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I know I’m biased, but what better Christmas present for a loved one than a plant? And what better kind of plant to buy than a houseplant, bringing a taste of tropical summer to the very darkest days of the year.

Flamingo Flower (Anthurium)
Flamingo Flower (Anthurium)

Houseplants have moved on light years from just being the odd dusty rubber plant in the corner. There are houseplants specially selected to purify the air in your home, houseplants that double up as a source of pet food and even plants that glow in the dark!

The good news is that generally speaking, houseplants are pretty easy. You’ve just got to remember they need water and light. But if you’re forgetful – or have a dark house – here are my top five houseplants to cope with these difficult situations:

Which houseplants tolerate dark shady corners the best?

Which indoor plants cope well without much watering?

Bromelia Mix - 3 with Matching Pots - Plant
Bromelia Mix – 3 with Matching Pots – Plant

Many of the plants in the second list have spiky or leathery leaves – which is an adaptation to harsh desert environments. These features help the plant protect itself from hungry animals and stop it losing too much water. Lucky for us, they mean these can stand the dryness of central heating and the absent-mindedness of those who tend them (I include myself in this).

As a general rule, if it has large soft leaves, or it’s ferny looking, it’ll need regular water; and if it’s tough and leathery, it’ll be ok to fend for itself for a week or two. If you’re super-forgetful, then technology can lend a helping hand, with a new range of self-watering plants. So, forget the dusty old rubber plant in the corner, why not pick a beautiful new live plant for someone you love this Christmas – the world is your oyster!

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