Staying safe at home during the COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged many people to dive into house plants to make their quarantine green. As the expert in all things houseplant-related, I wanted to share some simple advice to help you purchase the right houseplant for the right spot. While plants may not move on their own, they aren’t simply decor either. Each plant has unique needs, such as specific amounts of light, humidity, and water.
The first step to success is to do your research. Check out your plant’s light and watering requirements before you purchase it to save yourself heartache and cash. Ask at a garden store with a good reputation and share where you are going to place the plant in your home. Look at the style of your home and find a plant that complements your overall aesthetic. Finding the right plant for your space should be fun!
After you’ve chosen the right houseplant for the right spot, learn how to take care of your plant. Some basic principles hold true in most cases. The less light available, the less water is needed. The more light, the more water is required. Think about how sunlight zaps moisture when you’re outside. The same is true of indoor environments.
Don’t over analyze it. Most people kill their plants with too much kindness and don’t repot it right away. Of course, you checked the watering requirements when you purchased your plant. Now try to maintain constant moisture levels. An excellent tool to have in your arsenal is a water meter. Plunge the tines of the meter into the soil to determine the moisture level. That reading will tell you what the roots need. Don’t go by the surface moisture level. Depending on how your container drains, you may have lots of water lurking beneath the surface.
Consistency is essential, as well. Get good instructions and stick to it. Put in your calendar when to water. Plants like regularity. Also, observe your plants, and they will tell you what they need. Typically, yellow leaves mean not enough water. Brown says too much water. Finally, keep the leaves clean to prevent bugs and disease. Simply wipe down with water and Ivory Soap as a natural way to keep leaves clean and shiny.
Here are my four favorite houseplants for new plant lovers. All four are simple, beautiful, and resilient.
Pothos-This plant comes in 6” & 8” grow pots and can grow anywhere inside your home. Pothos is a very low light plant, perfect for shelves or counters where you need a splash of life. If left alone, pothos can trail down. To keep the plant full, be careful to trim the trailings. They come in many different color varieties. Pothos is one of the all-time easiest houseplants to keep alive! For more information, read our blog dedicated to Pothos here.
ZZ or Zamiifolio-ZZ comes in 6”, 8”, and 10” grow pots. It can grow to 3’-4’ tall and has a fun wider flare that will add a beautiful look for your home. They are very forgiving as well if you leave alone. Water sparingly and keep leaves clean to keep this plant happy.
Sansevieria-or commonly called “The Mother in law Tongue” is easily recognizable by its slim, spiky foliage. Sansevieria comes in 6”, 8”,10” and sometimes 14” grow pots and can grow to 3’-4’ as well. It’s a very sleek looking plant and lends itself to a contemporary look. There are several varieties to choose from with different, fun colors or striping. Install in your home and leave alone. Sansevieria is truly low maintenance—water once a month! It doesn’t like wet roots.
Spathiphyllum or also known as Peace Lily- Spathiphyllum is for the more advanced student. This gorgeous plant comes in 6”,8”,10” and sometimes 14” sizes but can grow to be 3’-4’. The foliage is full and wide-leafed and sends off a gorgeous white flower throughout the year. This is a classic houseplant and also works well as a lovely housewarming gift. Peace lilies require filtered light and must be watered weekly without exception to keep the soil moist. If you forget to water, it will wilt completely, but never fear! This plant is very forgiving. Water it, and you can watch it perk right back up.
Any of these beginner houseplants is an easy hobby for you to try. The benefits are amazing as well. These little roommates clean the air, make you more productive, and boost your mood. Pretty good investment, right? So do your homework, buy from a reputable garden store, and have fun! Need more guidance? Any of the Plantscapers professionals are happy to help!