At RWD, we believe that every room should have greenery in it to bring life into the space. It automatically brightens up a dark corner and boosts your mood to see a plant thriving. If it has to be fake, that’s ok, but of course real houseplants are always better!
Saying this, we totally understand that taking care of a plant can sometimes be a lot of work, and a little daunting to someone without a natural green thumb. To help, we’ve put together this list of our favorite house plants with tips for making them happy. Most of these are plants we have at home or in the office, so you can trust our judgement!
Before we get into it, a general tip is to take some time after you get a new plant to study it. What we mean by this is that it’s a good idea to move the plant to different spots, closer and farther from a window to find a place that makes it truly happy. Pay attention to its leaves to know how it’s feeling; if they get droopy or start to brown, it is time to change location. The same goes with watering; try slightly different amounts and different watering schedules to see what makes the plant perky. Pro tip: less water is better than more when you’re just getting started; over-watering is one of the surest ways to kill a plant! Also, as your plant grows (yay!), make sure you re-pot it into a bigger pot occasionally so the roots have space to grow too.
Now, on to the list!
Philodendrons are a great plant for beginners because they’re so easy to care for! They are known for their heart-shaped trailing leaves that can get quite long. They prefer low to medium indirect light and to be watered weekly or every two weeks. Before you water, make sure the soil is completely dry!
Monstera, or the swiss cheese plant, has a lot of character with its beautiful broad leaves and natural holes. A type of philodendron, it really thrives in bright to medium indirect light and doesn’t do as well in intense direct light. Watering every 1-2 weeks works well for this “Monster,” just make sure to let the soil dry before watering again.
The Snake Plant is another plant that’s great for beginners, and it’s actually even easier to care for than the Philodendron! It’s a very attractive, modern-looking plant with thin, shiny leaves that add height to a space. It’s also an air purifying plant, which is an added bonus. It doesn’t need much water or light. It prefers medium to bright indirect light but can withstand low indirect light. Make sure the soil is dried out completely before watering it again. We water ours in the office just a little bit once a week and it’s very happy!
“Succulent” refers to a wide range of drought-tolerant plants. Because they come from the desert, their minimal needs make them good for beginners. They need bright direct light and not much else. Don’t over-water, even if it’s tempting! Just water them every 2-3 weeks when leaves start to wrinkle. They prefer normal to dry humidity (think desert climate!).
Fiddle Leaf Fig
The “it” plant right now, and for a good reason. They’re SO pretty with giant shiny green leaves. They can also get pretty huge when cared for correctly! However, the fiddle fig is one of the harder houseplants to care for. They need a lot of bright light, but aim for filtered or indirect light to avoid burning the leaves. These plants are also used to warm and humid climates. If the leaves are dropping, they’re likely too dry – set up a humidifier or mist them with a spray bottle. Keep the soil moist, but don’t let the plant sit in a puddle or you’ll have root rot on your hands!
What to Avoid
One word: orchids. Orchids are beautiful, but they’re nearly impossible to keep happy. We know people with a real talent for keeping plants alive who have struggled with orchids! So unless you’re a profession orchid keeper, try to avoid them because it can only end in heartbreak.
Another word: ferns. Ferns are pretty hard to keep alive because they love humidity and they tend to get bugs really easily. We’ve had really bad times with ferns – it’s probably best to just avoid them.
We hope this is a helpful start to your plant journey! If, for some reason, a plant passes away, don’t beat yourself up over it or feel like a plant parent failure. Just try again using the lessons you learned, and everything will be peachy keen!
All images and help on the care guide from thesill.com <3