Carefree plants

WORDS Nadine Botha


Because not everyone has green fingers we have put together all you need to know about terrariums, air plants and vertical gardens for you and your living space.


Don’t let the thought of terrariums take you back to the dull biology laboratories of high school. The exquisite polyhedron-shaped metal and glass mini-greenhouses now on the market mean these self-sufficient landscapes are turning heads again. 

The “lock-up-and-go” of the plant world, terrariums can be made using any glass container with a lid, or by positioning a glass Victorian bell jar over a plant. Online guides will talk you through setting it up in under 30 minutes using gravel, charcoal and potting soil. Two tips worth remembering: don’t use fertiliser as you don’t want the plant to outgrow its ‘hood and don’t position the terrarium in direct sunlight.

Air plants

Originally from the Americas, air plants are the ultimate low-maintenance foliage. In humid climates or bathrooms, they need hardly any watering. However, for lusher results it is recommended that you spritz water on them every week and add an occasional dash of fertiliser. 

We love how Marietjie Beeselaar of Skermunkil styled her air plants in ceramic Betty doll-heads (above). Glass baubles are also effective and could include coloured sand or stones. 

We also came across several eye-catching air plant supports in contrasting geometric forms on  

Vertical gardens

Every home – from bedsitter to mansion – has the opportunity to enjoy interior greenery thanks to vertical gardens. Another advantage of these impressive systems is that many come with built-in irrigation to ensure sufficient water and nutrient dispersion to every plant. They are low-maintenance once set up, meaning you can simply leave the plants to the green machine, freeing you to get on with the finer things in life.