Most of us have that one friend. You know the one…she has an abundance of thriving, beautiful houseplants thoughtfully scattered throughout her home. A lush indoor oasis—and she makes it look so easy. There are plenty of benefits of houseplants beyond an added design element to a room (and keeping us company during quarantine), and we’re here to break down the benefits, basic care tips, and, of course, highlight a few of our favorites.
So, why should we incorporate houseplants into the home? Simply enough, they’re a living thing. Much the same as being out in nature and having it improve your overall health and make you feel good, by bringing these beauties indoors, many of the same benefits apply. Houseplants are known to improve air quality and produce oxygen, which not only helps you breathe better, but can also help with overall health—both staying healthy and getting over illnesses quickly. They also can help with general morale…boosting your mood and providing better productivity. More productive, happier, and your space looking good? Don’t mind if we do!
Now that we know we need some houseplants in our life, how do we go about choosing? The good news is, houseplants can be relatively easy to care for, as long as you do a little bit of research prior to your purchase. Some of the main factors:
- Light and Temperature. Most indoor houseplants love the sun. And since many of them are tropical, they like it warm. That said, each plant varies based on what they like most, so it’s best to do a quick background check on some of your favorites before committing based on looks alone. For example, ferns and cacti love the heat, so if you have a sunroom, they’ll be happy as can be. A fiddleleaf fig loves sunshine, so keep him near the window with bright light and he’ll perk right up. Keep an eye on the label for recommended light needs, then place your plant accordingly.
- Watering. When it comes to watering houseplants, a good rule to remember is less is more. Overwatering is one of the main downfalls when it comes to keeping plants alive. And while a few plants like their soil moist, most prefer it when the soil dries out between waterings. For those of you, like me, that worry about overwatering, there are self-watering pots out there to take the guesswork of when you last watered out of the equation.
- The Right Pot. As your plant grows, so should its home. Keep an eye on the pot size and repot if it begins to outgrow its container. A general rule of thumb: use a container about two inches wider and deeper than your original pot to allow roots to grow freely. Good drainage also matters so your plant’s roots don’t rot or have water pooling at the bottom of the pot. There are plenty of ways to allow for proper drainage such as pebbles or packing peanuts at the bottom of your planter to keep roots away from pooling water.
Straight out of the tropics, the Monstera is low-maintenance, a stunner, and aims to please. Just make sure you have the space to accommodate it, as they can get rather large!
One of the more commonly seen houseplants, they’re not only pretty, but they prefer dry soil (hint, hint, not much watering!) and don’t need much light to flourish. With a variety of species, you’ll be able to take your pick on which one fits your space the best.
When you think of ferns, you think of shady forest floors. And in most cases, that’s the same with this easy-to-care-for houseplants. Some of the easier varieties to care for include lemon button fern, asparagus fern, and mother spleenwort, but if you want one that is a showstopper, check out the Staghorn Fern (we love these guys mounted to the wall—talk about living art!)
Succulents + Cacti
Who doesn’t love a cute little succulent or cactus. Watering is barely needed, the varieties are endless, and while they like heat, they can go just about anywhere in the home.
Fiddle Leaf Fig
The key to these big-leafed beauties? Plenty of sun and spaced-out watering. They love the sunshine, just be careful of direct sunlight, which could scorch their waxy leaves.
Perhaps the simplest of all plants (aside from artificial, that is!), the airplant doesn’t even need soil to survive. To keep them happy, run them under water about once a week, let air dry, and put back in their decorative location.
Moss + Cuttings + Branches
Still hesitant to take the plunge with a houseplant? Start with moss or loose leaves to get the fresh feel without the commitment. All moss requires is a spritz of water a few times a week to stay moist. As far as cuttings or branches go, purchase your favorites (or go outdoors and forage for your own!), put them in a vase with water, and enjoy! An easy way to instantly spruce up your space.