In case you haven’t heard, plants are here and they are here to stay. Long gone are the times where plants were only for grandmothers, and you could only find a fern or two in the hardware store and nurseries were only for Christmas trees and pumpkins. With the higher demand of easy indoor plants for decor, you not only have stores with more varieties but you also have a myriad of online sites to get more specialized indoor plants and many online resources like Instagram, Youtube or Facebook groups to get guidance and help.
The trend is all about indoor plants, their stylish decor potential, their positive effect on our well being and a healthy escape from the routine and monotony. Indoor gardening is there to save the day, helping clear our minds while making your home look lush.
Not too long ago, I felt like a serial plant killer and that I was not meant to care for a living creature. But in reality, I was not aware of some basic information that could have helped me identify the right environment I needed to make plants grow and thrive. People have asked me questions about why their plants die or they don’t look healthy, and many times the issues are related to humidity, watering, soil, light or just not knowing the name of the plant they have.
I have gathered a list of easy indoor plants that has worked for many people (including myself) living with limited light, air conditioning and that do not require too much maintenance.
Pothos – Epipremnum aureum: Best for the beginner, tight budget or trailing indoor plant lover.
Light: It can tolerate low light, so they can be far from a window. The closer they are to a source of light, the faster they will grow, and more variegation they will have.
Water: Even though this will depend on your environment, on average people water every week and during the cold season water every two weeks. Make sure that you only water when the top 1 or 2 inches of soil are dry. How to check? Put a finger until the knuckle to feel the soil dryness (good method for any plant). Also, pothos will start looking droopy when it needs H2O.
Soil: This plant likes all-purpose common soil. It can be found in any hardware store or nursery for low prices. Soil is important when you want to change the plant to a different pot for the looks or when their roots are popping from the bottom.
Humidity: They tolerate drier environments. Just don’t place it near any vents because the leaves will turn brown.
Warning: While pothos are very easy to take care of and are cited as one of the best plants for removing impurities from the air, they can produce uncomfortable and sometimes serious side effects in animals and people.
Succulents and Cacti – variety of echeverias and cactaceae : Great for busy schedules, travelers, gifts and decor lovers
Light: They love light, so the closer to a window, the better.
Water: Water when the soil is getting mostly dry all over. Pour water all over the plant until it drains from the bottom. Let it dry.
Soil: Cactus and succulent soil, sold in many hardware stores and nurseries. All-purpose soil with extra perlite or pumice can work as well.
Humidity: They live well with typical indoor humidity.
Zz plant – Zamioculcas zamiifolia: Best for the neglectful plant parent. They don’t mind neglect (at all).
Light: Near or far from a window, they adapt very well to low or high levels of light. Avoid strong direct light because it can burn the leaves.
Water: This plant does not like a lot of water, so water when is mostly dry. Pour water until it drains and let it dry.
Soil: All-purpose soil with good drainage is good.
Humidity: Indoor average humidity is fine. No special requirements.
Marimo Moss Ball – Aegagropila linnaei : Best for beginners, busy schedules and gifts.
This is not a potted plant but their charm gets them into the indoor-plants-for-beginners category. They are kept in water and live there for many years, even centuries.
Light: Low light. Their habitats are bottoms of lakes so they don’t need much light. They can perfectly live in an office.
Water: Place in a small jar with unchlorinated water. Just leave your tap water standing for 30 minutes so the chlorine dissipates. Change the water every 1 or 2 weeks and voila!
Swiss Cheese Plant – Monstera Deliciosa: Great for a decor statement and a lush jungle vibe at home.
This plant I saved for last, since it is easy but it will require more attention to a watering schedule, larger space and humidity.
Light: Near a window but no direct sun. Their natural habitat is climbing on trees so they like a bit of shade.
Water: Water thoroughly when the top 1 or 2 inches of soil are dry. On average is about once a week, but this will always depend on your environment.
Soil: All-purpose soil, some orchid bark and perlite for extra drainage. All of these are found in hardware stores or nurseries for low prices.
Humidity: They like warmth and humidity. Placing them in a bathroom or kitchen with lots of light will keep them happier. If not, you can always mist them daily to avoid dryness and encourage new leaves.
Warning: While Monsteras are relatively low maintenance, making them an attractive addition to any home, they can be toxic to cats and dogs.
Some Tips to Consider
- There are no universal rules when it comes to indoor plant care, everything will depend on your environment.
- Don’t be scared of watering, just make sure that the plant topsoil is dry and it is not staying drenched in water for a long time.
- Drainage holes are important! If there is a nice pot without it, just put your plant in a plastic pot and insert in the cute planter. Take the plant out only when you need to water.
- The knuckle test to see if the soil is dry is quite good but you can also get a moisture meter on amazon for quite cheap if you want more accuracy.
- Finding out the names of the specific plant can give you a better understanding of what they need. Don’t be afraid to ask, the plant community is super friendly and they are ready to help out fellow plant lovers.
- If you have young children or pets, always check the safety of all indoor plants to make sure they are not toxic.