... That is a difficult question coz they are SO many to choose from so rather than repeating all my favourite options over and over - I thought I would compile a blog that might help...

Rather than choose super fancy, hard to keep alive plants - I've tried to set you up for a win by coupling beauty with ease of care! Hope this helps!

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MONSTERA DELICIOSA

Known for their GIANT sized leaves that look much like a slice of swiss cheese, these plants are sculptural in appearance and are fantastic indoors in a room with plenty of space. They thrive in a bright sunny spot without direct sun exposure as the heat can burn the leaves and turn them yellow. Active growth starts from 18 degrees celsius but will tolerate temperatures between 10 - 30 degrees. TIP - Before you decide to repot your monstera into a larger home, be aware that a big pot means a big plant so plant accordingly!

STRELITZIA NICOLAI

I have a soft spot for these plants. Maybe because I found one of these almost dead on the side of the road and somehow managed to nurse it back to health - it's currently flourishing in my lounge room in all its glory! And it is GLORIOUS! 

I love that these plants are stately and command your attention. They are robust and can thrive in droughts, salty coastal conditions, light frost and general neglect. It will need warmth to grow well but can be happy in temperatures from 8 - 15 degrees celsius in winter. They're the perfect plant for a beginner gardener and once established in a bright and sunny space, will bounce back from any mishap that might occur. Water them once a week and fertilise in Spring and Autumn with a general purpose fertiliser for best results. Best suited to a contemporary space with tall ceilings. 

MAIDENHAIR FERN

Most of the plants I've featured here today have been bold and brash, statement pieces that command attention however the maidenhair fern is quite the opposite of these yet almost takes your breath away in a subtle way with its soft, lacy leaves as the main centrepiece. 

While able to be grown outside, the maidenhair fern is its happiest growing indoors in an environment with speckled light and loads of moisture. Be warned however, your maidenhair can be precious. Not enough water? Positioned in a draft? Room too darK? You'll soon know about it as these luscious green leaves will soon be black and drooping.  Rest assured though, you'll quickly discover that they are relatively resilient and able to bounce back up to 18 months with no foliage if you do encounter any problems. Looks its best in bathrooms and kitchens near the sink - which is also handy to remind you to keep watering :)

MOTHER-IN-LAW-TONGUE

Sometimes known as the 'Snake plant' for their long stiff vertical leaves, the best way to care for these plants is to ignore them. Along with their cheeky name, these plants are easy to love for many reasons. Firstly they purify the air as they absorb toxins, so one of the best places for them is by your bed - allowing it to do all the hard work, keeping your room fresh while you sleep. 

Secondly, they're resilient as they love sunlight but can also handle a dark space if you need a nook filled with some greenery. They can handle being watered only once a month and particularly hate their feet staying wet - so its better to have them dry out completely between waterings. I particularly love the texture their leaves add to a room enabling them to work in varying styled spaces. 

RUBBER PLANT

I've had these plants on my radar for quite some time due to their glossy dark green and burgundy leaves. They suit most rooms but have a tendency to grow into quite large and bushy plants so ensure that where you place them will have enough space.

They love bright light but be sure to keep them away from direct sun as their leaves do have a tendency to burn and discolour. To ensure your plant thrives, keep it moist by watering regularly in Spring and Summer, but hold off during the cooler months (water twice a month) and let it dry out a little. I love to style these guys in a glossy white pot to show off their diverse colourings and place them in space where they get all the attention... Coz let's be honest, they'll get all the attention and make you (and your home) look good!