Nothing completes a home decor look better than the perfect houseplant… or two or three! But houseplants are more than just a pretty face. The benefits houseplants offer make adding them to your home a no-brainer—as long as you actually remember to water them.
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If you’ve been hesitant to become a plant parent (caring for children is a big responsibility, after all) out of intimidation or lack of knowledge—I’ve got you covered.
I spoke with Bloomscape’s gardening expert, Lindsay Pangborn, and Shayla Cabrera, the owner of Tia Planta (a plant shop in Jersey City, New Jersey), to find out everything we need to know about houseplants and which ones we need to complete our home.
Why Your Home Needs Them
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again because it’s crucial: Houseplants are more than just pretty things to look at. Unless they are fake, in which case, that’s all they are. They actually offer health, lifestyle, and decor benefits that make them a necessity.
Pangborn explains, “Plants have the ability to absorb toxins from the air and purify your spaces. Studies have shown that they can lower stress levels, increase concentration and productivity, and improve creativity.” They also help to encourage owners to establish care routines, which can improve wellness and structure in our lives.
And of course, being able to truly personalize your home and make it into your own oasis is an added benefit, too. “With such a wide variety of plants, plant owners are able to select a species, size, or care preference that works best for their lifestyle and decor style,” says Pangborn. But with so many options, where do you even begin? Here are the plants you should consider bringing into your home, based on your space and experience:
If You Have Zero Experience
For true novices, Cabrera most recommends the ZZ plant since it is “one of the most durable houseplants and great for beginners.” She explains that they are the “set and forget” kind of plant that can do well with little sun. While all houseplants need some sun, “these babies are the best option for low light homes.” They also need infrequent watering which makes them ideal for even the busiest of people.
If You Already Know You Won’t Stick to a Watering Schedule
Intimidated by plants that are needy? The Snake Plant will be your new best friend. Cabrera explains, “These plants are the most forgiving in the houseplant world. They are low light tolerant and require a thorough watering about once every 3-4 weeks which makes them ideal for the traveling plant parent.” Snake plants come in all kinds of easy-to-care-for varieties which Cabrera says makes them super fun to collect and place throughout your space.
If Your Home Has No Windows
Is your home short on natural light? While you may think this spells doom for your plants, there are actually tons of plants out there that can thrive (not just survive) in low light. Cabrera recommends the Pothos, an especially low-light tolerant and fast-growing plant, which she says never goes out of style. Not only are they easy to prorogate, but they give a vine-y vibe that adds dimension and detail to any space!
If Your Home Gets a Ton of Light
Hanging plants in your windows is an excellent way to add style, ambiance, and greenery to your home. They’ll draw the eye upward while also maximizing your space. For these spaces, Pangborn recommends trailing plants like the English Ivy, which can naturally “spill” and trail as their vines thrive. Just make sure your ivy has plenty of indirect light, not direct sunlight. The English Ivy needs to be watered when 25%-50% of the soil volume is dry (tip: if you stick your finger in the soil, the top quarter to half would feel dry if it needed to be watered), and per Pangborn, “be sure to mist with room-temperature water to adhere to its preferred humidity levels.”
If You’re Low on Space
Have no idea where you’d even put a plant in your small space? Pangborn recommends upward-growing plants to make the most of what you have. She suggests tall, narrow plants such as the Dracaena Marginata Open Weave which can “create a delicate, abstract silhouette.” She explains this plant does well in low to medium light and can thrive in almost any setting. It’s a low-maintenance plant and only needs to be watered when about 75% of the soil volume is dry.
If You Like a Bit of Drama
Looking to kick things up a notch and add some drama to your home? Check out the Monstera Deliciousa. Cabrera says this plant “definitely brings the jungle vibes to any home.” It gives you a wonderful show with its big, hole-filled leaves, and does best in bright light. Cabrera also says it will serve as “the star of the show for your guests.”
Another dramatic option is the Whale Fin Sansevieria, which Pangborn says can make a serious statement with its uniquely patterned broadleaf. This plant is actually drought-tolerant which means it only requires watering when it is 100% dry—perfect for those of us who tend to forget! Plus, she says “it tolerates a wide range of temperature, humidity, and light levels, thriving most in bright indirect light.”
Whale Fin Sansevieria