How to Select the Perfect Houseplant for Your Home
Choosing the ideal houseplant for your living space can seem daunting, especially when faced with so many picture perfect plants online. Understanding your indoor environment and lifestyle needs can help narrow down your choices. We'll delve into some essential tips to help you select the best houseplant for your unique space.
Assess Your Lighting Situation
Most plants are sticklers for the right light. Before you start browsing any plant shop, look at the available light in your desired plant’s location:
Low Light: North-facing windows or rooms without any direct sunlight. Ideal plants for low light situations are ZZ plants, Snake Plants, and Pothos. If you want a flowering plant but don't have lots of light, you can choose a Peace Lilly. Dieffenbachia and Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema) also do well in lower light conditions. Just remember, low light doesn't mean no light.
Medium Light: East or West-facing windows that receive indirect sunlight. Some plants that are best for medium sunlight locations are Monstera, Philodendrons and Calathea.
Bright Light: South-facing windows or spaces bathed in lots of direct sunlight. Succulents, Cacti, Hoya varieties and Fiddle Leaf Figs love to soak up the sunlight. Just be sure not to place plants directly in the sun as it can scorch the leaves.
If you have a medium light space but really want that fiddle leaf fig, you can supplement the light with grow lights or bulbs directed onto the plant.
Consider Your Commitment Level
Houseplants need care and attention. There's just no getting around it, but some will require minimal maintenance, making them a perfect choice for you if you have a busy schedule (and who doesn't, really?) Others need a bit more TLC and many plant parents feel it is worth the commitment for the joy these plants bring.
Low Maintenance: Succulents, Cacti, Snake plants, and ZZ plants all have lower watering requirements, so these can go longer between care sessions. They also need less pruning and repotting over time as well.
Moderate Care Maintenance: Spider plants, Philodendrons, and Rubber plants require medium care. They need to be checked on about once a week in the warmer months and about every week and half to two weeks in the cooler months. This is a general guide-you may find you need to water more or less often depending on your home environment.
High Maintenance: The high maintenance plants either have specific care requirements or more frequent waterings. They may require misting or humidifiers or special soil. These plants include Orchids, Ferns, and Bonsai Trees. Carnivorous plants, like the Venus Fly Trap or Pitcher Plants feast on live insects for their nutrients, otherwise they need specific fertilizer application. Crotons are happiest with very bright light, high humidity and frequent watering. Though these plants require more care, if you're up to the task, their unique colors and forms will certainly enhance the aesthetic of your space.
Think About Your Space
Houseplant size matters, especially when space is at a premium.
Small Spaces: Opt for compact plants or those that are narrow and grow vertically, like the Snake Plant or ZZ plant. Use variegated plants, such as Philodendron Brasil or Pearls and Jade Pothos to add interest to shelves, tables or counters. Flowering plants like Kalanchoe, African violets, and Cyclamen add pops of color. Plants with unique foliage can remain compact but still make a big statement such as Cacti, Hoya retusa, and peperomias.
Larger Spaces: You can play big if you have a lot of space. Choose larger or sprawling plants, like the Monstera deliciosa or Fiddle Leaf Fig. The monstera 'Swiss Cheese Vine' will climb up a totem pole and a palm tree will fan out. Larger Chinese Evergreens are full and spread on all sides.
Pet and Child Safety
Safety first! Some houseplants can be toxic to pets and children when ingested. Always check the plant’s safety profile. Spider plants, for instance, are both pet-friendly and child-safe. Dieffenbachia are know to be toxic to animals and humans.
Aesthetic and Décor
Select a plant that complements your home's style. A modern space might benefit from the sleek look of a Rubber Plant, while a bohemian room could be enhanced by the cascading tendrils of a String of Pearls. Moody plants include Black Velvet Alocasia and the Raven ZZ Plant, while a Dracaena Lemon Lime or Pilea peperomiodes give off a more whimsical vibe.
Choosing the right houseplant not only adds beauty and life to your space but also promotes better air quality and well-being. By considering light, care commitment, space, safety, and aesthetics, you can select a plant that will thrive and bring joy for years to come.