Gifting Tips, Plant Parenting 101, The Plant Corner

Seven Green Houseplants You Can Grow at Home

September 24, 2020
Pothos Sloth Plant

With advice from expert gardeners, greenhouse workers, and our plant dad, Alfred Palomares, we’ve gathered the best tips for plant-parenting newbies. Our series Plant Parenting 101 will help turn you into the perfect plant parent! 

If you’re looking for a way to revamp your indoor space, consider the appeal of a green houseplant. For a small investment, houseplants offer a host of incredible and tangible benefits.  

From acting as natural air filters for allergy relief, increasing a room’s relative humidity, and improving concentration, plants can do so much to improve your well-being. Research even shows that filling indoor spaces with plants can lift your mood while lowering your stress levels.  

In short, care for a houseplant, and it will take care of you. 

Easy-care plants to grow indoors this year 

Not sure which indoor plant to commit to? Consider adding one of the following varieties to your home to create a personal sanctuary.   

Maidenhair ferns will brighten up your home 

The maidenhair fern is a North American native that boasts feather-like foliage in a light-green hue. While it thrives in moist, shaded gardens, it’s also an ideal indoor container plant.  

Keep your fern in a shaded location and away from a direct heat source. These plants are slightly fussy about their soil quality and do best with a more alkaline pH, so consider adding ground limestone to the potting mix. They also don’t take well to being replanted, so make sure you choose a container the first time.   

Maidenhair ferns need to stay moist, so plan to mist it daily along with regular watering.  

Pothos are perfect for new plant parents 

Houseplant novices love the pothos plant for its easy care and big statement. This tropical native loves living indoors and thrives in low-light conditions, making it ideal for anyone who lacks a green thumb. In fact, it’s renowned for surviving neglect with minimal signs of stress.  

Houseplant novices love the pothos plant for its easy care and big statement. This tropical native loves living indoors and thrives in low-light conditions, making it ideal for anyone who lacks a green thumb. In fact, it’s renowned for surviving neglect with minimal signs of stress.  

Pothos plants grow bright green, heart-shaped leaves on trailing vines that can be trimmed or left long. Many people like to display them on shelves so that their cascading leaves become part of the décor. Just keep in mind that pothos’ leaves are poisonous to both humans and pets and should stay out of reach of small children.   

“Knowing when to repot your greenery is an important part of plant care.”

Alfred Palomares, VP of Merchandising at 1-800-Flowers

You don’t need to worry much about soil quality or watering levels, though pothos should be kept out of direct sunlight. If you see signs of yellowing, withering leaves, consider increasing your watering levels.  

As your plant grows, you may need to repot it into a larger container to keep the roots healthy.  

“Knowing when to repot your greenery is an important part of plant care,” said Alfred Palomares, VP of Merchandising at 1-800-Flowers. “When repotting, make sure their new home has a drainage hole at the bottom to allow water to move easily throughout the soil, promote good circulation, and avoid root rot,” he said. “If water gets trapped within the planter, it can be fatal to the plants.” 

Enjoy easy maintenance with Boston ferns 

The Boston fern beloved for its frilly foliage and low-maintenance care. They make perfect hanging plants because they rarely need to be messed with. Place the fern where it will get plenty of indirect sunlight, water when the soil feels dry, and treat its leaves to a daily misting to keep everything green. 

You can also use this versatile ornamental as decoration for your outdoor balcony as long as temperatures stay above 55°F.  

Make a statement with calathea 

Add some interest to your home décor with a statement plant like the calathea. This popular variety of prayer plant hails from the Brazilian tropics and thrives in low-light conditions. Plant enthusiasts prize it for foliage that features dramatic stripes and color variations that seem to change with the lighting.

Though some varieties of calathea have a reputation for being temperamental, amateur growers should do fine so long as they monitor their plants for signs of stress. Keep your calathea in a space with indirect light and relatively high humidity. It’s vital that you never let the soil dry out thoroughly. Placing the pot over a tray filled with water and pebbles can suffice (but watch for root rot), and you can boost the humidity further by grouping multiple plants together.  

 Alocasia brings beautiful variety 

The alocasia’s bold arrowhead leaves make it an enduring favorite as an indoor houseplant. It’s native to the islands of the South Pacific and thrives in warm, bright, and humid conditions. Consider keeping one near a window or even in a well-lit bathroom.

You’ll have your choice of more than 80 species of this distinctive plant, some of which can grow leaves close to three feet long. Despite the alocasia’s love of frequent misting on its leaves, it’s best to let the top three inches of soil dry out between waterings.  

Expect your plant to go through a dormancy period in the winter, during which it needs even less water. You should also be on the lookout for spider mites by dusting the leaves and checking their undersides for tell-tale silk webs.  

Add some charm with English Ivy 

Capture the charm of a countryside cottage by decorating with English ivy. This climbing plant is often grown outside but does well indoors in as well.

For best results, keep it away from south-facing windows and other direct sunlight exposure, and let the soil dry thoroughly between waterings. Small amounts of houseplant fertilizer will help the ivy retain its bright coloring, but don’t use any during times of temperature extremes when the plant is already stressed.  

As English Ivy is a prodigious grower, plan on frequent pruning to keep it under control. You can also start new plants from cuttings rooted in water.  

Bring the wilderness home with arrowheads 

“The arrowhead hanging plant has textured leaves that prefer indirect sunlight.” 

Alfred Palomares, VP of Merchandising at 1-800-Flowers. 

Simple and chic, arrowhead plants are a favorite hanging plant you might know by other names, including the American evergreen or five fingers. Its distinctive leaves showcase vibrant variegation, and older plants tend to grow long vines that can be trimmed or left alone for a wilder look.

According to Alfred, “The arrowhead hanging plant has textured leaves that prefer indirect sunlight, can tolerate low light and won’t take up any counter or tabletop space.” 

As with most hanging plants, arrowheads do best when they can dry out between waterings, but they still enjoy a gentle mist on the leaves. They aren’t picky about light exposure, though direct sunlight may be too harsh.  

Care for an indoor plant today 

Becoming an indoor plant person may feel intimidating at first, but the benefits for your home and health are well worth it. Consider trying one of these beginner-friendly indoor plants today, and you may soon find yourself buying more hooks and side tables for displaying them!