IBA19 Badges Nominated

Follow these golden rules from expert gardener Isabelle Palmer to help keep house plants both alive and thriving in your home. 

Kalanchoe Flaming Katy Pot Plant House

Image: Always Kalanchoe

While house plants are a huge interiors trend, they do come with the very specific challenge of having to care for them and keep them alive in order to look good. In fact, with so many plant pots taking up residence in our homes, looking after them all has become a lifestyle choice that's created a generation of 'plant parents'. 

If you need to up your plant parenting game to ensure your little ones grow up big and strong, then here's some tips from small space gardening expert Isabelle Palmer from the Balcony Gardener in collaboration with Always Kalanchoe

Pick your perfect match 

Balcony Gardener Pot Image Succulent Terrarium Styled

Image: Balcony Gardener

First up, pick a plant that matches the level of time, care and attention you're willing and able to dedicate to it. Decide if you're up for the challenge before picking a time-intensive or sensitive plant. Do your research before you head to the garden centre - or you could end up bringing something home like an Elephant's Ear, which needs constant watering, or a Calathea, which is prone to suffer in the cold, without any idea of how much attention you'll eventually need to give them. 

Don't give plants too much attention 

Balcony Gardener Pot Image Succulent

Image: Balcony Gardener 

You may think something like a cacti or succulent is easy to care for, but these types of plant in particular can suffer from over-attention. If you water them any more than sparsely, they can quickly turn into a mushy mess. Practice restraint and only water cacti once a month. 

Find the right spot

Joyofplants Bathroom Plant Lifestyle

Image: Thejoyofplants.co.uk 

Remember every plant is different, so while an Echerveria may flourish on your sunny windowsill, others do better in low light levels. A little bit of research into your species (before you throw out the plant name label) goes a long way to ensure you're not fighting a losing battle against the elements you've placed your house plant in. 

Talk to your plants 

Kalancho Flaming Katy Living Room

Image: Always Kalanchoe 

With flowering house plants such as a Kalanchoe, talking to your plants may not be a crazy as it seems. According to research, plants have 'ears' that help them detect the approach of insects, so having a quick chat with them once a day could help them to bloom! 

Book a plant babysitter

Joyofplants Calathea House Plant

Image: Thejoyofplants.co.uk 

If you're going away on a long holiday, don't let your precious house plants suffer. Have a friend or family member pop by to show your plants some love, or engage the help of a professional plant babysitter (or house sitter) to come to your home while you're away to keep them in top shape. 


Are you a serial house plant killer? Tweet us @goodhomesmag or post a comment on our Facebook page. Or, tag us in plant-filled photos on Instagram for a chance to be featured, using the hashtag #ThisGoodHome.



Book a stay at the UK's first 'house plant hotel'

6 ways to keep plants alive while on holiday

How to choose and care for house plants to suit every room

Country Chic Bedroom

6 styling ideas for a modern country bedroom

Classic country is an interior style that never goes out of fashion. Take a look at our ideas to keep your traditional bedroom looking fresh and...
Pesto Pasta Recip

4 tasty store cupboard meal recipes

Make the most out of what is already in your cupboards and conjure up a delicious dinner recipe that will satisfy your loved ones. Image: Barilla Due...
Dusk Bedding Kensington

5 ways to protect your sleep cycle during self isolation

Spending long periods at home can play havoc with your sleeping patterns. Whether working from home or self isolating, here's how you can keep your sleep...
Pastel Pink Shaker Kitchen

5 ways to update your kitchen for less than £100

Kitchen renovations aren't always cheap, but there are ways you can transform the look of your current kitchen without spending a fortune. Image:...
Black And Gold Bathroom Scheme

How to use black in your bathroom

Vamp up your bathroom with a black decorating scheme. Here are a few tips to make your transformation a little less daunting.   Image: Aqata A...
Short Deep Bath Tub In Pink

Small but deep baths for special soaks

PROMOTIONAL FEATURE Make short work of luxurious bath times with these deeply gorgeous baths. Not all baths are created equal. Albion’s iso-enamel...
Father And Daughter Having Pillow Fight On Bed Win

Win the bed of your dreams for National Bed Month

PROMOTIONAL FEATURE This is your chance to win a bed set from Slumberland. Everyone loves a good night’s sleep – something that starts with your...