written by Lauren Curl-Ferrell on March 26, 2021. Updated on January 7, 2022.
"No green thumb, no problem"
That is the motto that I live by.
When I started my house plant journey, I can not tell you how many plants that I, to politely put it, murdered.
At one point, my husband accused me of being the president of the Dead Plants Society. He thinks he's funny. Alright, he's a little funny.
Little did we know that I, Lauren "why are all my plants dead?" Ferrell, would rise from the ashes to make the inside of my home an amazing urban jungle.
As the in-house house plant expert at NB Pure, I thought it would be fitting for me to write about my favorite indoor plants considering my art studio here is like an indoor jungle.
So if you were like me - a plant murder - there is light at the end of your tunnel. Let's get into it.
Here are my secrets:
Starting out, I popped on Pinterest, like many of us do, and found a suggestion list of a few plants that bloggers guaranteed to me that I could not kill.
Guess what - I killed my way through about 4 of those other blogger's lists before I finally spoke to someone at a plant nursery in the city and state I was living in.
Lesson learned that not everything a social media influencer says can work for everyone.
If this list doesn't work for you, don't get discouraged. Chances are it is because the lighting and quality of my surroundings, are different than yours. I will share that the ones I've listed out below have not let me down in my self journey from living in the cold of Ohio to living in the dessert of Arizona.
In this article, we'll talk about lighting, watering, and some red flags when something isn't going right and their easy fixes.
I'm hopeful that this list will also work for you. They're mild, they're black thumb friendly, and extremely enjoyable to have and look at.
House Plant Factors
There are lots of factors to consider when choosing the right green besties and speaking to a plant expert in your area can save you some time.
Speaking to a nursery is free to do so and you may even end up with an easy plant for you that others deemed "high maintenance," For you though, friend - its a walk in the park.
I'm a mom on the go. I needed plants that I could put in a windowsill or a coffee table and could basically forget that I owned for a few days at a time.
Lighting is a key factor for that.
Some plants require a ton of light, some require little light, and others flip flop in the middle.
Take a look at the rooms you want plants in and examine the light.
Larger windows let in more light.
Remember that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
North and south facing windows aren't going to do much for you in the direct sunlight category. You could get some nice indirect light from those windows though.
I currently live in Arizona. It's pretty dry here. Except for during our summer monsoon season where there's a little increase to moisture and humidity in the air.
Despite it being dry here, I killed a plethora of succulents. So succulents are on my no-no list. I just can't figure them out and that's a-ok for me.
Remember that heat rises so if you put a plant higher up from the ground, you may need to water it a bit more than one that’s resting on your coffee table or on the floor.
If you need some humidity, they sell humidifiers and also don't be afraid to put your humid loving plants in the bathroom with you while you shower as well.
My personal opinion on the best way to water your plants is to allow them to "butt chug."
This is where you fill up your tub or sink with about 2 inches of water and then place your pots in there. It allows them to absorb the water from the bottom of the plant to the top. This also allows them to choose how much water they want to absorb so that you can't over water them.
If you're on the go, like me, you're going to want some low maintenance plants that require less frequent water.
If you're a homebody, don't be afraid to get ones that could use a bit of daily attention.
Also, before purchasing a plant, check to see if it's poisonous to babies and animals. Especially if you have a baby and/or animals.
I have 2 dogs and a cat and one poisonous plant for them. I have mine hung up in a hanging plant macrame.
My Top 5 House Plants For Beginners
The first plant I migrated towards was a Monstera. If you can't find an affordable monstera, try the split leaf philodendron. In the beginning, I couldn't even tell these two apart. After a while, the Monstera has some more dramatic leaves (Oh the drama ::insert eye roll::).
Light: Medium to Indirect Light.
What that means: Put it in a room with windows in it large enough to provide sunlight during the day. Don't put it right where the direct sun shines all day. Mine sits in the corner of my living room about 8 feet from my window.
Water: every 1-2 weeks. Let the soil dry out between the waterings.
What that means: You can test the soil dryness out by sticking a cheap wooden chopstick in the soil and pulling it out. Basically, like how people check when their baked goods are done. In the warmer months, I grab my handy handle mister containerand mist the leaves and soil every few days.
If the leaves are turning brown and crispy at the endges - it's thirsty
If the plant is wilting or the potting mix is really dry - it's thirsty
If the plant has yellowing leaves or black stems - it's overwatered.
There are tons of variations with these. They're also growers. I put mine in hanging planters so that their leaves can drape down.
Light: Just avoid direct sunlight. Everywhere else, is all good.
What that means: Avoid window sills. These also thrive in low light, so I have one in my bathroom and also in the dark corner of my bedroom.
Water: Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Do the chopstick trick again. Only the top two inches of the soil are required before you re-water. When I water this one, I grab my handy handle mister container and coat it with water so that I know it won't get overwatered that way.
3. Snake Plant
AKA the plant I forgot existed in my home for 6 months and is still thriving.
Light: versatile. Keep out of direct hot sun if you choose to move yours outside during the summer months. They'll burn.
Water: I water mine every 6 weeks or so during the warmer months and about every 12 weeks during winter. But anytime between 2-8 weeks is fine. Just check to make sure the soil is dry!
4. Jade Plant
I love me a good jade plant.
Light: Full sun, baby. Pop this on a window sill and let the sun in.
Water: Water your jade plant when the top of the soil is dry to your touch.
If it's losing leaves- it's because it's underwatered.
5. Zz Plant
Keep this one away from your animal friends
Light: Low to bright direct light. Thats right - it can handle any lighting (except maybe hot, intense, direct sun)
Water: I water mine about once a month. Start with checking it after 2 weeks. 2-4 weeks is great. It doesn't require a lot! It's, in my opinion, the easiest one on the list.
The Wrap Up
I hope you enjoyed this list. Remember that finding your right houseplants doesn't have to be challenging if you just ask an expert. Enjoy your green thumb and watch those plant babies grow.