I have quite a few houseplants under my care, from robust cacti to a particularly resilient succulent that’s been my faithful desk companion since my first year of university. My favourite, however, is my newest addition, bought quite impulsively as I was so taken by it on sight. It’s a silver pothos, also known as Devil’s Ivy, and I’m absolutely smitten.
I was looking for a trailing plant for my bookshelf, preferably something that could survive being in the shade, and the shop owner (one of the lovely people from ‘No Guts, No Glory’ on Fore Street, aka houseplant heaven) pointed out a couple but nothing particularly swayed me. Then he showed me this little guy and I immediately knew I had to have it. As the name suggests these plants have the most gorgeous silver markings, which subtly shimmer on their large, almost heart-shaped leaves. It’s definitely more striking than your regular ivy, or most other houseplants for that matter!
Mine already has a promising branch that looks like it might trail from my shelf, but equally I’d love to set it on my desk so the sunlight can glint off the leaves. If you’re looking for a new houseplant, I can highly recommend a Silver Pothos. It’s not too dependent on sunlight and holds water quite well, only really needing attention once a week or so. Being as pretty as it is, it could make a perfect gift for any plant-loving friends you might have (or for yourself!).
When it comes to the humble houseplant, there is nothing humble about the Bonsai tree. With its miniature trunk and plentiful leaves, the Bonsai may just be the king of the houseplants in my opinion. Part of a Japanese artistic tradition, the Bonsai is the perfect houseplant for those who want something long-term. And that’s the cool thing about Bonsai trees – if you take care of them, they’ll probably be with you your whole life.
The Bonsai is more than a houseplant, it’s a cute little friend. Indeed, having a Bonsai tree is the perfect substitute for not being able to have a pet at uni; it may not provide the interaction that a traditional pet can give, but Bonsais need care and attention in order to thrive. It’s basically a leafy puppy.
In all seriousness, having a Bonsai tree is a lovely hobby to distract yourself from the stress of uni life. Taking the time to water and check your Bonsai tree every day is actually a perfect way to distract yourself from anything that is on your mind, and having a green friend to keep you company during late night study sessions is an added bonus.
Although some people may laugh at the idea of having a houseplant as company, I wouldn’t knock it until you try it. You’ll find yourself naming your little tree in no time, I promise.
Lauren Geall, Lifestyle Editor
Sometimes we have those moments where things just don’t go right. I remember one of those moments so clearly, the pride I felt at having my first houseplant (a tiny little succulent, the cutest darn thing you ever did see.) I was crushed when I realised I had been an absentee, neglectful parent, and my poor little plant had died. But I learned from my mistakes and I decided to try again. They’re cute, they basically look after themselves and in a pinch they make a good defensive weapon.
I fondly named my cactus Richard, Dick for short, and he’s really grown into that name. Having Richard around my first year room really made the place feel like home, which is especially important in your first year. I remember when my corridor mate Hugo really underestimated Richard and decided to pick him up with bare hands. As it would turn out, holding a cactus kind of hurts, much to Hugo’s surprise with 20 or so spikes in his hand. Like I said, it makes a handy weapon.There is something to be said about the benefits of a houseplant, like a less expensive pet. Although I wasn’t green fingered enough to make the commitment to anything fancier, I felt really proud when it grew and actually kept growing, and has certainly helped me with my endurance and perseverance (heads up corporate head-hunters). At the end of the day I love my simple little cactus, and Richard really helped me through a difficult time. I’m finally ready to take on something more complex….like maybe a bigger cactus?
Heledd Gwyn Wilshaw