Six on Saturday – Introducing my houseplants

May of this year a fellow garden blogger at The Propagator created a Six on Saturday meme which has since become very popular and I must admit it has had a major influence on me opening this blog. Every Saturday I was reading colourful garden stories and was itching to join in! What is Six on Saturday you might ask. It’s a blog post about six things happening in a garden right now accompanied with photos and published on Saturday! If you are interested in taking part, find out more on The Propagator blog.

Following the recent urbanjungle trend, I have introduced many new houseplants to my home. I just couldn’t stop buying them! I see houseplants as a natural extension of my garden. They give me great joy of caring for plants when my garden is cold, grey, wet and bare. Exquisite details of their leaves make me smile.

Maranta, Urban Jungle1. Maranta Leuconeura
Common name: Prayer plant
Origin: Brazilian rainforest
Growing conditions: bright, indirect light; high humidity; moist but well-drained soil

I like dark green oval-shaped leaves of this plant with bright pink veins running through, which creates a really stunning effect. The leaves are flat by day and fold up like hands as the day comes to an end, hence the common name “prayer plant”. I mist my Maranta plant regularly and it grows new shoots of leaves happily but only in one direction! I will have to prune it in the autumn to create a more aesthetic shape.

2. ‎Biophytum Sensitivum
Common name: Little tree plant
Origin: wet lands of Nepal and tropical India
Growing condition: low, indirect light; high humidity; moist soil at all time; ideal for terrariums
Biophytum Sensitivum, Urban JungleFrom the moment I saw this tiny palm-like plant on BotanyGeek Instagram, I knew I had to have it! I found it at W6 Garden Centre in Chiswick together with my other favourite – Blue Star fern.
Biophytum Sensitivum proudly holds its massive green head on a thin, short steam which grows to a height of 10 to 15 cm, its leaves close up in straight lines as a response to touch, and at nighttime. My partner often jokes that it’s very sensitive – like me! 🙂 My Biophytum plant came with lots of seedpods attached to the end of tiny strings. In the morning they were opening up into a star-like structure and I was diligently collecting the seeds as by afternoon they would disappear, ejected by the plant!
I am hoping to grow many little tree plants from these seeds next year and maybe inspired by BotanyGeek acquire a small terrarium for them!

3.Phlebodium Pseudoaureum
Common name: Blue Star fern
Origin: tropical rain forests of South America
Growing conditions: low, indirect light; high humidity; moist but well-drained soil

Blue Star Fern, London Garden Blog

Blue Star Fern, Urban JungleI have read an article on Gardenista which described Phlebodium plant as a fern of a different colour. That’s certainly true! The fern leaves are not as delicate as some other varieties, for example Asparagus fern or Maidenhair fern, but their colour is coral blue which creates an airy and spacious presence about them. Talking of airy, Blue Star fern is an air purifying plant. It is possible to plant Phlebodium in large or smaller pieces of wood as in the wild it lives on tree branches in the rain forest, using them for support.

Every week my plant grows new, delicate fronds covered with microscopic white hairs and if you look under the leaves with light shining on them, you will be amazed to see a golden carpet of tiny veins weaving the most intricate web! World of plants is truly astonishing!

4. Aechmea Bromeliad
Common name: Urn plant
Origin: Central and South America
Growing conditions: bright, indirect light; keep water in its central tank at all times (use rainwater if possible); empty the tank and rinse Bromeliad at least once a month

Aechmea Bromeliad, Urban Jungle

My Bromeliad was rescued from a Homebase store for 10p. The plant finished flowering and was tucked in carelessly at the end of the bottom shelf. Its magnificent leaves appealed to me instantly and on further observation I noticed it had a small baby plant growing underneath.  What a bargain, now I can enjoy a huge crown of  deep green foliage (it reminds me a lot of antlers on a stag’s head) and look forward to a new plant flowering next year! I will replant the young shoot in a separate pot once it has formed its own roots.

An interesting fact about Aechmea (pronounced eek-me-uh): Most Aechmeas are epiphytic, meaning they grow on the surface of a plant (such as trees) and derive moisture from rainfall and nutrients from dust and insects that have collected in their tanks. Their root system is shallow, just enough to be able to attach to a tree.

Madagascar Dragon Tree, Urban Jungle5. Dracaena Marginata Tricolor
Common name: Madagascar Dragon tree
Origin: Madagascar
Growing conditions: bright, indirect light; keep soil on the dry side

I acquired my Dragon tree recently, and by any means the plant doesn’t look like a tree and hasn’t developed its signature tall trunk yet. With time Dracaena will grow upward, with a crown of leaves remaining near the top of the trunk.

Each leaf of Tricolor variety has cream, red and green stripes, making it bright and cheerful. Colours are really shining in the sun and I like the pink stripe the most!

6. Dracaena Fragrans Victoria
‎Common name: Corn plant
‎Origin: Africa
‎Growing conditions: bright, indirect light; keep soil on the dry side
Dracaena, Urban Jungle

You might think that Dracaena Fragrans is just a common and familiar corn plant that has been in households for centuries, in Europe since the mid-1800s! Well, I say categorically this plant is nothing if not extraordinary! Its leaves reflect an amazing variety of colours: sea blue, dark green, laurel green and light yellow and have lovely creamy stripes on the edges.

If you are interested in Dracaena plant, read this article on The Spruce on “How to Grow Dracaena Fragrans Corn Plants” with lots of information about varieties,  propagation and some grower’s tips.

You can find many other articles about houseplants and urbanjungle trend on the Internet, but here some of my favourites to get you inspired! – “My 6 easy care comfort house plants you thought were boring but are in fact fabulous!” by Jack Wallington, “The unquestionable hipness of houseplants” on Gardens Weeds & Words, “The Haphazard Gardener Does Houseplants” by Mr Plant Geek and “Overwatering your houseplant” on Tulips and Terracotta blog.

What houseplants are living in your home? Share in comments below together with the links of your Six on Saturday posts. I am looking forward to reading them all!

18 Replies to “Six on Saturday – Introducing my houseplants”

  1. Well done, that’s a great Six post! I think I’m right in saying that this is our first one dedicated entirely to houseplants very informative, some beautiful foliage. I don’t do houseplants (i just kill them normally). Perhaps i should give them another try…

    1. Definitely should give it a go! They are as much fun as garden plants (and they keep growing and stay green in the winter :))

  2. This is the post by so named “Master of 6” and a creator of Six on Saturday meme, The Propagator:
    Last one for 2017 so make sure to check it out!

  3. Wow what a brilliant first blog on the 6 on Saturday!!! I love houseplants but I manage to kill more than I grow sadly
    Many congrats on a excellent put together blog!

    1. Thank you, Thomas! This post took a bit of research (hours :)) but it was fun to write it!

  4. Lovely post Sasha!
    Your house plants are lovely. I am so green fingered outside but always manage to kill of my indoor plants 😳 no idea why… have given me inspiration to start afresh! Xx

    1. Thank you, Sophie! I think houseplants are not difficult to grow, my secret is to mist them regularly!

  5. I like how you’ve summarised each plant right under its name. For those of us (perhaps only me) who know little about house plants, that’s really helpful. And you’ve given such a good first half dozen examples. Particularly love the prayer plant. Although w/that foliage, you wouldn’t need flowers, the images I found are really something as well. I may have to seriously consider this plant. Thanks for introducing me to it!

    1. Hi Lora, thank you! I am glad you like Maranta – this is one of my favourite too (together with all the others:))! I got it from Homebase store and it was inexpensive (I think 6 pounds for Maranta and two Dracaena plants). It was a few months ago so I am not sure if they still have it!
      I summarised each plant mostly so I remember how to take care of them! I am just a beginner with houseplants as only have them for a year now. But it’s nice to hear this information might be helpful to others!

  6. That Dracena is stunning. But I am glad to hear of so many other houseplant-killers. The only one I have managed to keep alive is a Haworthia..

    1. Oppps, let’s not talk about houseplant killers, what if plants can hear us! 🙂 🙂
      Actually I would not mind to grow Haworthia, I have a soft spot for succulents!

  7. Wonderful, Sasha … The ‘Prayer Plant’ and the Dracaena Fragrans are my favorites. I understand now why you needed time to write this post .. well written, well documented … I am looking forward to reading the next Six on Saturday that you will do…!

    1. Seems like Maranta and Dracaena are the favourites among people who commented on this post!
      One more plant I really like is Mini Swiss Cheese plant (Monkey Mask) but it’s difficult to find!
      Looking forward to read more of your posts in the new year too!

  8. What a great guide to some excellent houseplants. Really useful info on the conditions they need. There seems to be nowhere in my house fitting the bill for “bright but indirect light” so good to know which plants would struggle. I now have a couple of potentials under the “low light” category. Thanks.

    1. Hi Paul, thank you!
      I don’t think I have bright but indirect light conditions either! Most of my plants are on the kitchen windowsill which gets some sun now and then.
      I think the most important is not to keep plants near hot radiators in the winter. This affects them really badly!

  9. I have two of the Madagascar Dragon Tree but I never knew the name. So happy to know the botanical name and the variety. It is a GORGEOUS plant and very easy to take care of. I agree — it really responds very well to being more on the dry side. I keep it just moist, only watering it around the outer edges of the pot — never in the middle.

    1. Great, Katie! I agree it’s beautiful! I can’t wait for mine to grow bigger 🙂

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