The Glass Guide to horticulture at home

MY GRANDMOTHER’S home in the Norfolk countryside has always been adorned with floral and botanical offerings. In the upstairs bathroom, on the sill at the top of the stairs, in the window behind the kitchen sink and lining the walls of the conservatory. 

She spins a tale of her age-old spider plants, inherited from her mother, (my great-grandmother) and repotted over and over again, “taking the baby plants off the ends and making lots of strong new ones” – which are now dotted in various rooms around the house. “Cuttings are easy this time of the year,” she explains, “I find the process very satisfying. Houseplants can bring a lot of pleasure into day-to-day life.” 

For many of us, lockdown has been a time when we have acquired green fingers and thumbs, looking to horticulture as a means for salvation. Plants are uplifting, calming, they purify air by reducing pollutants, they improve mood, increase productivity and (news to me) they increase pain thresholds – hence why they sometimes appear in dentist rooms. Attending to plants becomes a hobby, a distraction and for some a form of therapy. 

Starting your own collection of plants can be made easy with the right knowledge and patience. So, with the combined help of my Grandmother and Ellen Mascard, a Learning Programme Teacher at London’s Kew Gardens, Glass presents the top tips for horticulture at home…


Much like us humans, the first and foremost thing to consider is a plant’s needs. Outlined by three basic variables:

  • Light

Natural light is very important, you can get this through windows, skylights and conservatories. However, be aware that summer sun can be too much and cause discolouration or scorch your plants.


  • Humidity 

This is room dependent, bathrooms and kitchens will have higher levels of humidity, living rooms and bedrooms will have lower.


  • Temperature 

Be aware of plants close to radiators or in bright direct sunlight, also consider draughts in hallways and next to doors.

Getting the balance of these variables right will ensure your houseplants live a long and prosperous life indoors. However, different rooms in the house provide different levels of each variable, so it is also important that you pick the right location for the right plant. 



Bathrooms are the best place in the house for plants that like humidity, they also tend to be cooler than other rooms so keep this in mind.

  • Spider Plant: Good at tolerating varying light levels, can thrive in high humidity
  • Rabbits Foot Fern: Love moisture and bright light 
  • Prayer Plant: Like moist soil and good amount of light
  • Moth Orchid: Enjoy light and high humidity, so a bathroom windowsill would be perfect

Curly Spider Plant, available from £6 here



In the kitchen humidity, light and temperature levels can change often so it’s best for plants that are most resilient. Hanging Plants work particularly well as they mean that you can save much needed surface space, and they can also be easily hung from high cupboards and shelves. 

  • Pothos: Hangs well and can handle a wide range of environments, growing in bright indirect light as well as low light 
  • Spider plants: Adapt well and can grow in a wide range of conditions, great for hanging
  • Swedish Ivy: Hangs well and is relatively fuss free
  • Herbs: Basil and Rosemary love sunny windows, but if your kitchen is darker choose “less fussy herbs” such as Parsley, Mint, and Chives, which survive best on a darker windowsill.

Golden Pothos, available from £15 here.


Living Room or Bedroom

These spaces are best for plants that like indirect sunlight, meaning that they don’t just have to sit on your windowsill, but instead can be dotted around the room. 

  • Lady Palm: Like bright but indirect light and are one of the top houseplants for removing unwanted pollutants from the surrounding air – ideal for clean breathing whilst asleep. 
  • Snake Plant: Like bright indirect light and are otherwise relatively low maintenance. Also help remove some air pollutants. 
  • Dracaena: Thrive in moderate to bright indirect light. 

Snake Plant, available from £10 here.



Spaces with a high levels of light and heat, such as a conservatory, orangery or south facing window sill, require plants that can withstand the elements. Often suited to plants that flower throughout the year. 

  • Spiderwort ‘quicksilver’: Survives best in full or partial sun and produces white flowers throughout the year
  • Coleus ‘buttermilk’: Likes the heat and can sometimes produce pale blue flowers
  • Common houseleek: As a succulent, it requires very little watering and lots of sunshine. The plants become semi-dormant and cease growing if their environment isn’t warm enough. 
  • Desert rose: Requires a full sun location and well-drained soil, and grows rose-like pink blooms
  • Cacti: Thrive in dry desert-like conditions but are easily maintained. 
  • Echeverias: Rosette-forming succulent, native to Mexico and central and southern America, making them ideal for warmer spaces. Thrive on neglect and cope well in drought. 

Cactus Euphorbia, available from £38 here.


The best plants for houseplant cereal killers

For a lot of us, plant maintenance can be a bit of a challenge. So, here’s an additional round up of the best fuss free plants for inside your home. 

  • Pothos: Again, pathos are very tolerant of varying light conditions
  • Peace lily: Can survive in darker conditions with little maintenance, but will only bloom in bright light
  • Cast iron plant: doesn’t mind low light
  • ZZ Plant: extremely tolerant of darker light conditions and doesn’t need watering until a few inches of the top layer of soil is dry.

Peace Lily, available from £10 here

by Augustine Hammond

All Images by Patch Plants