One of the first things I bought when I moved into my current apartment was a little ivy plant for my bedroom. I loved it to death. I put it in mug because who needs drainage holes when the mug is so much cuter than all the pots I’ve seen? I over-watered it. I consistently left for the day without opening my blinds for it to get some light. By the end, it was bald and a little smelly. I’ve since recovered from the loss, but am still a little leery to give this plant lady thing another go. But, Jesse Waldman, director of marketing and e-commerce at Pistils Nursery in Portland, Oregon, says it’s worth it. All I have to do is choose beautiful indoor plants that are easy to care for.
“Plants soften spaces which makes them feel more lived in, welcoming, and comfortable,” says Waldman. Requisite for achieving this cozy aesthetic is making sure your plants aren’t sad and brown. Enter easy care indoor plants. “Low-maintenance plants require a bit less time and thought to care for, which is great if you’re not super experienced with caring for plants,” says Walman.
When it comes to finding an easy care indoor plant, Waldman says it’s about finding a plant that’s needs meet your environment and plant care style. “Succulents have a reputation for ease of care. However, if you have a dark home and like to water your plants daily, a succulent will certainly not be easy for you,” he says. “We’d consider the easy plants to be those that are adaptable to a wide range of light conditions, especially tolerant of lower light. Other qualities we look for are drought tolerance, as we all forget to water from time to time.”
7 easy care indoor plants that add life to your home
1. SANSEVIERIA STARFISH, $16
“Sansevieria species, otherwise known as snake plants and mother-in-law’s tongue, are widely regarded as some of the most bulletproof plants around,” says Waldman. “They thrive on neglect, and can go long periods of time without water.” Joan Mazat, head of new product development for Ball Horticultural Company in West Chicago, Illinois, says she had one in her family that lived for over 40 years. She says the starfish loves bright light ,but will tolerate low light. Pro tip: don’t pour water directly into the center of the plant, which Mazat says can lead to rotting.
2. ZZ PLANT, $32
Mazat says the ZZ Plant is nearly indestructible. Waldman says this is their go-to beginner plant. “Like sansevieria, they can handle very low light and their tuberous roots hold plenty of water, making them great choices for folks who often forget to water or go out of town for long stretches of time.” Avoid direct sunlight, and allow the plant to dry out between waterings, says Mazat.
3. PHILODENDRON BRASIL, $10
“You likely have seen standard solid green version of the heartleaf philodendron,” says Waldman. “It’s one of the classic beginner houseplants, as it is tolerant of fairly low light and bounces back well from drought. We like the ‘Brasil’ cultivar because its variegated leaves are a bit flashier, but it’s just as easy to care for as the standard version.” This plant is tolerant of low-medium light, but prefers to receive bright indirect light. Water when the top 1 to 2 inches of soil feel dry.
4. CHINESE EVERGREEN, $15
Mazat says these plants enjoy humidity, making the bathroom the perfect spot for them to thrive. “Chinese evergreens enjoy medium-to-low light, well-drained soil, and prefer to dry somewhat between waterings,” she says. “I personally owned one that thrived for over 30 years before it was lost due to a cat-astrophe!”
5. HOYA PUBICALYX, $10
“Hoyas are bright-light loving vines that produce sweet smelling flowers,” says Waldman. “Your grandma probably had one vining around her kitchen—they live forever, and tend to get passed on between generations. We’ve found Hoya pubicalyx to be particularly easy to care for, a vigorous grower, and content to dry out and soak in bright light.” Place in medium-to-bright indirect light and allow to dry moderately between waterings.
6. AIR PLANTS, $9
“You can see these in so many applications: terrariums, desk décor, even as a refrigerator magnet, because they enjoy small, minimal spaces,” says Mazat. Mist or dunk them in water once every seven to 10 days.
7. FISHBONE PRAYER PLANT, $28
“Like all members of the maranta family, this one lifts and lowers its leaves with the light each day,” says Waldman. “Most prayer plants are easy going, needing only medium light and consistent watering to survive—great choice for a bathroom. We find this species is a bit more drought tolerant and doesn’t crisp up as easily as some others in the family. Plus, we love the leaf patterning and purple undersides.” Place in medium to bright indirect light and water when the top 1 to 2 inches of soil feel dry. Mist periodically.
When you have easy care indoor plants that are low maintenance, you’re more likely to enjoy them.
“In today’s world, we find ourselves increasingly busy. A lot of folks travel for work and need to leave home for long stretches at a time,” says Waldman. “Low maintenance plants provide the same benefits of other houseplants, but are a bit more forgiving. They help people with busy lifestyles, or who are maybe just new to plant care, have something that’s a bit more forgiving and not going to croak on them if they take a long weekend.”
While you’re plant shopping, keep in mind that *this* is the it plant of 2020. And just so you know, your plants aren’t actually purifying the air in your home.
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