The UK's favourite houseplants and how often to water them

Winter can be the most difficult time of year for houseplants, especially those in a cold climate like the UK. Every year, there are lots of urban myths and tales that you might hear about the best way to look after them during this difficult period, and more specifically how often to water them.

house plants

My Local Toolbox thought it was about time we got to the bottom of:

  • What is the UK’s favourite houseplant?
  • How often should you water each type of houseplant?
  • How to care for your houseplants during the winter months?

All our recommendations within this blog post have been put together by Simon Dodds, My Local Toolbox’s in-house gardening expert, so you’re in the best hands to get your houseplants ready for winter.

The UK’s 25 most searched for houseplants

My Local Toolbox utilized online search tools to find out which houseplants the UK is searching for the most. There are a number of factors that determine the UK’s favourite plant, according to Simon Dodds, including:

  • Size: Can the houseplant fit in your home or a specific room?
  • Environment: Is the houseplant suited to a UK climate?
  • Maintenance: How often do you have to water the houseplant?
  • Pets: How pet-friendly is the houseplant? Can it be poisonous?

Our list below reveals which houseplants Brits search for the most:

House plant Yearly searches
Orchid 542,400
Money plant 444,000
Ivy 397,200
Spider plant 331,200
Peace lily 325,200
Cactus 325,200
Jasmine 325,200
Yucca plant 264,000
Bamboo 237,600
Amaryllis 217,200
Fern 217,200
Cyclamen 177,600
Lavender 176,400
Aloe vera plant 174,000
Jade plant 153,600
Philodendron 145,200
Anthurium 118,800
Banana plant 117,600
Devil’s ivy 116,400
Begonias 79,200
Ficus 79,200
String of pearls 79,200
Dragon plant 72,000
African violet 62,400
Palm 28,800

How often should you water your houseplants?

This age-old question has been debated for as long as time. There seems to be a lack of knowledge among the UK public around the optimum time to water houseplants, which can of course vary depending on what type you have.

In a recent My Local Toolbox survey, we found that:

  • 21% of UK house plants die after 1 year due to poor watering schedules by their owners.
  • The average time for a household to own an indoor plant before it dies is 3 and a half years.

The true answer is that it depends on what type of houseplant you have. That’s why we’ve taken the 25 most popular plants and asked Simon Dodds to give us an idea of how often each type should be watered to keep it as healthy as possible.

House plant Water every…
Bamboo 4 days
Banana plant 4 days
Begonias 4 days
Palm 4 days
African violet 7 days
Anthurium 7 days
Cyclamen 7 days
Dragon plant 7 days
Fern 7 days
Ficus 7 days
Ivy 7 days
Orchid 7 days
Peace lily 7 days
Philodendron 10 days
Spider plant 10 days
Yucca plant 10 days
Amaryllis 14 days
Cactus 14 days
Devil’s ivy 14 days
Jade plant 14 days
String of pearls 14 days
Aloe vera plant 21 days
Lavender 21 days
Money plant 21 days
Jasmine 28 days

*Some watering times may vary depending on the size of the plant, time of year and environment.

How to care for your houseplants during winter

The winter months are some of the most challenging for houseplants, and according to My Local Toolbox’s gardening expert, Simon Dodds, it’s wise to take special precautions to properly take care of them. According to Simon “winter is especially challenging for houseplants because to put it plainly, houseplants are also used to enjoying the same level of comforts that we humans do inside our homes – warmth, a constant environment, low humidity and plenty of sunlight etc. Once winter arrives, these things can be taken away from houseplants, meaning it’s up to you to make them as comfortable as possible.”

Here are Simon’s 5 tips outlining how to care for your houseplants during winter:

  • Watering: Houseplants require less watering during winter months because they become dormant. They won’t be drinking as much water as they would be during warmer times of the year.
  • Temperature: Most houseplants like to be around 12 – 18°C, which can be difficult to maintain during winter. Keep them away from draughts or open windows.
  • Cleaning: You want to make it as easy as possible for your houseplants to absorb what sunlight it is, and the best way to do this is by cleaning them with a damp cloth to remove any excess dust.
  • Pest protection: As it gets cold outside, pests tend to move inside the home. The best way to protect your houseplants is by regularly inspecting them and washing them regularly.
  • Lighting: When the dark nights arrive, it will be more difficult for houseplants to get the sunlight they need to grow. Make sure that you keep them as close as possible to your windows, with the ideal place being the windowsill.

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