Going Green

Green fingers elude you? Never fear, as houseplant guru, Sophie Lee from, is on hand with tips for keeping it green indoors.

Plants in dining room

Go green with house plants

Easiest house plant to grow?

The best plants for a beginner are Philodendron scandens and Monstera deliciosa. These are both easy-to-keep, and create instant greenery which require minimum care, just watering once a week. Philodendron scandens is sometimes called Devil’s ivy – it’s a great trailing plant and a similar one is called Scindapus pictus which will also trail beautifully down a bookcase or off a window sill.

 Monstera Diliciosa

I want a statement plant - suggestions?

A Monstera deliciosa or a Euphorbia triangularis (a traditional cowboy cactus) are perfect statement plants. Maybe go for the Monstera if you have little children as the Euphorbia is a spiky! A Monstera can grow up to 6 ft tall but you can propagate them by taking cuttings and splitting the plants under the node to give you double the greenery.

Whiteacres - Haddenham - Lounge

My kitchen doesn't get much light, can I still grow herbs?

Yes, but start from seed, in spring, and keep them well hydrated. Don’t let them catch any cold drafts. Basil and rosemary are good choices as they can add flavour to any dish you’re cooking. Self-watering plant pots are great; or just use terracotta ones with a drainage hole and saucer and then water from the bottom which helps to prevent root rot. 
Plants in kitchen

I love hanging plants. What should I try?

Hanging rhipsalis and philodendrons are great for instant greenery as you can just plant them up in a macramé holder or a ceramic plant hanger – the fishbone cactus is a really good choice as it grows so easily. 

I recommend odd numbers – a grouping of 3-5. I have so many hanging plants in my own home as they are a great way to add texture.

Foxley Meadows - Gosford - Dining area

Are plants in the bedroom a no-no?

Oh, definitely not. Plants in a bedroom are a definite yes yes! Pick air purifying plants such as Devil’s ivy, spider plants and Sanseviera which convert carbon dioxide into oxygen at night and help you sleep. Read NASA’s amazing report on air purifying plants for more.

Plants in bedroom

Is there a book for plant enthusiast?

My books has lots of how-to’s – from making your own terrarium and macramé hangers plus tips on how to resurrect unhappy plants. The book is called 'Living with Plants: A Guide to Indoor Gardening' by Sophie Lee.

Plants in bathroom