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How fast plants grow has a lot more to do with the conditions you provide for them rather than your location, BUT these are ten plants that I’ve grown in deepest, darkest (literally) North Yorkshire and they’ve grown pretty quickly.
- Peace lily
- Monstera deliciosa
- Pilea peperomoiodes
- Spider plants
- Jade plants
If you want tips on how to make your plants grow faster, I have an article that I wrote specifically on how fast Monstera grow and how to get them to grow faster.
A lot of people on Facebook groups seem to struggle with peace lilies, and that always confused me a bit because mine are so easy.
I don’t even really get brown tips on the leaves.
Sure, they’re dramatic (who isn’t), but I’ve never had one die or anything.
And then I realised – they do well here. The UK suits them.
Peace lilies are perfectly happy in medium light, so a nice east-facing window suits them perfectly. TECHNICALLY it's bright, indirect light, but since the UK is permanently grey, it's rarely actually that bright. They like long hours of non-bright sun. Not that they're picky or anything.
The only real struggle I’ve had with my peace lilies is my variegated one has gone green, even when I upped its light.
Then I read that sometimes variegation can be influenced by warmth, and the penny dropped.
Yeah, the UK is not warm in winter, so that may be the issue. She's near a radiator now so we shall see!
Also, we have great water (erm, in many parts, obvs London is hell), so I can water my peace lilies with tap water and they grow fine.
It took me a while to get the hang of Pothos, but give them a tonne of light and humidity and they grow like weeds.
The only problem is that they’re always topping ‘best low light’ house plants lists, so they’re rarely being allowed to reach their true potential:
I need to get my girl on a pole!
The most popular house plant (I don’t know if that’s true, but it must be, surely?) for a reason.
I’m not going to say they’re unkillable, because I’m not that mean (or naive) BUT they can get SO CLOSE to being dead and still be revived.
They’re also big, fit a lot of different aesthetics, and they’re pretty cheap.
The more light you give them, the faster they’ll grow. I put mine outside in summer, but make sure you keep up with watering it.
4 – Pilea peperomoiodes
Pilea like a lot of light. Mine is thriving sat in a south-facing window.
I neglected it for the longest time, and all the bottom leaves started to drop off, so she had a long trunk and then a ball of leaves on the top.
I was going to chop and prop, but never did, and then when I started taking better care of her (more water, more food) all the babies grew so now she looks super full.
5 – Hoya
So, Hoya are famous for being slow growing, but in my experience, they grow pretty quickly in the UK
You pick the right species.
Krimson princess, pubicalyx, bella, and krinkle 8 all grow super quickly for me (especially krinkle 8 for some reason).
Avoid Kerrii and compacta – they grow incredibly slowly, doubly so if you get variegated ones.
Hoya bella also blooms SUPER easily in the UK, and you don’t have to do anything special to get it to do so.
Like peace lilies, they just suit the light.
Aglaonema grow in the undergrowth of tropical rainforests, so the medium light they get there is very similar to bright indirect light here.
They also come in a range of cool colours, so if you’re in the market for a pink plant, aglaonema have you covered.
I’ve gotten the best result from growing mine in pretty bright light, but they’re pretty good at dealing with colder winter temperatures.
Mine’s recovering from thrips and I had to cut off some of the new growth, and now I think it’s branching, which is VERY exciting.
Also, it was like £1 from Morrisons. Bargain!
8 – Spider plants
If you’ve been following my plant journey from the beginning, you’ll know that me and spider plants never really gelled.
It turns out that when people recommended that I neglect them a bit, I was misunderstanding. My ‘neglect a bit’ means to completely ignore for a month, when apparently is ‘neglect a LOT’ to other people.
The more you know.
Don’t let spider plants dry out and give them plenty of light and they’ll be swell. They’re pretty likely to get brown tips in the leaves – mine get them because we have hard water – but as long as they’re growing there’s no reason to worry unduly.
Plants aren’t designed to look perfect, annoyingly enough.
9 – Tradescantia
Tradescantia come in a range of cool colourways, like pink and purple, and they grow SO QUICKLY. They also propagate easily, so they’re a good one to try if you’re new to it.
10 – Jade plants
Another one that typically grows slowly, but actually can grow quite fast in the UK, especially if you put them outside in the summer.
I can only think that British summers suit them, which is…fine.
If yours is growing leggy or stretched or just a bit…droopy, then it’s probably a light issue, or even root rot. Either way, get it outside (or somewhere warm and dry – don’t put it outside in November) so the roots can dry out and the leaves can get some really good light.
Succulents tend to come from very arid, exposed areas, so they need a LOT of light to thrive. Just because they’re not dying in dark places doesn’t mean they’re doing well!
How to accelerate plant growth
Plants WANT to grow quickly.
Well, as quickly as they can.
In general, vines grow quickly (to get up to the rainforest canopy). Plants that live in extreme conditions (like cacti) grow more slowly.
But the better you care for them, the more quickly they’ll grow.
Keep them pest free
When you’re checking that your plants need watering (I do this a couple of times a week), give them a good look over. If they show signs of pests, then deal with them.
For preventative care, when you dust your plants (the frequency of dusting varies, but I need to dust my rubber plant weekly) smear a bit of neem oil on your duster. It can interrupt the lifecycle of most nasty bugs.
Want to learn more about house plant pests (who doesn’t!)? Click here to read my article on those critters.
Water them properly
By which I mean don’t under or overwater them. I have a whole-ass post all about watering. It’s here.
Give them more light
There are loads of plants that have a reputation for not needing much light, and it’s true.
In order for your plant to grow, it will need more light.
Yes, even pothos.
As long as they don’t have the direct sun beating down on them, most plants will grow faster in bright light.
If you have variegated plants (plants with bits of white on their leaves) they’ll need more light than their non-variegated versions, because the white parts don’t have any chlorophyll in them.
If they don’t get enough light, the amount of variegation will reduce (or go completely). If the variegation disappears, then it won’t return, no matter how much light you give it.
You usually shouldn’t need to fertilise plants until you’ve had them for about a year. Only fertilise during the growing season.
Some plants stop growing in winter (others don’t) but they do slow down, so definitely fertilise less often if at all.
Bizarrely, my Monstera Deliciosa refuses to grow even one tiny, crappy leaf from October to March. It’s like someone flicks a switch. Nothing all winter and then two leaves at once at the first of Spring.
Summer Rayne Oakes has a whole video on fertilising that I suggest you watch if it’s something you either struggle with or have never done before.
I also have a post on fertilising plants here, that’s easier to digest than Summer’s 40-minute video, but obvs not as in-depth.
Increase the humidity
If your plant is tropical (monstera, philodendron, most house plants) humidity will have a massive impact on how quickly they grow. In fact, in my experience increasing humidity to 65% has the biggest impact on plant growth.
Assuming, you know, that you’re watering them properly and they’re not infested with spider mites.
Final thoughts on fast-growing plants
If you live in the UK and you need yourself a fast-growing plant, get yourself a Tradescantia Zebria.
As you can see, you can get a small specimen for A POUND. My one was from Morrisons, but loads of other supermarkets and garden centres sell them, or you can buy cuttings online.
The best way to make plants grow quickly is to not neglect them and ensure the holy trinity of light, water, and humidity is in place.