Ian Drummond shares his top pick of houseplants, plus how to care for them and where in your home they will grow best.


Succulents (as the family that includes aeoniums, crassulas, sempervivums and echeverias is called) are undergoing a well-deserved transformation in the popularity stakes. Their bold, architectural shapes, glossy foliage and exciting colours, their drought- tolerant nature and love of free-draining soil has turned these plants, natives of the Canary Islands, South Africa, Madagasgar and Asia, from the ugly ducklings of the gardening and floristry world into the must- have ingredient for anyone bent on creating a living planting full of drama and eco-credentials. This succulent is a plant that retains water in its leaves, allowing it to go for long periods without water, making it ideal for a low-maintenance scheme. SeeRHS Chelsea Flower Show 2020: The best performing plants for urban gardens


For the shadier corners of a house, we turn to plants whose natural habitat is the gloomy, humid floor of a tropical rainforest. This generous, climbing creeper doesn’t need much upkeep and will quickly take over your home. It likes a lot of light. It grows quickly, and its expansive personality combines beauty and air purifying power. Devil’s Ivy is said to be poisonous to cats, so keep plants well away from their usually play, feeding and prowling areas.


Their luxuriant, colourful and beautifully patterned leaves are hard to resist and they have great character, too. Keep the plant moderately well watered in summer. Calatheas love high humidity so mist the plant daily, ideally with rainwater, or stand the pot on a tray of permanently damp pebbles. If the leaf tips go brown it shows the humidity is too low. SeeRHS Chelsea Flower Show 2020: Sarah Eberle shares her top summer gardening tips


Sansevierias thrive in dark, dry environments. Be sure to water sparingly and don’t place in bright sun or in dry-air conditions. As this is a tough, air-purifying plant, it would well in a bedroom or bathroom. The Victorians loved sansevierias because they were durable and tolerant of coal fires and gas lamps. In those days, they were known as ‘rattlesnake plants’.