Plants don’t care about the fast-paced life we’ve had to abandon. Nope, they’re way more content to creep gently upward, stay hydrated, and find a little sun where they can. It’s a lesson in humility. Living with plants changes your perception of living as a person.
It’s well-documented that we simply feel better when they’re around. Plants soothe stress, boredom and anxiety. In some cases, they’ve even been reported to speed up healing – a correlation of mental and physical fecundity.
Furthermore, they’re great for nourishing another side of our mental health – a beautiful home where nature gets a look-in.
Struggling to pick plants for style, as well as other positive traits? Start here, with our top selection for green-fingered décor.
1. Peace lily (spathiphyllum)
Ideal for beginners, the peace lily has a white sail-like leaf protecting its flower, and is known as the ‘closet plant’ for ease of care. You really don’t need to water it much. Just keep checking the soil; if it’s dry, pour some more in.
The white leaf blends well with faded wood. Peace lilies look great at the foot of a bookcase, cabinet or distressed skirting. Since it doesn’t require direct sunlight either, this plant can take up corners and shelves. Manchester’s full of them. Northern Flower are selling peace lilies for just £10 online.
2. Spider plant (chlorophytum comosum)
The clue’s in the name – spider plants spread themselves out, a static green explosion at home. They’re also tough to kill. A spider plant can survive a whole week without water. Ideal conditions range from 12 - 25°C, and low-to-medium indirect sun, which really suits inner city apartments.
You’ll often see spider plants in bathrooms or bedrooms: the mini statements meant to draw the eye and keep it. Leave space for the leaves to grow, emphasising their full dimensionality. If you’d prefer a hanging spider plant, use rattan or resin baskets, ideally near a window. Our homes have amazing, wide-glassed vistas to nourish your display.
3. Haworthia (haworthiopsis attenuate)
This small plant has a mottled appearance, and can sprout white, bead-like warts. Haworthias are generally used to complement other plants. Swap their typical pots for quirkier items if you prefer – teacups, bowls, shoes and hats can all hold a haworthia, as long as there’s a layer of gravel at the bottom (below the soil) to improve drainage.
Stylistically, enhance the cool mint green and white with purple, blue or neutral décor. Dark tones can bring the strange leaf protuberances into focus. If they’re on their own, group three or four together on a shelf, even beside your books – there’ll be enough room. Order for local delivery at Glass House on Princess Street.
4. Bonsai tree (various)
Bonsai is the art of Japanese cultivation, crafting tiny trees from species like hornbeam, elm and cedar. You can pick one up for £20-30. They’re obviously one of the most striking plants you can add to the home, so position them carefully; hallways and main living areas are always a winner.
Bonsais love direct sunlight. Aim for six hours a day. Again, our huge window features – and balconies or roof terraces in some apartments – help you hit that magic mark for daily sustenance. At night, you might want to position a floor lamp nearby, keeping the plant’s decorative aspect as vivid as ever.
5. Philodendron (philodendron tortum)
Skeletal arms. Dark green tips. Any number of directions it may grow… The philodendron is rarer than most houseplants, but worth your time to hunt out. In fact, we’ve done that for you – the Plant Shop has stock for next-day pickup! Just remember to keep this out of direct sunlight, as the leaves will burn.
Then we suggest placing it somewhere you don’t mind leaving space for; a minimalist background allows the philodendron’s spiralling nature to hold court on its own. Good pairings include your favourite reading chair, next to your home office desk, or shooting slowly skyward by the bathtub.
Enjoy our list? Ideas taking root? Complete your lifestyle setup at one of our pristine, luxury, inner-city apartments. Plants are just one part of the peace you’ll want to cultivate every day. Chat to a member of the Alliance City Living team, and reserve a viewing via video or in person.