It’s that time of year when the garden starts to call you outside after a long winter slumber. Before the chaos of planting sets in around the cottage this season, I thought I’d share some of my houseplants with all of you.

It’s taken a long time to figure out what plants like to live within the cottage walls with 2 cats, a bunny and 2 kids you can understand why. The plants need to be tolerant of morning sunshine, late strong afternoon beams and sometimes the odd bit of neglect.

Calathea Medallion

This is one of my favourite IKEA finds. Yes IKEA. I normally don’t buy houseplants in IKEA but I have a soft spot for Calatheas. I grew up with a prayer plant and I can remember it not flowering for years and then one year these beautiful tiny blooms appeared and since then I have been captivated by them.

This beautiful Calathea has large green leaves with a stunning dark purple under leaf. Why do I love it so much? Because during the day it displays these leaves open but as evening descends it starts to close up into a column and all you can see are the upright stems and stunning dark purple under leaf. I’ll keep you updated on this calathea’s flowers.

Calathea Orbifolia

Calathea Orbifolia has these stunning variegated large leaves and makes a talking piece as a house plant. Our cat Mollie loves to hide behind it and pounce out at the kids as they leave for school each morning.

Yes, Calatheas are fussy. They like diffuse light, nothing that can burn their leaves. They like to dry out a little before topping up with rainwater and they do like fertilisation in the strong growing months. But in return, they provide you with air-purifying benefits and a stunning display.

Calathea Maranta?

I’m honestly not sure if this is calathea maranta. This prayer plant is more of a sprawler and you an see where the leaf tips burnt from lack of moisture when I got sick. Note the healthy new growth, cough cough. This one is finiky and doesn’t like water touching it’s leaves at all but it is the most forgiving when it comes to neglect. This was a quick emotional purchase as this is the prayer plant variety that I grew up with and I knew I had to have it in my home.

Pachira Glabra

I purchased this for my daughter for the unique braided stem and I have to say I have fallen rather in love with it. The view from my office up the hall is much more pleasant now that it has made it’s home here.

This was sold as a Pachira Aquatica but I’m not so sure that it is. In the wild you find it in the wetlands of Central and South America. Here it’s known as a money tree and it’s a surprisingly tough houseplant. I will say not to let a cat pee on it though as that will kill your houseplant. Ask me how I know!

Dypsis Lutescens

The golden cane palm is one of my absolute favourites in the cottage. I love palms as much as I love Calatheas. This plant requires attention and doesn’t do well with neglect. If you are looking for a palm that is a bit more tolerant, have a look at a Kentia Palm.

Dypsis Lutescens requires bright indirect sun and moist soil. Not wet! Moist. If you are considering one, do purchase a self watering container. In fact for any houseplant collection invest in decent self water containers and your life will be a lot simpler.

They like a tight container but not too crowded. It can be prone to mealy bugs or mites so check the under leaves when you water and do be prepared to dust the leaves on occasion too. In my opinion this plant is worth the extra attention. Those feathery fronds dance in light summer breezes and the light coming through is stunning.

Ficus

I thought I would end today with a cat versus plant story. My male cat likes to prune some of my houseplants and unfortunately he seems to like pruning the Ficus and some ferns. I did cry as this was a beautiful plant before it got the chop so now I’m trying to regrow and train it into something that doesn’t look too ghastly. IF you have any tips please do share them. I’m learning as I go with this one :/

That’s it from me this week I hope you are all enjoying the glimpses of spring as they appear in your gardens. Do make sure that you pop over to The Propagator ‘s page to check out more wonderful gardening posts and why not search the #sixonsaturday tag on twitter too to fill your feed with beautiful blooms. There is also a participant guide here if you would like to join in too. Looking forward to catching up with all of your garden posts this week too!

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