Alan’s job of the month
If your houseplants are looking a bit tired and weary of life, then don’t wait for spring to divide and repot them to make new ones. What’s more, with Christmas just around the corner, the plants will look much more decorative, and you can even give away any extras as presents. The peace lily ( Spathiphyllum wallisii) is a good example of such a plant. Handsome of habit and generous with its flowers, it’s enormously tolerant of every indoor situation, from bright indirect light to relative gloom. Only scorching sunlight will cause it to suffer. It can also form a dense clump quite rapidly, filling its pot with fibrous roots. These are tough enough to withstand quite brutal division – although you’ll probably need the help of a kitchen knife!
FIVE EASY HOUSEPLANTS
Aloe vera A sun-loving succulent with skin-soothing sap Moth orchid Flowers for months on end; water sparingly Rubber plant A glossy, leathery-leaved retro favourite Spider plant Very tolerant, forms a cascade of baby plants Swiss cheese plant Famous for its large, holey leaves
Repot houseplants, such as this parlour palm, every few years to keep them happy