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5 Easy Houseplants for Every Beginner

written by Lauren Curl-Ferrell

"No green thumb, no problem" - 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.

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. So if this list doesn't work for you, chances are it's because the lighting and quality of my surroundings, are different than yours. When you're picking out your house plants - consider the light you need, the moisture you need, and your general lifestyle. I don't have a ton of natural light inside of my house, I am a mom on the go so I needed plants that I could basically forget I owned for a few days at a time, and I live in Arizona. It's super dry - all the time (Surprisingly though - I killed quite a few succulents despite having great conditions for them). If this list isn't your list- it's all good, a nursery plant expert will help you. Believe that.

1. Monstera - 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::). 

Photo by Chris Lee on Unsplash

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 container and mist the leaves and soil every few days.  

Photo by Brina Blum on Unsplash

Advice:

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.

2. Pothos - tons of variations with these. They're also growers. I put mine in hanging planters so that their leaves can drape down. 

Photo by Severin Candrian on Unsplash

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 2 months and is still thriving. 

Photo by Sarah Bronske on Unsplash

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. But anytime between 2-8 weeks is fine. Just check to make sure the soil is dry!

4. Jade Plant - 

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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.

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.