THE FIVE BEST INTERIOR PLANTS (& HOW NOT TO KILL THEM)

I’ve had a checkered past when it comes to plants. My mother can attest to having to rip out my entire vege patch and replant it more than once due to my inability to keep anything green alive. However I do have a strong love for interior plants, you may have noticed that in every room of my house, there are at least a couple. They are the perfect cost effective way to add colour and soul to a space, well not so cost effective if you have to replace them as regularly as me. I’ve managed to kill some from forgetting to water them, to others dying from being over watered – I didn’t even know that was possible?!
plant montage

In an attempt to improve my green thumb game, I’ve done a little research, hopefully this new found knowledge will ensure my plants live a long and happy life. Here’s my five favourites and a couple of pointers on how not to kill them…

cactus real finalCactus & Succulent
I love the huge variety of shape, colour and texture available in cacti and succulents. Another massive bonus (and vital given my past) is how super low maintenance they are! More so than you may imagine, you only need to water them every couple of weeks in spring and summer. Wet the top of the soil thoroughly, but be sure not to drown the plant and use room temperature water so the roots don’t get shocked. During the colder months you can water them even less, and let the soil dry out between watering. Keep in bright, but not direct sun light.

snake plant finalSnake Plant
Otherwise known as Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, Snake Plants are a succulent plant, which means the leaves retain lots of water. Snake plants will thrive in a sunny spot and need to be watered each couple of weeks in summer and less in winter. Wet the top of the soil thoroughly, but be careful not to over water as the roots could rot. Snake Plants height and narrowness mean they work well styled in most places around your home without taking up too much room.

fig leaf final Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree
I love these trees! They are just stunning, it’s definitely the next on my list to get. Fiddle Leaf Figs prefer bright light, but not being directly in sunlight as it can burn its leaves. Due to its beautiful large leaves, it tends to gather dust so make sure it’s wiped off so it can ‘breath’. You need to water it when the top inch of the soil becomes dry, the easiest way to check this is to put your finger in the soil, you will soon know how often to water it within your homes unique environment.

areca palm finalAreca Palm
These beautiful palms are perfect when you want your home to have a coastal vibe. Areca palms do best with bright light and last longer with some direct sunlight. Like many palms, they are sensitive to overwatering, so let the soil dry out slightly between waterings.

philodendron finalPhilodendron
Hanging plants are the new black, they seem to be in every interior magazine. One of my favourites is the philodendron. Conveniently it is also very low maintenance, so it suits me perfectly. Philodendrons enjoy bright, indirect light the most and you only need to water it when the top inch of soil becomes dry.

string of pearls finalString of Pearls
So I know I said that I’d give you my top five indoor plants, but hey everyone loves something for free right!? And how cool is this plant, I love how unique and delicate the String of Pearl is. It looks perfect on a shelf so the pearls can cascade down, I have one in my kitchen and it’s a wee stunner. They like bright light, even sunlight and need watering every couple of weeks in summer and once a month in winter. Like other succulents, String of Pearl can get root rot if you overwater, so be careful.

Top Tips for Plant Care
1. Repot the plant after you buy it. Ideally pots should have drainage holes, but many these days don’t, meaning you have to be extra careful with watering levels.
2. Get schooled up on what level of light and water your plant likes best. Try creating an alert on your phone for watering times if you find it hard to remember.
3. Mix a small amount of fertiliser with water for watering over summer months.
4. Repot the plant if / when it gets too big for its current abode.
5. Play your plants late 90’s hip hop, they love it.

With the huge increase in popularity of indoor plants, naturally plant pots and holders are also popping up everywhere. Here’s a round up of my favourites from design stores Flux Boutiqe, Paperplane Store and Collected, but don’t forget to check the likes of The Warehouse and Kmart for even more budget friendly buys.
fluxmontagecollected montagepaperplanestoremontage
The Design Twins are an Australian based brand I’m kind of obsessed with, it’s been a long distance, one sided affair thus far, but that’s all about to change, I’m super excited as of March they will be available from their first New Zealand stockist, Republic in Auckland.
design twins montage

You could always try your hand at a little DIY, terracotta pots are only a few dollars from Mitre 10 and Bunnings, using painters tape and some test pots in your favourite shades you could turn them into your own stunning designer pots! Here’s a couple I did for my kitchen. diy pots final

MONEY AIN’T NO OBJECT JANE 1, SENSIBLE JANE 0

Usually I am very well behaved. A reformed shopaholic. But every now and then it all gets too much. The urge to spend is overwhelming. This is my latest confession…

I have always been a brilliant debater. My husband has long given up the fight. When shopping, I use what I call the justification process. I can manage to turn any seemingly pathetic, meanial reason into a completely logical, rock solid argument for purchasing something I want. I’m so good I actually trick myself into believing my spin.

Recently I went to Auckland, a reason in itself to shop, but instead of stopping there I got on a roll and kept up my spree on my return home to the Bay. There are no excuses (but there are plenty of justifications).
Ponsonby, Junk, Paperplane

Ponsonby Plant Shop
Hidden between countless designer boutiques and organic/paleo/gluten free/grain free/flavour free cafes sits a plant lovers dream, filled with cute cactus, hanging plants and cool pots. Plants are a fantastic cheap way to add colour and some soul to a space, I just loved the hanging cane plant holder and how could I say no to sweetest shop owner in her 70s, complete with silver-blue ringlet set hair. Cheap house interior solution plus a happy old lady, how can that be wrong?

Junk & Disorderly
I have loved this place since I discovered it back when we lived in Auckland many years ago. They have an incredibly large space filled with an eclectic mix of new, used and repurposed furniture. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough room in my car to take home any furniture, but these accessory updates for my kitchen were pretty budget friendly, did I NEED them? No. Will they make me do a little happy dance? Yes!

Paperplane Store
I actually don’t think I’ve been into this store without leaving with something. And this time the loot haul was pretty major. I’ve been looking for some bedside tables for our master bedroom for a very long time and these American Oak small coffee tables from Citta Design are less than half the cost of the ones I was going to get custom made. That basically means I’m saving money rather than spending it.

shopping 3

Rooms To Love is the latest interiors book by LeeAnn Yare and photographer Larnie Nicholson, I love supporting Kiwi creatives, surely that should be applauded. The last purchase from Paperplane this time was a bright, striped hand towel for bathroom – a perfect way to add a bit of colour to our white bathroom, and there were full size bath towels for over the twice the price that I could have chosen instead, how restrained of me.

Republic Home – Bonnie and Neil Cushions
Can I consider it progress if I spend the same amount of money on a few cushions as I used to on a designer dress? Surely! Plus if it were a dress I’d calculate the ‘cost per wear’, and as these cushions are used everyday, and by everyone in my family, that must work out to be a bargain! These stunning cushions from Bonnie and Neil are 100% linen and hand screen painted.

blakchaosBlakchaos
Blakchaos combines the talent and collections of two amazing New Zealand brands, clothing label Blak and my favourite local shoe designer Chaos and Harmony. This visit I walked away with a couple of French inspired items from Blak. A girl can never have too many stripes, I love this cropped tee, perfectly matched with this full skirt with sweet velvet heart cutout waistband. Instead of focusing on what I spent, shouldn’t I be congratulated for not snapping up a new pair of Chaos and Harmony heels?! Have you seen this seasons range?!

Two Janes Flux BoutiqueFlux Boutique
These festoon lights give a little New York loft rooftop garden feel to my alfresco area, surely that’s all the justification required.

There is no heartwarming moral to this story, sometimes the house just wins. Hopefully Money Ain’t No Object Jane is satisfied for a while and Sensible Jane’s winning streak is about to start.