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How to look after houseplants

PUBLISHED: 12:02 24 January 2018

Picture by Jason Briscoe

Picture by Jason Briscoe

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Houseplants are a hot interior trend at the moment and can completely transform a room - but they have their downsides! Gardener and broadcaster Toby Buckland delivers his expert advice

Picture by Jordan Whitt Picture by Jordan Whitt

Houseplants are the greenery ‘de jour’, cleaning air and bringing a feeling of life and wellbeing to our homes. That’s the upside; the down is mud on the floor, drips on the carpet and, worst of all, those tiny fruit flies that zip around whenever you brush by a leaf. A pot saucer and a mini Haws-style watering can is the solution for the first two problems; fruit flies are harder to remedy. They love peat-free compost, so if necessary exchange for soil-based John Innes 3, or cover the surface where flies lay their eggs with a generous topping of horticultural grit to block their path.

Picture by Patrick Schneider Picture by Patrick Schneider

If you still have a cyclamen and poinsettia knocking around from Christmas, don’t feel guilty once past their best. They’re seasonal for a reason – put them on the compost and exchange for a longer-lasting flowering peace plant that has lustrous dark green leaves and produces a continuous succession of snow-white spathes. Or plump for the most fashionable houseplants of all – cacti and fleshy-leaveed succulents. Perfect for a sunny windowsill, there are dozens from domes, paddles and columns to collect.

Picture by Phanida Bousod Picture by Phanida Bousod

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