Maintaining houseplants is a hobby that can range from one or two plants on a windowsill to an extensive collection that rivals a mini jungle. Introducing plants into your home adds texture, greenery, and effortless style. Caring for houseplants takes effort; however, the amount of care needed depends on the plant. All plants need light and water, but each type needs these things in different quantities. Other factors impact how hospitable your home is to plants, like the climate and your level of commitment. Set your plants up for success by selecting the right varieties for your home. Here is what you need to know to choose the best plants for each room of your home.
Select Plants That Match Your Lifestyle
Some plants require more care and attention than others, but if you can provide the necessary level of care, you’re good to go. If you like the look of plants but have a history of forgetting to water houseplants, avoid plants with high water needs. Select a houseplant that fits your ability and level of dedication. There is no shame in selecting an easy-care houseplant because that’s all you can manage.
Even the most involved plant owners may blank on routine care from time to time, but if you habitually neglect your plants, then it’s vital to select cultivars that thrive on neglect. You may be a skilled Sansevieria owner, but you don’t realize it. Succulents and cacti are notoriously low-maintenance plants that can go extended times without water. You just need to find a spot that receives the proper amount of sunlight, and you can forget your plants for a bit.
Houseplants for attentive growers
Houseplants for less attentive growers
If you are a hands-on plant owner, you may prefer a challenge. Fast-growing houseplants like Syngonium and Tradescantia, also known as spiderwort, will keep you busy. The notoriously picky fiddle leaf fig is surprisingly easy to maintain once it settles in, but it can take a lot of trial and error before this leafy beauty acclimates.
Choose Plants for Your Environment
Conventional wisdom dictates that you pick plants that grow well in your climate. Prayer plants do best in areas with high humidity, and succulents prefer dry heat. This logic works to a degree. You may find humidity-loving varieties do very well in your home if you live in the south, but that’s not to say you can’t also grow cacti in the same home or that you can’t grow calatheas in the midwest.
Set your plants up for success by choosing areas of your home that are a good fit. You can always modify your home to make certain areas a suitable environment for a specific type of plant, but when you’re starting out, select a plant that is more likely to thrive in the conditions you can provide.
Sunlight is a significant factor in maintaining houseplants, and most houseplants are divided into categories based on their light needs, whether low, medium, or bright. Generally, most houseplants need indirect sunlight because direct light will singe the foliage.
A north-facing window receives minimal light, while a window that faces northeast or northwest may receive medium indirect sunlight during the morning and evening in the summer. While north windows do not provide much light, they provide consistent light. Plants that do well in north-facing windows are English ivy and begonias. Generally, houseplants grown for their foliage do well in north-facing windows as they need low light levels to thrive.
The sun rises in the east, so windows that face this direction are the first to get the morning rays. East-facing windows do not receive intense light or heat after the sun has moved on by noon. Jade plants are a good fit for an east-facing window.
Windows that face the south receive the most sunlight and the most intense sunlight. Houseplants that have increased sunlight needs and require bright sunlight are good candidates for south-facing windows.
Sunlight is warm. Plants in south-facing windows need to be able to handle bright light and warmer temperatures. Succulents and snake plants, also known as sansevieria, normally do well in south windows.
West-facing windows receive afternoon sunlight, but remember that the sun is very warm during this part of the day. Windows with Western exposure receive light and heat. Plants placed near a west-facing window need to be able to handle medium indirect sunlight and warmer temperatures. Plants that do well in west-facing windows include Croton and Jasmine.
A key factor for many plants is humidity. Dampness in the air keeps foliage lush and vibrant. Plants that need increased moisture are not willing to compromise. Ferns and calathea are the two plants known for their love of humidity. Select an area of your home that is naturally high in humidity to help these plants look their leafy best, like in a kitchen or bathroom.
Humidity can fluctuate seasonally. Monitor your plants because a prayer plant that thrives in the summer may form brown, crispy leaves during the winter. You can supplement a lack of moisture in the air with a humidifier or a pebble tray with water.
Most houseplants are tropical in origin, so they need warmer temperatures, although most homes are kept warm enough for plants. You generally do not need to worry about temperature regarding houseplants, but you need to concern yourself with drafts. Avoid placing houseplants near an external door, drafty windows, or vents. Frigid winter weather is more likely to be a problem for houseplants, but the chill of air conditioning may also be an issue.
Pick the Right Pots
You can do everything right, but the wrong pot can kill the healthiest of houseplants. Drainage is important because even plants with high water needs typically do not like being stuck in standing water. Plant pots that don’t have drainage still have a place in your home. Use decorative pots without drainage holes as a cache or cover pot. You’ll get the look you want without worrying about excess water or soil making its way onto your tabletops.
Give yourself an edge by taking notes or using an app to remind you when your plant needs routine care. Set a reminder to check your houseplants weekly. Don’t water your houseplants just because it’s been a week since the last time they had a drink, but a regular calendar event can be all it takes to keep your plants lush and green.
Find Your Perfect Houseplants
Selecting the best plants for your home is about balancing what your home offers against what the plant needs. Sometimes you can adjust the environment of your home to fit the plant’s needs, like using a grow light or humidifier. Understanding what each room of your home offers and how much time you are willing to dedicate to your plant collection is vital. Enjoy happy, thriving houseplants by selecting the right plants for your space.