Best houseplants for beginner gardeners and how to take care of them - from spider plants to peace lilies

Not all plants are time consuming to look after, some are very low maintenance and perfect for beginner gardeners.

It’s Houseplant Appreciation Week from January 10 to January 16; during this week we take a moment to learn all about the variety of plants you can buy to brighten up your home.

We have put together a list of eight easy-to-grow houseplants for beginner gardeners and some tips on how to take care of them.

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Lady palm

These are the best houseplants for beginner gardeners. (Pic credit: Gary Longbottom)

Latin name: Rhapis excelsa

Lady palms can grow up to four meters in height in multi-stemmed clumps with glossy, palmate evergreen leaves divided into broad segments.

The plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit in the UK.

It thrives in comfortable indoor temperatures between 16C and 27C, which makes it perfect for sitting on your windowsill. It is tolerant to low-light conditions and only needs indirect sunlight.

You must water the palm when the soil is dry at the touch during the spring and summer seasons.

Immerse the soil in water until it comes out the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot and empty the saucer under the pot after 20 to 30 minutes.

The plant benefits from a monthly application of fertiliser from April through to September; use a houseplant fertiliser and dilute it to half its strength.

Corkscrew albuca

Latin name: Albuca spiralis

This plant is native to Western and Northern Cape Provinces, South Africa.

Most people have never heard of or seen this plant before. It has peculiar corkscrew shaped leaves and one central flower with yellow and green hanging flowers on individual stalks in late winter to early spring. It is dormant during the summer and it can grow to the height of 20cm.

To care for the plant, you must plant bulbs eight to 10cm deep in spring in any sunny position and in well-drained, fertilised soil.

Grow in containers of potting compost with added sharp sand and leaf mould and water moderately when the bulbs have grown and add a balanced liquid fertiliser every month. Keep bulbs dry during the dormant season.

Radiator plants

Latin name: Peperomia

There are more than 1,500 species of radiator plant and it is mainly found in Central America and northern America as well as all tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

Similar to a cactus, this multi-coloured plant holds water in its stems and leaves, making it resistant to dry conditions.

You should provide your radiator plant with medium to full sunlight and occasional watering.

Each time you water this plant, you must make sure the soil is completely dry and avoid over-watering the plant. It doesn't need any fertiliser.

Golden pothos

Latin name: Epipremnum aureum

The pothos plant is considered among gardening experts to be one of the easiest houseplants to take care of.

These plants enjoy a variety of environments; they thrive well in bright, indirect light as well as low light and can be grown in dry soil or in vases of water.

Water the plant every one to two weeks, allowing it to dry out in between; you should water more regularly in brighter light and less often in lower light.

Most of these houseplants prefer temperatures between 18C and 30C and ensure it’s far away from any pets, as golden pothos can be irritating to cats, dogs and humans if foliage is consumed.

Spider plant

Latin name: Chlorophytum comosum

Also known as spider ivy, this plant is an evergreen species and is native to tropical and southern Africa, but has grown in other parts of the world.

Spider plants are easy to grow as they are very low maintenance; they don’t need much water and there’s no need to prune or fertilise them to help them thrive.

The plant can tolerate a variety of environments which makes it a perfect starter plant for gardening newbies.

Just make sure you provide them with well-drained soil and bright, indirect light and they will grow. Water them well but not to a point where they are too soggy, as this can lead to rotten roots.

Spider plants prefer dry conditions in between waterings and remember that the plant thrives well in cooler temperatures of between 13C and 18C.

False shamrock

Latin name: Oxalis trianularis

This plant prefers to be grown in a light shade. It responds to light levels, opening up during the day and closes its leaves at night.

They bloom in average room conditions, which makes them easy to care for; all you need to do is regularly water the plant and place it in an indirect light position.

Peace lily

Latin name: Spathiphyllum wallisii

This perennial plant has long-lasting flowers and is air purifying, which means that it does remove some pollutants and chemicals from the air in your home.

Its life expectancy can last up to 10 years and they can survive in the darkest of places of the house.

Its flowers will usually last for up to five weeks and they will visually warn you when it’s time for water.

You should water the plant regularly, keeping the compost moist but not wet. During the spring and summer seasons, feed the plant with a liquid house plant food every two weeks.