I have what some professional gardener’s may call a “brown thumb”. When it comes to designing bouquets or picking the most beautiful flowers for our tiny garden, I have a gift – an “eye” for color and aesthetic. However, I cannot seem to keep my plants alive. Mr. GGC is the green thumb – he knows how to plant and tend to our succulents, Black-eyed Susan, and indoor spider plants. Being an environmentalist (a “greenie” as we like to call it), I think there is something really beautiful and calming about bringing the outdoors inside of the home. Many of my decorative pieces are fake – and though they are pleasing to the eye – we are missing out on two very important factors: scent and air purification. So what are the best, fool-proof indoor plants for the “horticulturally challenged?”
7 Low-Maintenance Houseplants Perfect For Any Home
Pothos: Pothos plants are great because they can thrive in a range of diverse environments, from a low-lit office to a bright and sunny living room. Pothos contain variegated leaves, meaning they have bright spots (white/yellow in color) which add to their visual appeal. Therefore, some pathos require more or less light depending on the level of variegation. A plant with several bright spots will need sufficient light to keep the leaves from turning completely green. Another benefit of the pathos plant is its ability to grow in soil-based or water-based environment. *Warning: Pothos are toxic to animals and children if consumed, so keep your plant on a mantle or shelf!
Spider plant: Hate the name, love the flora. Spider plants are SO easy to take care of. Simply grow in potted soil, water occasionally, keep out of direct sunlight/heat, and fertilize twice a month during warm months. Some people have reported that their spider plants begin to brown at the tips. Don’t throw it away! Gently scratch off the brown residue with your fingernail, and your plant will look as good as new. Spider plants are also a great air purifier, so set it on your desk and breathe easy.
Rubber tree: Large and in charge, these plants can grow up to 50 feet tall, so be prepared to do a bit of pruning if you don’t have high ceilings. Rubber trees are sturdy plants that require moderate light (do not place in a hot spot) and water. If your leaves are looking droopy or discolored, try wiping them down with a wet cloth, and increase the plant’s water intake. I love the exotic look of these beauties.
Areca palm: Like the other house plants that I’ve described, the Areca palm requires indirect sunlight, frequent waterings in the spring and summer and more sparse waterings in the fall and winter. Direct sunlight will cause the beautiful leaves to turn yellow, ruining their appeal. Also like most houseplants, adding fertilizer to the soil every few months will only foster it’s growth. Professionals suggested re-potting your Areca palm every 2-3 years to replace the soil. These plants are the perfect addition any fireplace display – simply place it below your mantle to add a touch of color and texture.
Snake plant: Believe it or not, these beauty is a part of the lily family and many variations resemble succulents. Again, hate the name but LOVE the look. These beauties are difficult to kill, making them a top contender in my book. Another advantage of the snake plant or Sansevieria is its durability both outdoors and indoors. So use this as an accent on your patio table, then bring it inside when the weather starts to change in September! Water your snake plant every 2-3 weeks (that’s right…WEEKS). Small, beautiful and strong, the snake plant is a gorgeous addition to any home, big or small.
Kalanchoe: An indoor plant that flowers?! SCORE. The Kalanchoe is a succulent with beautiful, brightly colored buds. Plant in a small pot and place in a brightly lit area of the home. This sweet plant requires water every 1-2 weeks – feel the soil before watering to make sure that your kalanchoe does not receive too much water. Snip larger leaves to maintain its weight and shape, and pluck any dead flowers from its stems. I love the kalanchoe because you can plant them in a variety of colors. Use pots with interesting designs to add some extra pizzaz.
Jade: Oh. My. Goodness. This plant is seriously the cutest. A succulent, the jade plant enjoys at least 4 hours of direct sunlight day (varies depending on its variegation). Like many succulents, you may need to wipe down its leaves to remove any dust that collects overtime. Keep the soil moist during warm months, and drier during cold months. The professionals recommend using a cactus soil to foster growth, however Mr. GGC and I have had much success planting our succulents in regular potting soil, making certain to fertilize every few months and monitor its growth by pruning. The jade plant gives off a calming vibe and would look beautiful on your bedside table or on your favorite windowsill.
English ivy: And for the finale, the most romantic plant on the menu, English ivy. I will admit that ivy can look extremely outdated when displayed in the wrong way. However, its delicate form looks absolutely gorgeous dangling from a mantle or beneath a window. Be sure to space your ivy plants 18 to 24 inches a part to allow to proper growth. Don’t fret if your ivy takes a few months to go through its growth spurt. It can take up to 3 years for English ivy to reach its peak growth. Keep the soil moist and avoid direct sunlight if possible. Ivy would look PERFECT in a rustic, city apartment. I see brick walls, English ivy, and a few succulents – garden heaven.
So which of these plants is the BEST indoor plant? Try them out and let us know which one tickles your fancy. And to all of my brown thumbs in the room, you’ve got this!
Peace out greenies!