How to get 3 times more indoor plants for your money.

How to split up a Peace Lilly

Buy a Peace Lilly.

This is one that is getting too big for its

This is one that came from a split a few years ago, but is getting too big for its pot

Take it out of the pot.

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Loosen the roots.

Here's my 3 big self

Here’s my 3 big self-watering pots ready to go

Tear the roots upwards (don’t tear down from the green part of the plant as it can snap off the growing bits). I tore mine into thirds but you could tear it into tiny plants and sell them at a school fete or something….

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Repot into the largest self-watering pots you can buy/fit in your house.

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The finished product. They’ll lush-up in a month or two.

 

Can’t keep indoor plants alive? My top 5 unkillable house plants.

I love indoor plants. Mainly because they make me feel more like I’m outdoors.

They clean the air inside and provide habitat for pest eating creatures (yes I want <little> spiders in the house!).

Before you buy the plants, buy the pots. If you are a lazy gardener like me, you will not be watering your plants regularly. You must get large self-watering pots. Non-self-watering pots are useless inside as they dry out very quickly. Small self-watering pots are ok but the smaller they are, the more watering you’ll still need to do.
Also, locate a position. Indoor plants dislike prolonged direct sunlight (they can get heat stress) and complete darkness (umm, if you have a room with complete darkness, you’re weird, open the curtains). Watch out for heater/aircon ducts and they’ll need some outside time every few months. I have half mine outside half inside and I swap them twice a year.

I’ve tried quite a few varieties but the 5 I can’t kill are: peace lillies, dracaena marginata, spider plant, aloe vera and hoya.

Peace Lilly

Peace Lilly

Peace Lillies
They are a beautiful dark green leaved plant which have a pure white flower. You can give them no water, no attention, no love, for weeks at a time. You’ll notice that they start to droop. But give them a good drink and like magic, they spring back to life ready to enjoy another few weeks of cheerful neglect from me. I feel a bit sorry for them leading such a boom/bust existence but I’m lazy remember? (it’s amazing I’ve been allowed to be put in charge of kids, quite frankly…). They do well hanging in pots or on the floor.
You can split the plants after you buy them and they can be put in multiple pots. (See this picture tutorial on how to do this).

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Dracaena marginata

Dracaena Marginata
(Here’s a link to a good website about them-
http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s1415342.htm)

I’m not sure what it’s common name is but it’s available in most nurseries.
It’s a lovely spiky looking plant (looks spiky but doesn’t feel spiky) and they grow quite tall. I’ve had mine for about 18 years and I’ve given it about 18 minutes of love- it’s been a bit of a one-way relationship but we are still living happily together.

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Peace Lilly and spider plant, planted together.

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Another plant that thrives on neglect. I like the variegated (white striped) version. If you are nice to them they will grow lush, hang down and grow little flowers. Great for hanging pots. They can also be split up and spread over multiple pots. Never buy this plant! Steal it from your neighbours: they will never notice.

 

Aloe Vera i

Aloe Vera i

Special mention to Aloe Vera and Hoya.
Aloe Vera looks really cool (some varieties look like a viciously spiked cactus but are really soft). They hardly need watering and are great on a kitchen window-sill as they have high medicinal value (break a ‘branch’ off and smear the gel on cuts and burns to speed up healing). Many succulents make great indoor plants…

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Hoya

Hoyas can’t be killed and actually need to be pot-bound (i.e. get so big in their pots that they are actually overgrowing it). They sometime have an extraordinarily beautiful and aromatic flower too. Many varieties to choose from.