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Slight Obsession with Houseplants

It’s intensifying, my Slight Obsession with Houseplants. It could be worse, in the past I’ve had to ban myself from playing Candy Crush, and I have more photos of dogs on my phone than you would imagine possible, but I would love every nook and cranny, every side-table and shelf to be bustling with gorgeous greenery.

I am slightly competitive, so with every new plant I buy there is an element of ‘challenge accepted’; will this feathery fern make it through the week? Will its complex demand for certain light conditions, warmth, moisture and soil type thwart me once more? There have been a few fatalities, usually down to overenthusiastic watering, but I am getting better; the plants are seemingly happier which means I can reward myself by buying even more. I am however, learning to do my research first and invest in the right plant for a particular space instead of spontaneously buying a little beauty and hoping it will be happy on the dining room table (it never is, the room is north-facing so it’s just too dark and requires something seriously shade-tolerant).

Even the range of pots available is tantalising; they come in burnished brass, crackle glazed ceramic, earthy terracotta... the list goes on. So, when you choose a pot or two that tie in with your colour scheme, the result can be extremely satisfying and a pleasure to behold.

Besides bringing a bit of beauty and life into our homes, plants also do wonders for our health and wellbeing. They purify our air, can relieve stress and apparently, keeping plants around your office can substantially improve your creative performance and productivity. Wahey! It’s time to put up more shelving and immerse ourselves in a glorious glossy-leafed jungle!

However, despite all the benefits, it’s still surprisingly difficult to get hold of the things, in Cardiff at least; supermarkets offer a pitiful array and garden centres are few and far between (and are usually quite expensive). Fortunately more online stores are becoming available, such as and but after receiving a fantastic book for my birthday, ‘Practical House Plant Book’ by the RHS, I’m seriously contemplating dabbling in propagation!

If you want to branch out, some pet-friendly plants that I would recommend for the horticulturally challenged are the pony tail palm, Boston fern and cast iron plant for starters. And you can’t go wrong with an elegant orchid, always preferably to a bunch of flowers in my opinion.

On that note, I’ll take my leaf… I’m off to fiddle with my Fittonia!

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