You could never convince me otherwise: Plants make every space brighter.
There is something beautiful about bringing a little bit of nature into your home. Plants add life, bring inspiration, and even purify air. I know what you’re thinking: “I have no green thumb whatsoever, I can’t keep any plant alive.”
Well as a plant mom who regularly forgets to water her babies, I can tell you that not all plants are created equal. There are plenty of houseplants that can thrive in your home, even with little attention and few windows!
Don’t believe the lie that succulents are easy-peezy, and definitely don’t let anyone convince you into buying that expensive fiddle leaf fig- no matter how cute it is. Here is the honest list of some of my favorite plants that are insanely resistant to whatever life may bring.
Tall and strong, the “mother-in-law’s tongue” is one tough cookie. A snake plant can add height and texture to your space, found in many different shades and sizes. It is possibly the most durable houseplant, so if you have kids or pups, a snake plant may be the perfect choice for you. One of mine even survived a two-week long road trip from Alaska to Omaha, and it still sits boldly in my living room today. A snake plant doesn’t require a lot of light, so it can brighten up that awkward shadowy corner of your apartment. And it needs hardly any water- only biweekly or even monthly. Low-maintenance, long-lasting, and versatile in placement, the snake plant is an easy choice for plant amateurs.
If you’re like me and this land-locked state is making your heart ache, get some tropical vibes in your home with a monstera philodendron. I used to think that monsteras were impossible. I’d see Instagram photos and think- they just look so stellar, there’s no way that I can keep that alive in my living room. Man, I am so happy to be proven wrong. Not only are monstera’s relatively easy to maintain, they thrive incredibly well. One of my favorite things about the monstera is how much growth it puts out. At least once a week, I wake up to a brand new leaf slowly uncurling. Best feeling ever! Monsteras like bright, indirect light and biweekly watering, so find a good spot near a window and consider spraying the leaves with a spray bottle of water. This will help acclimate your monstera to your home, since it thrives in humid tropical climates. Be sure to take a photo of your monstera the day you buy it, because you won’t believe how much this beauty will grow!
Pothos grow long and leafy vines, making them perfect for hanging over the kitchen sink, or trailing in front of a window. There are so many varieties of pothos, with heart-shaped leaves ranging from solid green to variegated shades of white, yellow, or pale green. Pothos are extremely flexible in light and water needs, so place it where you want it and then keep an eye out to see how it adapts! I will say that giving your pothos some time outside in the summer heat can work wonders. I got a small marble queen pothos a little over a year ago, and it has now completely taken over my kitchen cabinets, trailing over 10 feet long! Bonus- one of my favorite things to do with a healthy pothos is clip off a leaf at the node and “propagate” it. Put the clipping in an old salad dressing jar or Topo Chico bottle filled halfway with water, and watch that little baby grow roots! You really can’t go wrong with a pothos!
Are you ready for a unique, low-maintenance statement plant for your home? Slightly less trendy than the others on this list, the philodendron birkin may not be so familiar to you, but it will not disappoint! Like its monstera cousin, the birkin has rapid growth of unfurling leaves. The leaves have incredible textures and patterns, with markings that look like they were sketched with a pencil. Birkins need about biweekly watering, allowing the top of the soil to dry in between waterings. To be confident in when to water, I usually put my finger down into the soil a few inches and see if it’s dry. Birkins love bright light, and will even grow its leaves to reach toward the light, so be sure to spin it around every once in a while. This medium sized plant will make the perfect coffee table centerpiece or nightstand accessory!
This plant is one of my personal favorites. The rubber plant looks true to its name, with shiny, durable leaves. This plant is technically a tree, which means its strong stems are extremely resistant and can grow up to impressive heights. Be sure to use a well-drained pot, so that your rubber plant doesn’t sit in water, and consider the season when deciding when to water. Rubber plants should stay moist in the summer (its growing season), but can go 2-3 weeks without water in the colder months. Rubber plants come in a variety of shades, from dark green and deep purple, to striped patterns. The variegated rubber plant is truly incredible, with leaves that look like they were shaded in with a paintbrush. I had a large and beautiful variegated rubber plant when we lived in Alaska but I had to give it away with our move. *sheds tear* I got this small one not too long ago, and I can’t wait to see how it grows!
One last pro-tip: look for your next plant at your favorite grocery store. I love a Mulhalls trip just as much as the next girl, but I’ve gotten many of my favorite, healthy plants from Baker’s for half the cost.
Whether this list made you excited about plant parenthood, or more overwhelmed over the process, I want you to know that you CAN keep a plant alive!
You may even find some joy in taking care of that little piece of nature in your home, and watching the growth and life along the way.
So I encourage you- give plants a chance!
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