Super Zen vibes, beauty and fresh air inside

Flaming sword (Vriesea splendens) proudly parade their yellow-orange blooms that look like fun swords.

Flaming sword (Vriesea splendens) proudly parade their yellow-orange blooms that look like fun swords.

Published Jun 8, 2024


Durban — Indoor plants promote good mental health, super Zen vibes, texture, air purification, and something beautiful to appreciate as you go about your day.

Life is a Garden indoors too, and there’s a plant just waiting to bring that side table, desk and bookshelf to life. Potting soil, fertiliser and a watering routine make all the difference in maintaining an indoor haven.


Choose the right plant and place: Start off with an easy plant from our BF (beginner-friendly) suggestions below. Check out your space and see where there’s a gap to be filled. Choose a plant that likes the light in that spot.

Choose the right pot: Choose a suitable sized pot with good drainage holes and don’t forget the saucer that catches excess water.

Get good potting soil: A bag of delicious potting soil goes a long way. Visit your Garden Centre Association garden centre and grab a bag to get you going. Add a couple of small stones to your pot before adding compost. This will help with drainage and root rot prevention.

Get to know your new friend: Understand the light, watering and soil requirements of your plant. Observe how plants react in the space and change their position if needed. Poke your finger into the soil and feel if your plant is ready to be watered.

Feed your new friend: Generally speaking, every six weeks is a good time to fertilise. The new plant baby depends on you now to maintain the nutrient integrity inside the pot. Your garden centre guy can advise you on the best soil and fertiliser for your plant.

Try this: To help you choose the best plant for a room, you can now download an app that measures light intensity – how efficient is that. #nomoreexcuses


Look out for the *BF (beginner-friendly) options for novice gardeners.

Button fern (Pellaea rotundifolia)

Light likes: Pellaea enjoy humidity with no direct sun, high to medium light will do.

Soil & water: Let the top layer of soil dry between watering, he doesn’t do soggy.

On the weekends: He can be found chilling in a humid bathroom on the windowsill or in a hanging basket. His dark-green, evergreen, button-like leaves like to explore.

Blue star fern (Phlebodium aureum) *BF

Light likes: Medium to high light with no or partial direct sun, she’s very adaptable.

Soil & water: Enjoys moist over dry, so water well when she’s thirsty.

On the weekends: Her forest-like foliage, with curious wavy blue-green fronds, can be seen fluffing about and grabbing attention everywhere she goes.

Blue star fern (phlebodium aureum) likes medium to high light with no or partial direct sun and is very adaptable. Enjoys moist over dry, water well when she’s thirsty.

Bird’s nest fern (Asplenium nidus)

Light likes: Medium to bright, no direct sun. She likes warmth, humidity, and moisture.

Soil & water: Moist, rich and loamy does it.

On the weekends: She’s always cheerful with tropical light-green fronds resembling banana leaves. Don’t touch her new fronds while she’s growing.

Bird’s nest fern (Asplenium nidus) likes warmth, humidity and moisture.

Kumquat tree *BF if you follow the rules

Light likes: Super bright light, even direct sunlight if possible. She enjoys the patio.

Soil & water: Regular watering with excellent drainage.

On the weekends: This happy-go-lucky babe can be seen showing off dozens of bright little o r a n g e fruits. She’s good at inspiring new jam and preserves recipes.

Showing off dozens of bright little fruits, the kumquat tree likes bright sun and can also do well on patios.

Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) *BF+

Light likes: Medium to bright, no direct sun, but they like warm corners.

Soil & water: Good drainage, weekly watering.

On the weekends: You may find them looking for things to climb on with their flamboyant, large and in-charge leaves. Beware, this beaut bites and is toxic to pets.

Swiss cheese plant (monstera deliciosa) has flamboyant, large and in-charge leaves. Beware: this beaut is toxic to pets.

Triostar stromanthe (Stromanthe sanguinea)

Light likes: Near a window with plenty of natural light, no sun. Rotate your pot weekly.

Soil & water: Well-drained, fertile soil that is kept moist but not soggy.

On the weekends: She’s the pretty, popular chick with impressive, vibrant pink foliage that’ll make you blush. Triostar’s going to make you work for her though, so be prepared.

Dragon tree (Dracaena marginata) *BF+

Light likes: The brighter the better, but he’s adaptable.

Soil & water: Good drainage and regular watering.

On the weekends: He’s a rugged, attractive guy with striking green, sword-like, red-edged leaves that stand at attention. Your friends may be jealous of his good looks.

Flaming sword (Vriesea splendens)

Light likes: They enjoy some morning sun with high light all day.

Soil & water: Add some orchid mix to your soil, infrequent watering but not all the way dry.

On the weekends: They can be seen proudly parading their yellow-orange blooms that look like fun swords. Sadly, they do decline after blooming but they’ll leave you with offsets first.

Cymbidium orchid (Cymbidium spp)

Light likes: Partial gentle sun and good light is her kind of vibe.

Soil & water: Loamy, moist, well-drained soil.

On the weekends: Her stunning sprays of large blooms are a sight to behold. Appreciate her while you can, it’ll be a while before you see her flowers again.

The cymbidium orchid’s (Cymbidium spp) stunning sprays of large blooms are a sight to behold. Appreciate her while you can: it’ll be a while before you see her flowers again.

Areca palm (Dypsis lutescens) *BF

Light likes: They enjoy sunlight and warmth.

Soil & water: Avoid soggy soil and water them moderately.

On the weekends: These often golden-trunked, bamboo-looking darlings can be seen growing tall at their own pace, taking time to extend all their friendly fronds.

Areca palms (dypsis lutescens) enjoy sunlight and warmth.

To help keep your indoor plants looking their best and breathing well, use a damp cloth to clean dust from their leaves.

Remember to check out which lovelies are ready to plant now, or plan ahead for the right season.

A spray bottle is super handy to have around for quick watering touchups. See what’s potting at your GCA garden centre and have fun perfecting the art of indoor gardening.

Join the Life is a Garden community by visiting www. or email@lifeisagardensa for expert advice.

Join the Life is a Garden community by visiting or email @lifeisagardensa for expert advice.

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