January 30, 2019
Which Houseplants are Best for Beginners?
Plant parenting initiation starts now
Photo courtesy of @Elisall/Twenty20
By Jillian Engel
Content Strategist, Schmidt's
I’ve never been able to be a flower person. They’re beautiful, don’t get me wrong, and definitely make my heart feel warm and whole whenever they’re around. But from a care-taking perspective, they’re kind of a pain (any tips for how to get fresh cut flowers to last longer than a few days, send my way via comments, please!).
Now houseplants, I can get into. Fairly low-maintenance, adds color to a home, and lasts longer than a week? Sign me up! My plant parenting initiation started about six months ago and I am loving it. My snake plant (aka sansevieria trifasciata) sits happily in its adorable ceramic pot in a medium lit, indirect sunlight-prone corner of my apartment. I chose the snake plant as my first because I was told it’s very forgiving and hard to kill. I can’t tell if it’s grown at all, but I do know it’s still very much alive.
Indoor plant care-taking tends to be all the rage these days. Just ask this guy (Opens in a new window) the Wall Street Journal (Opens in a new window) interviewed last year. But whether you’ve been growing plants for ages or you’re new to it like I am, there’s a reason plant-growing is a thriving community. Indoor leafy greens are easy to grow, require minimal watering, can withstand a contentious thermostat, and are ultimately a small form of self-care. Much like children, houseplants require attention to stay alive. Growing plants in our homes is a simple way to give a little more love back to the space we live in. And since I now feel ready to take on plant child number 2, here are a few houseplants I’ve learned beginners may grow to enjoy.
We covered this one already in the form of the snake plant variant, but to reiterate, the sansevieria is a great fit for starter greenery in any of its forms. Its length proves decorative (sansevieria leaves can grow from 6 to 42 inches tall), and handles neglect well as it does not like to be over-watered. Store this friendly plant in well lit, medium to bright light areas of your home. My favorite fun fact about sansevieria is that it is known to convert CO2 into oxygen at night, filtering formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and benzene from the air, proving to be an effective natural air purifier and multitaskers delight.
Who needs soil when all this plant requires is water? Lucky Bamboo (not technically bamboo, instead a dracaena sanderiana) is commonly found in offices as it can survive just about any air condition, and all you have to do is change the water every few months — no big deal. Store this plant in indirect bright light, though it tolerates lower levels too. When you water it, make sure the water covers the roots completely. It’s pretty cute too, so makes for an excellent gift.
We’ve talked about the benefits of aloe before, so we’re big aloe fans over here at Schmidt’s. Growing an aloe vera plant at home however may make you appreciate its versatility even more. Aloe is tolerant of low light conditions but also really loves bright and sunny spaces. When you go to water your aloe plant, soak it heavily, then allow your potting mix to dry (about two weeks time usually) before you go to water it again, allowing forgiveness to beginner plant owners. Aloe vera bonus: you can borrow from a friend! At the bottom of the parent plant, you may find baby aloe plants. If your friend can pull the baby from its parent, you should be able to repot it successfully and grow your own.
Articles from The Natural should not be considered medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please consult a medical professional.
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