Owning and maintaining popular indoor plants is so rewarding that sales of seeds, flowers, and potted plants have grown exponentially. House plants are loved by all ages, and especially millennials—although, this trend is one that has been passed down from generation to generation.
Plants provide beauty and air purification; they test our patience and responsibility. Plants can even live longer than our pets and can be propagated over and over again.
They offer a sense of routine—not to mention the feelings of pride and accomplishment when we keep them alive. Taking care of any plant gives us a bigger purpose in our day-to-day lives. It turns our homes into sanctuaries.
Are you curious about how you can add some greenery to your life?
You don’t have to be a ‘green thumb’ to take care of plants. All it takes is some research and practice. It also helps that many common house plants are extremely easy to take care of.
We discuss 15 of them here!
1. How to Take Care of a Spider Plant
A spider plant is perhaps one of the easiest plants to take care of, especially for new gardeners. They can grow in several conditions and take a fair amount of abuse (but we won’t do that!).
Light: Bright, indirect
Water: Water well, until soaked, but don’t make the soil soggy
Drainage: Use well-draining soil to prevent root rot. Don’t fear brown leaves, as this is usually a result of fluoride in the water
Size: Can be more compact or more substantial, about 2-3 feet long when hanging
2. How to Take Care of a Monstera Deliciosa
This plant is commonly referred to as a Swiss-cheese plant.
Light: Bright, indirect
Water: Regular watering. Allow soil to dry between waterings. Increase humidity by spraying occasionally
Drainage: Use a peat-based potting medium for proper drainage
Size: Leaves can grow up to 3 feet long
3. How to Take Care of a Ficus
Light: Bright light in summer, moderate light in winter
Water: Water weekly with room temperature water. Add water until it drains from the bottom of the pot. Let the soil dry between waterings
Drainage: Use a well-draining potting mix, including perlite, for extra drainage. Make sure pot has drainage holes
Size: Ficus can grow relatively large!
4. How to Take Care of a Zebra Plant
Light: Bright, filtered light. No direct sunlight
Water: Never let the soil dry. Mist frequently as this plant grows
Drainage: Use fertile, organic soil that drains well and maintains elevated temperature
Size: Leaves can be up to 9 inches long
5. How to Take Care of a Chinese Evergreen
These plants are straightforward to take care of, so newbies, this one’s for you!
Light: Medium to low light, or indirect sunlight
Water: Requires moderate watering. Allow the plant to dry between waterings to avoid root rot
Drainage: Needs well-draining soil, like a perlite, sand, and potting soil mixture
Size: Plants can get up to 3 feet tall, with leaves up to 2 feet long
6. How to Take Care of an Iron Plant
These plants are nearly indestructible! Just follow these tips.
Light: Semi-shade to bright. No direct sun
Water: Keep soil moist during the spring and summer, but cut back during the winter
Drainage: Well-draining pot mix
Size: Grows to about 2 feet
7. How to Take Care of a Fiddle Leaf Fig
This plant is gorgeous, but admittedly tougher to keep alive than other indoor plants.
Light: Needs a lot of bright, indirect light. If you already have some plants there, you may want to move ’em over
Water: Water once a week to every ten days, and turn the plant slightly as you do so different parts of the leaves get light exposure
Drainage: Soil must be well-draining; fiddle leaf figs are sensitive to overwatering
Size: Can be up to 5 feet
Unfortunately, an indoor fiddle leaf fig will not produce any flowers or edible fruit. You can admire the big, hunter-green leaves instead!
8. How to Take Care of Mother-In-Law’s Tongue
Here’s another natural, low-maintenance house plant! It’s commonly referred to as a snake plant.
Light: Full sun to low light
Water: Let the soil get dry between waterings, and bone dry in winter. Err on the side of dry, as snake plants are sensitive to over-watering
Drainage: Fast-draining, sandy soil
Size: 8 inches to 12 feet!
9. How to Take Care of Aloe Vera
This is another of the easiest plants to care for!
Light: Bright, indirect or artificial light. Avoid direct sun rays
Water: Water deeply every three weeks, or a month in winter
Drainage: Don’t let the soil get wet or sit in water
Size: About 25–40 inches
It’s important to know that dogs are allergic to aloe vera. If you have aloe in your home, place it out of the dog’s reach.
10. How to Take Care of Pothos
These are one of the more tropical house plants, and so easy to care for, too! It also cleans the air of toxins and carbon monoxide.
Light: Bright, indirect light. Can handle low light
Water: Prefers soil to dry between waterings. Don’t allow roots to become soggy. Pothos are thirsty when their leaves start to drip
Drainage: Use well-draining soil
Size: Six to ten feet vines over time
Both cats and dogs are allergic to pothos, so take measures to keep this plant out of reach. Since pothos becomes very long and vine-y, be sure to tuck vines away and keep them off the floor/within your cat or dog’s reach. You can also cut these vines and gift them to friends and family or make clones!
11. How to Take Care of a Dracaena
Light: Can tolerate low sun or semi-shade. Filtered indoor light is best (i.e., light through a curtain)
Water: Requires less water than other indoor plants. Keep soil misted, but not soggy, and mist the plant often
Drainage: Well-draining soil
Size: Some varieties can grow up to 15 feet high!
12. How to Take Care of a Rubber Tree
Ficus elastica needs the following to thrive.
Light: A lot of bright light, but not direct sun
Water: Keep plant moist and misted in the summer and water once or twice a month in winter. Droopy leaves need more water
Drainage: Well-draining, well-aerated potting soil
Size: With the right space, rubber trees can keep going. Inside, they’re typically about 8 to ten feet
13. How to Take Care of a Peace Lily
Light: Place in a well-lit area out of direct sunlight
Water: Moist, but not over-watered
Drainage: Well-draining, all-purpose soil
Size: These are a medium-sized house plant
Keep peace lilies away from cats, as they’re allergic to them!
Although peace lilies are stunning, they don’t necessarily clean the air around them like some of the other plants on this list do.
14. How to Take Care of Areca Palm
Light: Bright, indirect light from a south- or west-facing window
Water: Keep moist in spring and summer; dry between waterings in fall and winter
Drainage: Regular potting soil
Size: 6 or 7 feet mature
15. How to Take Care of a ZZ Plant
Light: Lots of bright, indirect light—or, are commonly used in offices as they thrive in fluorescent light, too
Water: When the top 3 inches of soil are dry
Drainage: Well-draining soil
Size: Anywhere from 2-5 feet
Where to Buy House Plants
Sourcing your local plant nursery first is always best. If there are certain plants you can’t find, there are wonderful online stores that ship to your house! Here are a few options:
Accessories for House Plants
We’re all about charming accessories for plants! From watering cans to plant food. Here are a few of our favorite accessories!
Pruning Shears – Modern Sprout
Fertilizer – The Sill
Grow Light – The Sill
Mister – The Sill
Beachwood Watering Can – Shop Terrain
Spray Sprinkler watering Can – PF Candle Co.
Last, we’ll run through a quick question-and-answer section. These are some of the most common questions plant owners have about their indoor plants.
What Will Happen When Green Plants Are Kept in a Dark Room?
Some plants can fair well with less light. Keep your plant as close to the window as possible, no more than 3 feet away. If you don’t have enough light still, consider fluorescent lights on 12-hour timers.
Can I Move an Indoor Plant Outside? Do Potted Plants Get Stressed When I Move Them?
Some plants can get stressed when you move them, but they’ll likely adjust. One of the best ways to do this is by slowly acclimating them for a few hours a day. Some plants even life going outside!
Tropical house plants are better off indoors, however.
Keep plants out of direct sunlight while outside. And if temperatures drop, bring house plants indoors.
Can All House Plants Live Indefinitely With the Right Care?
With the right care, yes—plants can live a very long time, spanning decades. If the proper care is taken to keep the plant with correct soil, fertilization, light, humidity, then it can last fairly indefinitely. Some plants have better odds of surviving due to genetics, but care takes a large part.
Why Are Leaves Falling off This Houseplant?
This can happen for several reasons.
If a plant has recently moved, this is one way it adjusts. New leaves will grow when this period is over.
A decrease or increase in watering frequency can also cause leaves dropping. Generally, leaves fall as environment or routine changes. Keep an eye on your plant and adjust accordingly if leaves or stems become wilted.
If leaves go from droopy to falling off, the plant likely needs more water.
Try Your Hand at One (Or More!) of These Popular House Plants
These are some of the more common house plants you’ll find—and for good reason. They’re low-maintenance, beautiful, and can transform any room from drab to fabulous. They won’t require much effort from you, but any work you put in will be rewarded with a gorgeous display.
Anyone can care for these popular house plants—where they identify as green thumbs or not.
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Good luck, and remember to have fun!