Houseplants: ‘Easy to care’ for indoor plants ‘perfect’ for beginners and ‘pest resistant’

David Domoney provides advice on popular houseplants

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Houseplants are usually trouble free but pests can be more common during the winter months. This is because the plant’s environment tends to change due to heating being on more often. Miracle-Gro’s gardening guru, Kate Turner, has shared the top pest-free plants which are easy to care for.

She explained: “Plants not only make our house look good, but they can also bring many physical and mental health benefits too.

“Fear not, you do not need to be an expert to care for houseplants.”

There are many low maintenance plants on the market, as well as some being pest-free.

This includes a Snake Plant, Chinese Evergreen, Coleus Blumei and the Jade Plant.

The expert explained: “Snake plants are native to tropical West Africa and also goes by the name of mother-in-law’s tongue.

“It needs indirect sunlight, and you only need to water it when the soil is completely dry. Pests tend not to like this plant so it’s a great option for an easy to care for houseplant.”

The succulent plant is very forgiving and perfect for beginners but is poisonous to cats and dogs.

Kate added: “The Chinese Evergreen, also known as Aglaonema, is disease-resistant and bugs tend to leave it alone.

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“It has green or pink variegated leaves and will bear white flowers similar to a calla lily. It likes warm, humid surroundings, indirect sunlight and only needs watering once a week.”

It should also be kept out of the reach of any pets due to it being toxic to them.

Known for its colourful leaves, the Coleus Blumei loves bright sun and needs moist soil all the time.

The expert said this plant is “perfect” for people who tend to overwater their houseplants.

Kate added: “As the plant has leathery tough leaves, insects don’t tend to be attracted to it.”

They also enjoy moderate humidity but this variety should not be misted because tap water will leave spots on the leaves.

The gardening expert also recommended the Jade Plant, known as Crassula Ovata.

She said: “[It] is a large, attractive and easy to maintain succulent that is pest resistant.

“Like most succulents, it likes lots of bright light and only needs watering when the soil is dry.

“However, it is toxic to pets and children so it’s best to keep out of their reach.”

Other varieties of houseplant can be prone to pests, especially during the winter months.

Owners should be “vigilant” of pests but they are generally easy to get rid of.

Common pests include gnats, aphids and spider mites.

Kate said: “Fungus gnats are tiny black scariad flies. They are usually more of a nuisance than a pest, although their larvae can damage seedlings.

“To avoid them, make sure your compost isn’t too wet as they love moist warm conditions. If your plants do attract gnats, allow the compost to fully dry out before watering and add very fine grit to the surface. You may have to repot your plant if they are persistent.”

Aphids can hide on the underside of the leaves so it is important to look everywhere when houseplant owners do tackle them.

The expert said: “To get rid of them, simply spray a diluted solution of washing up liquid onto the leaves. The other option is to squish them.”

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