Top six houseplants


We love to be surrounded by greenery. It is synonymous with serenity and good health. It provides us with oxygen. Green is a peaceful colour.

With so mich emphasis on cleaning up the environment, the spotlight is on adding more green to our lives. Plants not only feed oxygen to us, but they also remove toxins from the air.

I love to put the key in the door at the shop in the mornings, and see all my beautiful plants – succulents, cactuses, palms, ficus, dracaenas, ferns and philodendrons adorn the window and shelves.

So my top six are:

  1. First place in houseplants has to be the spathphyllum, or peace lily, as it is commonly known. This is an amazing plant, with elegant, deep green, shiny leaves and white blooms. It can be kept moist, and it tolerates shade.
  2. The spider plant. This is a robust plant that sprouts little baby plants in the air, easy to repot at this time of year. I have one hanging from my ceiling in the living room, and itt’a enormous.
  3. philodendron scandens, with its heart – shaped leaves. Tall plants on moss poles are great for corners, and aren’t too wide. You can also have the trailing/creeping version
  4. Cactus plants are fascinating! They are sculptural, and come in all shapes and sizes. They require good natural light and very little water I owned a collection of 24 cactus plants when I lived in Stockholm, and they flowered in July while I was on holiday, then shed the flowers all over the window ledge before I returned.
  5. Succulents, including the crassula, (money plant), echeveria and of course, aloe vera. It’s a useful one to have on the kitchen window ledge in case of burns!
  6. Stephanotis (jasminum). I love the scent of jasmine! You can train these plants to grow around a window. When they are not flowering, the beautiful leaves are enough

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Jan founded Stems in London WC1 in 1985, after changing her career as a teacher/translator, & training as a florist in Sweden. Her unique style, inspired by country walks, has been described as natural & wild, but with depth & sophistication. From a simple, tiny posy to grand events at St. James's Palace, Jan loves creating beautiful arrangements.