Expert advice: how to houseplants

Our homes are becoming greener than ever and houseplants have become style accessories as much as exuberant celebrations of the natural world. A new store in Broad Street, Chapter 22 Roots and Records, has taken this chilling-out-among-the-greenery vibe to heart, with a visionary retailing combination of houseplants and rock and roll. We asked plant expert Nicola Taylor to recommend a selection of houseplants that will suit different rooms in the house…

Above left: Kalanchoe Thyrsiflora (Paddle plant)

Eye-catching succulent with a fantastic form and large paddle-like leaves growing vertically.
Care: needs little water, bright light and some direct sunlight.
What room: bedroom, conservatory

Above right: Ficus Lyrata (Fiddle leaf fig)

Has huge glossy fiddle-shaped leaves with prominent veins.It packs a punch with its amazing flamboyant foliage and has serious air-cleansing benefits.
Care: bright filtered light, keep soil evenly moist but do not overwater, essential to mist.
What room: brightly lit sitting room

Above left: Calathea Network (Prayer Plant)

The Prayer Plant has a distinctive cross-hatch pattern on its bright green leaves, resembling a mosaic or stained glass.
Care: very simple to look after, water once a week and will tolerate low light.
What room: garden flat or basement

Above right: Calathea Medallion (Rose painted prayer plant)

Arguably one of the most beautiful low-light plants with medallion-like leaves with a brilliant green pattern on top and deep burgundy underneath.
Care: water once a week, allowing the top two inches of soil to dry out partially.
What room: bedroom

Above left: Anthurium (Black Love)

An unusual variety with glossy, dark waxy leaves and long-lasting striking flowers which can stay on the plant for many months.
Care: they do best when the soil has a chance to dry out between watering. Water with just six ice cubes a week!
What room: bathroom but out of direct sunlight

Above right: Aeschynanthus (lipstick plant)

This hanging plant is known as the lipstick plant because of the tubular scarlet flowers which sprout out from the ends of the bright green fleshy twisted leaves.
Care: water regularly with tepid kettle water, reducing in the winter. Mist regularly and dislikes temperatures below 13 degrees celcius.
What room: steamy kitchen

Above left: Alocasia (Red Secret)

The Red Secret has extraordinary foliage, large leathery leaves of rust and metallic colours with almost translucent stems.
Care: indirect light and regular watering, very light misting. Dry out between watering.
What room: living room

Above right: Alocasia Zebrina (Elephant’s Ear)
Stunning plant with dark green arrow-shaped leaves and unique black and white striped stem.
Care: keep lightly moist and mist frequently.
What room: bright sunny bathroom or warm conservatory

Above: Nephrolepis exaltata (Boston Fern)

This fern has broad green flowing fronds and grows up to 4ft long and 6in wide.
Care: maintain evenly moist soil, allowing the top quarter to dry out in between watering. Avoid overwatering. What room: any south-facing or north-facing window, away from direct light or deep shade.

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