Most everyone loves to have some living greenery in their homes, but many feel that keeping houseplants alive is beyond their capabilities. Fear not! The key is to choose the right plants for your home. If you choose a plant that fits your expertise and housing – light, water, care – you should have a green thumb in no time!
5 Easy to Grow Houseplants
Airplants are probably the easiest house plants to grow, but even they need some care. Weekly watering, or a quick dunk in a pan of fresh water, though, is about all the care they require. Airplants grow without soil (yes!) and can even be glued to a flat surface to provide them some support. They will remain green and thrive; they will even divide themselves to make additional plants. Some have colored leaves, and some will bear flowers. Genus include Ionatha and Tillandsia, which has more than 500 varieties. Check with your local garden center for plants, or there are plenty of sites online to purchase them. They like moderate light (they do well in bathrooms and office cubicles), and prefer being misted with water. You don’t want to soak airplants or leave them sitting in water, as they will rot. As long as they get enough moisture, Airplants will stay supple and green.
Sanseverias are another great choice for your home! They include the Snake Plant or Mother in Law’s Tongue, which can grow to several feet tall. There are also some varieties, like a Bird’s Nest Sansiveria, which grow in a swirl. This variety is also very pretty and unique looking. Their leathery leaves grow wide and tall, and the Snake plant is a great accent for a corner that needs a little greenery. They’re also great as a backdrop for more colorful houseplants. Sansiveria plants like to dry out between watering and enjoy bright or direct sunlight every day. BUT – they will grow in low or indirect light at a slower rate. Sanseverias like to be crowded in their pot, so don’t place in too large a planter when repotting.
There are tons of Ficus varieties, from the classic rubber plant to the perennial office plant, the Weeping Fig. They can be very sturdy, depending upon the variety chosen. Ficus plants do like a fair amount of light – think about placing them by a window or sliding glass door. Upkeep is simple; water well and let soil get almost dry between watering. If they get too leggy, meaning tall and spindly, just chop them off, leaving a few leaf joints for new growth to start. Fertilize occasionally. If you have a large area, consider a Fiddleleaf Fig, which has very showy leaves!
Philodendrons are those long, vine-y houseplants that every grandma has. You know – the ones she’s always got pieces of in a glass of water, to gift to visitors – and you’ve probably taken home your fair share of these plants. There are many varieties, but all fall into two categories – upright, that grow like a tree or bush, and climbing, which can be trained on a trellis or planted in a hanging pot. Growing requirements are similar for both types. Philodendrons love to be kept damp/moist always, and should be misted with water every day or two. They like indirect medium to bright light, and don’t like cool temperatures. This is another plant (especially the climbing varieties) that can be heavily pruned without harming your house plant, it will stimulate new growth and keep the plant from becoming spindly.
Cactus & Succulents.
Although these are not necessarily green and leafy plants, many varieties do well indoors. Varieties are very unique in shape, so they can add a lot of interest to your indoor garden. Jade plants are a great choice for an indoor succulent, and make great housewarming gifts, too, as they’re considered a ‘good luck’ plant. Succulents and cacti like moderate to bright light, and warmer temperatures. Place them in a soil that drains well – ideally, a cactus potting mix – to keep them from getting waterlogged. Most of these plants are slow growing, so don’t expect to see much increase in size. Let them dry out completely between watering, then water until it runs out the bottom. Lots of colorful and interesting varieties exist, ask your local garden center for assistance for choosing indoor varieties.
There are plenty of types of houseplants that are easy to grow for even novice gardeners. If you need help, there are many places to turn to, from your friends and neighbors to your local home or garden center. Most plants purchased today even have growing instructions included with the plant. The best part of gardening is that is an inexpensive hobby, the plants are moveable (if it doesn’t work in one spot, try changing its location), and you can always find something to replace it with if it dies or your grow tired of looking at it. Houseplants come in thousands of different varieties, colors and care levels; it’s just a matter of gaining some confidence in keeping them alive and thriving to get you hooked.