A friend and I were recently discussing our struggles with growing houseplants. Sometimes, in sight is still out of mind—I am a terrible plant waterer!
BUT, I have found a few indoor plants that seem to like me. A plant literally brings life to a space—it is dynamic and in the freezing winter, I especially enjoy the green. So if you, like me and my friend, might feel nervous about your relationship with plants but want to bring in some greenery, take heart. These plants could be a perfect match for you!
I'm pretty sure Pothos can't be killed—if you put it in the garbage it would probably thrive there. It has these sweet little pointed leaves and grows in a kind of wild, vine-like way. (Can you tell I don't know much about plants!?) This plant is great for cuttings so you can split it into new containers as it grows. I have mine in a vintage milk glass vessel my sister-in-law bought me years ago.
Sunlight: This plant does well in low light, but it can take indirect sun, too.
Water: Minimal. When it gets super thirsty, it literally looks sad (wilty) and then I know I have neglected it too much. But it perks right back up after a good drink! I have had this plant for years.
2. SNAKE PLANT
I think Snake Plant might be my favorite. It is also called Mother-In-Law's Tongue, which is a rather harsh name, don't you think? So we'll go with Snake Plant. I have three of them and they all look different—two have some yellow on the leaves and one is all green.
Snake Plant has such a sculptural beauty, don't you think? Pothos is kind of wild and leafy, but Snake Plant has an edginess to it. As the plants grow, I'd love to put some in baskets on the floor. They can grow super big!
Sunlight: I have one of my plants in a window that faces west, and I've noticed that the leaves do get a little brown and scorched. The other two are away from windows and they do just fine. I believe they do well in very low light—I noticed them in some large planters inside the center of the mall.
Water: I rarely water these plants. Like maybe once a month? I read that they can tolerate drought (let's be honest, my lack of watering puts them in drought conditions) and that they need very well-draining soil, because the roots can rot out easily.
3. ELEPHANT'S FOOT/PONYTAIL PALM
This one was a bit of a wild card when I bought it at IKEA. It looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. But it's so unique and really fills a corner nicely!
Sunlight: I have my Ponytail Palm in my kitchen window, which faces east, so this one gets a good amount of morning sun.
Water: I read that this plant needs to dry out between waterings. But I've found that I am more likely to water this one, since it is by the kitchen sink—at the end of the day when I am emptying out stray water cups I dump them in here. Not every day, but often. It is alive and well!
4. FIDDLE LEAF FIG
You might be surprised to see this on my list of easy houseplants. The Fiddle Leaf Fig is notoriously finicky. I've seen pictures on Instagram of Figs in the bathtub, being nursed back to life. I've heard stories of all the leaves falling off. But I, Amy the girl with the black thumb, have had great success with this plant. The way it grows is so weird and beautiful—to see the leaves unfurl is so satisfying! From the accounts I've read, this plant is finicky about its location (amount and type of sun) and watering schedule. So here is what I have had success with.
Sunlight: The key seems to be filtered or indirect brightness. I've had my Fig in two spots in my house and I saw new growth while it was in both places. The first spot was right in front of the sliding glass door in the kitchen during the winter months. It saw a lot of mild, morning sun. But I would not put it there in the summer—too bright. Then I moved it to our bedroom, near but not directly under a south-facing window. We often have the blinds partway shut, so again, the light isn't very direct.
Water: I give this plant about a quart of water every 1-2 weeks. It really does dry out between waterings, and it seems to be happy with that.
If you'd like to read more about houseplants, check out Gardening Know How. I read about a few of these plants on that site and discovered some things I didn't know!
And here's another general thought on houseplants and cost. I think the most expensive of these four plants was the Fiddle Leaf Fig, which ran me $12 at IKEA. Even with its finicky reputation, I was willing to risk 12 bucks because I really think it is a beautiful plant and I wanted to give it a go. Bouquets of fresh flowers can easily cost that much, and cut flowers don't last very long. So even if my plants end up dying on me, when they are relatively inexpensive, it's a risk I'm willing to take. With risk comes reward, right? ;) So I say go for it! Give houseplants a try!
Ok guys, what indoor plants did I miss? Are there any more easy ones you can suggest for me? Do you have any of these four in your home? Which is your favorite?