the best houseplants for absolute beginners
Even if you treat them badly, these resilient plants will forgive and forget
image Youtube / Greentea Peng
words Heather Gwyther
Plants are everywhere, aren’t they? In the sea, up mountains, by the side of the bloody road, in our homes – if you can envisage the place, you can envisage the plant (even if it’s fake). The plants in our homes saw their numbers rise during the pandemic. As lockdown life plodded along, so too did we by finding things to entertain ourselves with. While some of us reared young of varying species, others became obsessed with plants. It was fun, but in the post-pandemic world we simply have less time for that sort of thing. This doesn’t mean we love plants any less, though – we just need ones that are easier to care for! Cue our green-fingered edit of that kind of houseplants that look good, help you feel good and are very difficult to kill...
CHINESE MONEY PLANT
Lucky Chinese Money Plant with a Terracotta Dalston Pot
You’d think a symbol of abundance and good fortune would be a bit uppity, but the Chinese Money plant is quite the opposite. Although exposure to direct sunlight can discolour and damage its leaves, indirect sunlight makes it happy. It has no strict humidity requirements, but dryer environments can be conquered with regular misting and by placing it near other plants in one big house plant hangout.
Monstera Deliciosa and Sea Spray Broadway Pot
A plant called ‘Monstera Deliciosa’ sounds terrifying until you realise that’s just the proper name for a Swiss cheese plant. Legendary and lovely, a Monstera Deliciosa can live in both low and bright light conditions (though growth will be slower in the former). Watering-wise, let its soil dry out before drenching it again. This will generally resemble a weekly (probably fortnightly in winter) watering schedule. And don’t forget to give it the humidity it craves with regular misting, either!
BIRD OF PARADISE
Bird of Paradise and Charcoal Broadway Pot
If you have finally come to terms with how forgetful you are, invest in a Bird of Paradise plant. You can leave the soil to completely dry out in between watering and water them even less in winter. Too much watering and you run the risk of root rot, after all (something you can curtly tell people who question whether you’re a suitable plant caregiver.)
Kentia Palm and Sea Spray Broadway Pot
The Kentia Palm is a laidback and pet-friendly intro to being a plant parent. They thrive in bright, indirect light or dappled sun. They only need to be watered once a week or once the soil gets dry. But their greatest attribute? Their statement arching fronds that make quite the interior splash.
Calathea plant with a Classic Dalston Chalk Pot
With its potent air-purifying powers and uniquely striped and rounded leaves, the Calathea is a houseplant with both brains and beauty. As if that didn’t make it appealing enough, it is also chill, which thus makes us chill. Its easy going light requirements mean that it can tolerate dark corners, despite being so clever and beautiful and whatnot. Watering? Once a week at most. See, we told you it was chill.
FIDDLE LEAF FIG PLANT
Standing tall, the Fiddle Leaf fig is the perfect addition to a bright room. It requires a little more care than other plants on this list, appreciating a brighter home and moderate care, but its elegant appearance makes it worth the trouble.
The Peach Flamingo plant is as fun as it sounds and the only plant on this list that grows flowers. Its waxy anthuriums look beautiful and only require watering once a week. Keep them happy in bright, indirect sunlight. If you mist it frequently or keep in a steamy bathroom or kitchen it will repay you by looking gorgeous – a sight for any adoring plant parent to behold!
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