I am a self-proclaimed "newbie" when it comes to houseplants. I started adding them to our home just a couple years ago and I've learned a few things along the way (after my fair share of plant-killing). I've had a lot of people asking for advice on incorporating house plants, so I'm going to give it my best shot! Here are some simple tips, benefits, and my favorite plants.
If you're apprehensive (because you think you'll kill houseplants), start small! Go to a nursery or home improvement center and spend $20 or $25 on a few small plants. See how it goes, then keep adding to your collection over time!
Find natural light.
NATURAL LIGHT IS NUMBER ONE. Most plants need plenty of natural light to survive. We have a very well-lit house but I still have to be careful about how I place plants in our home. Our basement (though well-lit) doesn't do as well with some plants. Get those plants near windows and that's half your battle! If you have a not-so-well-lit home, here is a list of plants that don't require as much light.
Don't over water.
This is where I've made many mistakes in the past. Plants that get too much water rot at the roots, so overwatering is definitely something to be careful about. Each plant has different needs for water intake. You'll have to read the information that comes with each one. My general rule is that I water my plants every 4-5 days, but needs vary!
Use terra cotta pots.
Terra cotta plants allow for extra moisture to be passed through the walls of the pot, preventing over-wet, rotting roots. But this does mean plants might need water a little more often because the soil dries out faster. I've had really good success with clay pots (I use them exclusively)! And they're SO cheap and sold everywhere. I especially love the huge ones at IKEA - only $4.99!
Don't be afraid of faux plants.
I know, I know. Fake plants. That's not the advice you're looking for. BUT in recent years, companies have really upped their faux plant game! They are looking more and more realistic. Target, World Market, IKEA, and even Amazon have some really nice looking faux plants. Can't go wrong there! I have mostly live plants in my home, but I do have a few of IKEA's small faux plants in rooms that don't get good light. They have small 6-inch plants for $4.99. I keep them in our hall bath (that has no windows) and on the open shelving in my office downstairs. No shame in the fake plant game!
Did you know plants promote cleaner air in your home? Yep! You can do a quick google search for the ones that do the best job!
More colorful space.
I don't know why it took me so long to jump on the live plant bandwagon in my home. Adding greenery has brightened up my home SO MUCH. There is just nothing like bringing the outdoors inside!
I buy and display WAY less decor now that I have houseplants. Plants are generally inexpensive and look better than filling your home with chotchkies. They go on the floor in large pots, hang from the ceiling, sit on dressers and end tables, or hang out on wall shelves. God's natural beauty is the best decor!
This is a large, statement plant that's very easy to care for! Does well in bright light!
Many ferns tend to do well in lower light situations (because they naturally grow in shady forests). I have one in my basement. I really want to add some to our shady exterior area this summer!
You all know these are supposed to be kill-proof. That's not entirely true (because I've killed several) but overwatering is usually the culprit. They come in so many varieties and do really well in clay pots! Don't over water!
These are beautiful and practical! In case of a burn, you can break off a piece and apply the sticky gel directly to a burn. I recently had to use it when I accidentally burned my husband's back with my curling wand (cough, cough - covers face).
A large philodendron was just given to me recently. I repotted it and put it in bright light! It's done really well so far! These are finicky and don't like being moved around. They're SO beautiful. Look 'em up!
I have two variations of English Ivy in my living space. They've been super easy and grow quickly! And they're very cheap!
Palms have been hit and miss for me! I have one in my house right now but I haven't had the best luck keeping them from browning. I'm not sure what I'm missing (I need to figure this out - tips anyone)! But they are lovely and you can get them in a variety of sizes.
I picked this up at Home Depot one day not knowing what it was but I knew I loved the way it looks. It's quite unique and has done really well in our bright living room! The leaves are variegated and grow tall and thin!
I love to buy greenery at Trader Joe's then dry it for displaying in areas where live plants don't do as well. I have a bunch of the silver dollar eucalyptus by my front door on a shelf, another set on my dresser, and different variety in our hall bath. I pay $2/bunch and let it dry out on its own. It lasts forever!
Small Faux Plants (IKEA)
I've talked about this already, but check out IKEA faux plant selection! They have a lot to choose from!