Did you know you don’t need to water a plant to keep it alive? At least, not only. The best way of having green fingers is…to play the early game.
No-one knows your home better than you do: you know the places that get more light and those that stay shady and cool all day. And most of all, after years of the wrong compost (apparently there’s more than one type, although your trusty supermarket doesn’t seem to realise it) and premature deaths, you have a pretty good idea of how much time you really devote to looking after your plants. Not much; not enough, but you love them so much!
Especially now summer’s on the way, it’s essential to bear in mind how long you’ll be away on holiday and how long you’ll spend outside: if you don’t have a friend or neighbour willing to step in, it might not be a great idea to invest in delicate plants that need attention and particular conditions.
Just as you’d choose a sofa or a bookcase, select the appropriate plant for your surroundings and your lifestyle. That way it’ll live longer and you’ll have less stress - and a clearer conscience. And you’ll get to spend autumn together too.
Cacti are lovely, of course, but their preference for arid climates doesn’t make them the ideal tenants for our city homes. The mother-in-law’s tongue, however, is a succulent that likes a humid climate and happily withstands high temperatures.
Although it needs light, it shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunlight, which makes it ideal when you go away for the weekend - just leave a shutter partially open, and you can be sure it’ll be there waiting for you on your return. It’s hard to get rid of it…
Its cousin the Monstera was last year’s celebrity, but the philodendron (of which there are hundreds of varieties) is much easier to care for.
It doesn’t need particularly bright light and, like the mother-in-law’s tongue, it prefers a humid atmosphere. Its need for water varies according to temperature, but is generally around once a week. Excellent, no?
Zamioculcas zamilifolia - ZZ to its friends - grows beautifully in apartments with very little light: at last, the building opposite is no longer your worst enemy.
If you’re looking for specific information on how to take care of it, the truth is that the ZZ does just fine by itself. What’s more, it’s an African plant: it can live without water for months at time. There’s no need to go to extremes, though, is there?
Or rather: peperomias. There are actually more than a thousand varieties to choose from, something for every taste, but all share the common feature of having non-toxic foliage, making them perfect for little furry friends who are a bit too nosy, especially when you leave them alone together over the weekend.
These plants too prefer indirect light and humid air. Since nearly all the varieties of peperomia are succulents, the rule for watering goes: better too little than too much. And it’s good for your brother too: he’ll only have to look after the cat while you’re away. Bags packed?
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