– Truuue DIY Series is presented by our Truuue Chief Happiness Officer, Olivia –
I love to repurpose my home every once in a while.
Growing up a nomad, and having lived alone for quite a number of years now, I’ve learned various tips and tricks along the way to make my place as consistently homely (and comfortable, and big) as possible. After all, it is my own space… and I need a lot of it.
So, to share the joys of DIY-ing, I’ve decided to start a Series of DIY Tips and Tricks to help you upgrade your home.
I’m starting with indoor plants.
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My favourite indoor plants (featured below) are super easy to upkeep, aesthetically pleasing, and good for your wellbeing – being highly effective in fighting off indoor pollutants (which are apparently 12x worse than outdoor pollutants), and boosting self-esteem, cognitive functions, and sense of stability and control.
Follow the care tips provided and I’m very sure your plant will brighten your home for a very, very long time.
1. Money plant (Pilea Peperomiodes)
Also known as the Feng Shui plant, the money plant is grown in Singapore to bring wealth and luck to the household. It is simple to care for, and can tolerate low light and air-conditioning. Prune it correctly and the leaves will flourish.
Light 💡 The money plant is best kept under constant indirect, medium light exposure. However, if any leaves start to turn slightly yellow, you’ll have to give your plant some good ole’ Vitamin D under the direct sunlight.
H2O 💦 The money plant does not need a lot of watering. In order to maintain the soil at ideal moist level, you’ll just have to water your money plant every 7 to 10 days.
2. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
One of the prettiest and most low-maintenance blooms to keep in your home, the peace lily is one of the world’s best air purifiers. A NASA Approved air-filtering houseplant, the peace lily helps neutralise gases such as Carbon Monoxide and Benzene from household products and furnishings. Over time, your Peace Lily will acclimatise itself to your indoor environment, making it a statement plant that is truly oh-so-easy to care for.
Light 💡 Like the money plant, peace lilies thrive better with indirect sunlight. If the leaves turn yellow, it’s because there’s too much light exposure.
H2O 💦 It’s really easy to determine when your plant needs water – its leaves will droop. Air conditioning may dry up its soil faster than usual. Watering is only required to keep the soil moist.
Flower Care 🌼 Flowers will blossom twice a year (for a period of two months each time) and are strikingly white in colour. If your plant is not flowering yet, keep it in a dark room. Add in water-soluble fertilizers when the plant is at full bloom to ensure the flowers remain in prime condition.
3. Swedish Ivy Plant (Plectranthus Verticillatus)
For those looking for hanging basket houseplants, the Swedish Ivy is the perfect choice. It is not as easy to maintain as the other indoor plants featured, but I love it because it is simply adorable. If pruned correctly, the potted plant can look like a big head of Afro hair. The Swedish Ivy comprises of a vibrant foliage of shiny, dark green leaves. With enough bright light, the plant can also grow white or pink tubular-shaped flowers.
Light & Shape 💡 To maintain the ball-shape of the plant, it’ll have to be placed under bright indirect sunlight, so the leaves do not “reach” for more sun. You’ll also have to prune the plant, once it’s too long for your ideal shape, cut off 1/3 of the vines.
H2O 💦 Watering need not be frequent – do it only when the soil is dry to touch. Swedish Ivy is much easier to “save” when there is lack of water (when the leaves are shrivelling).
Temperature 🔅 The plant thrives better in cooler temperatures, so your indoor environment should be maintained between 20 – 25 degrees Celsius.
4. Fiddle-Leaf Fig (Ficus Lyrata)
A gorgeous indoor tree with big, dark green leaves that look like fiddles (hence, the name), the fiddle-leaf fig is the perfect statement piece to brighten a room. Fiddle-leaf figs can grow up to 3 meters tall indoors, although they can be topped to prevent them from growing any further. The plant should be displayed in a 20–35cm diameter pot to give it room to grow.
Light 💡 The plant thrives in bright but indirect sunlight – so placing it next to the windows (and not in front of it) is perfect.
H2O 💦 Watering is not frequent – only when the top inch of the soil is dry. One way to figure this out is to stick a third of your finger into the soil.
Leaf Care 🌿 Given how big the leaves are, you’ll have to wipe down dust resting on the leaves once in awhile. Dust accumulation prevents the sunlight from being absorbed by the plant. Also, the leaves should not be watered / sprayed as this will encourage bacterial and fungi growth.
5. African Violets (Saintpaulia)
African violets are probably one of the easiest blooms to take care of as compared to other flowering plants. Growing in vibrant pink and purple colours, African violets look delicate, and are best displayed in small pots. These pots will also tightly contain the roots, allowing the plant to absorb water effectively.
Light 💡 The plant thrives best in indirect, medium sunlight. The perfect place to perch your African violets is next to the windowsill.
H2O 💦 African Violets only need to be watered sporadically – the soil should be kept moist but not wet.
Flower Care 🌼 The flowers will require 8 hours of darkness per day to bloom at full capacity. To encourage new bloom development, spent blossoms and blossom stems should be pinched off.
6. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a choice Feng Shui plant to keep at home. Having medicinal qualities, the Aloe Vera is believed to add positive chi and balance to its environment. Caring for the Aloe Vera plant is also super easy – all the signs are on the leaves.
Light 💡 If the leaves turn a little bit brown, that’s an indication that your Aloe plant needs less sunlight. Leaves that are not growing upwards, but lie quite flat is an indication that the plant needs more sunlight. In general, your plant should be placed in indirect light.
H2O 💦 Aloe Vera leaves are meant to naturally grow upwards. If the leaves are thin and curled, that would indicate that your plant needs more watering. Proper watering of the Aloe plant will depend on the size of the plant itself, as well as the soil. But the general rule of thumb is that the soil should be soaked, and the frequency of watering should be every 1-2 weeks and only when the soil appears to be dried out.
7. Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
Hands down the easiest plant to upkeep in this list (at least, from my experience), the Snake Plant is really the perfect go-to-choice for seriously low-maintenance plant owners. It’s also great for cleaning air (converting CO2 into Oxygen at night), and best kept in the bedroom.
For owners looking for more exotic Snake Plants, there are varieties in yellow or silver striped leaves – called Golden Flame and Bantel’s Sensation respectively.
Light & H2O 💡💦 The Snake Plant can go neglected for weeks on end and still look completely fresh. It also does not need much sunlight. Replenish it every fortnight or so with a good watering and leave it out in indirect and bright sunlight for the occasional therapy.
8. Staghorn Fern (Platycerium)
Staghorn ferns look best when mounted on the wall as feature pieces (as pictured). There are two types of staghorn fronds (a.k.a. fern leaves) – fertile and sterile. The decorative types have fertile fronds that are forked, resembling deer antlers. If you want to DIY your fern mount, here’s a great instructional blog.
Light 💡 Staghorn ferns that are placed indoors thrive best in indirect, brighter light (as compared to outdoor ferns, which thrive in medium to low light).
H2O 💦 The key to prolonging the staghorn fern’s life is to water it frequently enough – taking into account the humidity levels in the room. The general rule of thumb is that the more humid your home is, the less the staghorn fern needs watering (every 1.5-2 weeks or so). Once watered, let the plant drip dry before re-hanging it.
Frond Care 🌿 The staghorn frond is prone to black spot fungal disease in indoor conditions. To prevent this from happening, fronds should never be moistened or misted. The fronds should also be wiped down to prevent dust from accumulating.
9. [EDITOR’S CHOICE] ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas)
Following on from the snake plant, the ZZ plant takes the cake as the second easiest plant to upkeep indoors. It is perfect for the indoor conditions as it can survive in low light and more artificial conditions. A fun fact about the ZZ plant is its ability to actually flower a bloom resembling a yellow Calla Lily – though this rarely happens.
Light 💡 While the ZZ plant can survive in very low light conditions, the optimal way to care for it is to place it in the way of indirect medium sunlight. Monitor the leaves to make sure that the sunlight exposure is just right and does not scald the leaves. If leaves start becoming yellow and curly, that is an indication of too much light.
H2O 💦 The ZZ plant only needs the occasional water therapy, which should be done when the soil has dried out. The number 1 cause of plant death is actually over-watering.