The great indoors: Our favourite houseplants
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of houseplants here at Tom Raffield. Over the years they’ve become an integral part of our photo shoots, taken centre stage in our retail displays, festivals and events, and even inspired our collection of indoor planters: The Green Range.
As we could all do with summoning a little more of the outside indoors during these unusual times, we’ve pulled together a round up of our favourite houseplants, herbs and succulents with the hope to inspire you to nurture, propagate and reconnect with nature, indoors.
Adding houseplants to your home is an easy way to switch up your interior and breathe some new life into the space. As well as inviting a fresh and laid-back appeal, houseplants have many benefits including providing clean air, boosting our mood, promoting concentration and even improving memory - it's no wonder the biophilic design trend has been sweeping magazines, blogs and Pinterest boards.
If you're looking to introduce some greenery to your home we believe medium-sized houseplants are some of the most versatile and easiest to maintain. Suited to conditions that most homes already offer (indirect light, temperatures between 18-25 degrees) Rubber Plants, ZZ Plants and Indoor Palms can become a real focal point of your space and grow to become beautiful, indoor trees with little effort.
Smaller plants adapt better to indoor living than starting out with a more mature plant, if you are patient enough, purchase smaller plants that can grow to be the size you desire. When cared for properly, houseplants can grow to impressive heights within a few years, so chances are you won’t be waiting long!
TR tip - If you’ve already got a houseplant at home that’s starting to take over your house, consider leaving it in its current pot instead of re-potting and allowing it more space to grow when you can see the roots poking out of the bottom. A small pot will restrict root growth, and in turn, force the plant to spend its energy maintaining its condition, as opposed to putting out new growth.
Cacti and Succulents
Perfect for sunny south-facing windowsills and rooms, cacti and succulents come in many shapes, sizes and colours. These small plants add alluring pops of fresh green to your interiors and can even produce flowers in early spring.
We particularly love combining our Morvah Hanging Planters with long trailing succulents such as String of Pearls and String of Hearts to create calming and eye-catching features in our homes.
Caring for both cacti and succulents is fairly easy as long as you remember not to over-water them (we’ve lost a fair few in our studio to ‘over-loving’). Place them in a sunny location with well-draining soil and water 1-2 times a month during winter periods, increasing watering frequency over the summer months.
One of the best things about succulents is how easy it is to propagate them. Propagation simply means producing new plants by taking a cutting from the mother plant and growing it on until it establishes itself as a brand new plant. Propagating your plants is a great way to increase the number of plants you own and they also make special gifts for friends and family.
How to propagate: Simply take a clean cutting from the mother plant using a sharp pair of scissors and allow to callous over and dry out for a few days. You can then either propagate the cutting in water, or place it on top of soil in a small container and place in a sunny window, spritzing with water every few days. The cutting will sprout its own roots after a few weeks and then start to produce new leaves, growing into a copy of the mother plant over time.
TR tip: If you’re planting succulents in our Morvah Planters remember to use loose stones, pebbles or perlite at the bottom of the planter prior to adding your soil – this will help aid natural drainage and prevent root rot.
Why not create an indoor garden and grow some herbs at home? Herbs make the perfect addition to any kitchen; easy to grow, versatile and delicious to eat, there are so many different types of indoor herbs to choose from.
Two of our favourites are basil and mint - both produce the most amazing aromas when picked and are fantastic used in sauces, soups and steeped for mint tea.
You can grow herbs from seeds purchased from most supermarkets and garden centres or, simply purchase a living plant and re-pot once you get it home.
TR tip: Growing herbs makes a great project for children - you'll require plant pots, soil, herb seeds or a small plant of your choice. Water the herbs a few times a week and cut stems to encourage new growth.
If you're looking for the ultimate easy-to-look-after plant, look no further than air plants. These soil-less plants thrive off oxygen in the air, natural sunlight and the occasional spritz of water.
Unusual in aesthetic, these plants also have the ability to reduce dust in your home and increase humidity levels. Display in pairs, style on minimal shelves - such as our ash wood Housel Shelf - or even allow to trail from hanging planters for a captivating look.
TR tip: Don't be tempted to neglect these plants entirely - left in bright sunlight they will shrivel if they are not kept spritzed and kept regularly hydrated. It's a good idea to bathe air-plants once a week in summer months. Simply fill a glass of water, submerge your air plants for 10 minutes or so, then remove from the water glass and dry upside down on a piece of paper towel until completely dry.