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Great Houseplants for Beginners

By Sarah | Interior Decor

I didn't choose the plant life, the plant life chose me!

Okay, that's a lie. I definitely chose to live in an apartment full of houseplants. And because I have little to no self-restraint when it comes to buying plants, it means I've had to learn pretty fast the best ways to take care of all of them! I wouldn't say I'm an expert or anything, just ask all the dead ferns I've buried. But I would say that by now, I know the plants that are the easiest, at least for me, to take care of!

The question I get asked a lot by many of my instagram followers is what is a good plant for a not-so-green-thumbed beginner? So I'm here to tell you, there's not a perfect answer to that question! But I can tell you the plants that have been the easiest to care for, in my experience, and share a little bit of plant wisdom with you.

I'm also excited to share with you some new, fun, plant items I received from Timeyard! I'll be sure to link the products I've used under each picture with a direct link to the product.

First things first, before I get into types of plants, I want to share with you a little secret. Ok, not a secret but maybe forgotten by society. Say it with me - no plant is actually an "indoor plant." That's right! I know, it's shocking and also fairly obvious when you think about it. Even though nurseries will sometimes have an "indoor plant" section, all that means is that these are types of plants that can live indoors under the right conditions.

I hope you're sitting down for this because I have another mind-blowing plant secret for you. All plants need light. This one is so important! Before thinking about bringing home any plant friends into your home, make sure you have spaces with light. Whether it's a lot, or a little, as long as there's some sort of light source you're going to do great! Ok, enough "secrets," let's get to the plants!

1. Pothos

Perhaps one of my favorite plants of all time, Pothos are great houseplants for beginners. Not only are they extremely forgiving if you forget to water them, but they can also withstand low light (read: low light not no light). You'll normally find pothos varieties in the "low light" section at your local nurseries. However, these plants can actually grow faster, and longer, in medium to bright indirect light! The plant in the pictures below is my Neon Pothos, which actually started off as a little baby plant with a few leaves that I used for my office desk. I bought it about 3 years ago and have managed to keep it alive and growing!

Maybe the best thing about pothos is the long vines that come off the plants. This makes it an ideal shelf plant! There's also multiple varieties of pothos so you already have an excuse to collect them all - not like you need an excuse...

Plant Care Tips:

  • Low-Bright indirect light (medium to bright for best growth)

  • Plant in well draining pot, meaning there is a drainage hole at the bottom

  • Water when the top 1-2 inches of soil is dry. Do the finger test! Stick your pointer finger in the soil up to your 2nd knuckle. If it's dry, give the plant some water. If it's still really wet, let it be! Over-watering kills plants more than under-watering.

  • The leaves and vines will go naturally towards wherever your light source is coming from. So make sure to rotate the plant if you want even growth.

  • Keep it up and away from pets since it is poisonous.

Product: Macramé Hanging Plant Shelf 

2. ZZ Plant

A newer addition to my plant family is the Zamioculcas Zamiifolia, or ZZ Plant. What's so great about this plant? Well you can basically neglect it and it won't cry about it. ZZ plants are notorious "beginner" plants because they can withstand not being watered for a week, or even several weeks. They are also another plant that can tolerate lower light conditions, so they make great office plants! They're slower growers and don't tend to outgrow their planters very fast, which is a great thing for plant parents just starting out.

I found a lot of cool facts about little miss ZZ here if you'd like to learn more!

Plant Care Tips:

  • Low-Bright indirect light (sounds familiar, right?)

  • Again, water when the top 1-2 inches of soil is dry. But, as I eluded to above, if for some reason this plant goes without water for a week or two, it should still be ok. Just don't over-water it after you've missed a few waterings! A soggy plant is a sad plant.

  • The leaves are a little waxy, but if they do get dusty just gently wipe them with a damp soft cloth. That really holds true to any plant!

  • Keep it up and away from pets since it is poisonous.

BONUS TIPS!

If you're struggling to remember which plant needs what type of care, I suggest getting little labels of some sort and writing down their care instructions on them. I know most plants you buy come with those little plastic/paper ones but let's be real - they never list all the information you really need (and they're kind of ugly). So do a little research on your plant, and get a cute label and write down your plant care facts.

Products: Bamboo Plant Labels & Woven Cotton Rope Plant Basket 

3. Fittonia

I'll admit, if you look up fittonias (or nerve

plants) a lot of sources will say that they're tricky, or finicky. However, I've had the complete opposite experience! And I'll tell you why I think this is the perfect plant for a beginner. The Fittonia plant is the perfect little coffee table plant, or would even do well on a shelf if it got enough light. The aspect that might be deemed as "hard" about this plant is it likes its soil moist instead of completely dry between waterings. BUT DO NOT FRET. The absolute great thing about this plant is it will let you know when it needs water. See how upright my fittonia is in this picture? (Say hi to Finn the Fittonia!) Well if it wants more water it will completely droop. I could wake up tomorrow to a totally droopy plant. Add a little water, whisper some positive reinforcement, and a few hours later it's as good as new!! Easy peasy! I think it's a good plant for beginners because you can start to tell the signs of when this plant needs water, which will start training your eye to notice how your plants are behaving in their environment. Plus, the little veins on the leaves are TOO CUTE so please give this little plant a chance!

Plant Care Tips:

  • Medium-Bright indirect light (let's try to keep this one out of low light, ok?)

  • Like I said, this plantie likes its soil more moist than some plants! If it dries out it will let you know by drooping. Drooping does not mean instant death! But like all plants, do not over-water otherwise the roots could drown. And no one likes a drowned plant.

  • Like most plants, the leaves will start to arch towards the light source, so make sure you rotate for a bushy, even, plant.

  • Fittonias do like a little humidity so, if you remember, just give them a little spritz a couple times a week with a spray bottle. Or, if you have a humidifier just stick it near there and have a spa day for your plants.

  • These plants are pet safe!! If you see your cat or dog munch on a leaf, it's ok! Just monitor your pet, but it's not poisonous and shouldn't cause any severe reactions or symptoms.

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