Company News, Houseplants, Indoor Gardening

Easy Care Houseplants

A couple of months ago, I (Amanda) bought my daughter a Jade plant.  Her middle name is Jade, so she thought this plant was grown exclusively for her (she’s 8).  I told her she was responsible for taking care of it, and she did. DILIGENTLY. Apparently, too diligently.  She watered it at least once a week.  And I applauded her consistency and diligence! A few weeks later, we noticed that Jade (my daughter’s very appropriate name for this plant) was NOT looking good.  When I mentioned it to the team at the Garden Center, they all but started laughing at me. Didn’t you know that you don’t water Jade very often?!  Jade is a succulent! You maybe water once a month!  Well, no. I didn’t know.  That made me wonder…how many people out there are just like me and don’t really know how to care for that lovely plant they took home?  So here we are, a couple weeks later. Thanks to our in-house houseplant specialist, Judy, I have a list of easy to care for houseplants and, more importantly, HOW to care for them.  

When taking in all the information that Judy had to share, I wasn’t exactly sure how to categorize the plants.  While there aren’t exact categories, I did find that caring for most houseplants was dependent upon two main factors:  light and water. And in those categories, I found that they fell into two-ish categories relating to light: bright light and medium/low light.  Then, there were two-ish categories relating to water:  need a lot of water (high-maintenance) and don’t need a lot of water (low-maintenance).  In deciding what type of houseplant would be best for you, you need to these factors into account: Where do you want to put your houseplants?  Is there a lot of light or not? How much time do you want to put into caring for them? Are you down with having to monitor them weekly or do you want a lower maintenance plant? 

So here are my categories:

  • Bright Light and High(er) Maintenance

  • Bright Light and Low Maintenance

  • Medium/Low Light and High(er) Maintenance

  • Medium/low light and Low Maintenance

Each category will include a list of plants that you can choose from with some specifications for each type of plant.  

General Reminders:

The temperature and moisture in your home, patio, office (or wherever you have the plant) will also be a factor in how often you need to water.   If you keep your house really cool and humid, chances are you will have to water less often. If you keep your plant in a location with higher temperatures and drier air, you will need to water more often.  So be sure to take into consideration the environment your plants find themselves in. Also, keep in mind that most all houseplants will need less water in the winter. But that doesn’t mean that you should stop caring for them.  Just adjust how much/often you water once those cooler months roll around.

Take into consideration the amount of soil your houseplant is planted in when you are watering.  If you have not replanted your houseplant since you bought it, it will probably need more later than if you left it in the container it came in.  SHOULD THEY REPLANT THE PLANTS?

Bright Light and High(er) Maintenance

Spider

  • Spider plants like bright light.  
  • Plan to water them about once a week (especially if you have them outside).  
  • Bonus:  Spider plants grow little baby spider plants.  You can snip off one of the baby plants (or more) and place it in a cup of water.  The baby plant will eventually sprout roots and then you can plant it in soil.
  • Double Bonus:  Spider plants are an air purifier!

Fiddle-leaf Fig

  • Fiddle-leaf figs REALLY like a bright location.  
  • They also REALLY like to be kept moist.  
  • They prefer to be in a spot that isn’t drafty (especially in colder months).
  • Bonus (or not?): the Fiddle-leaf Fig can grow as tall as 6 ft!!

Bright Light and Low Maintenance

African Violet

  • They like bright, indirect light.
  • Keep them evenly moist.
    • Put water into the tray you keep the plant in.  Do your best NOT to get water on the leaves…they will be much more likely to rot.  
    • Don’t overwater these plants though.  A good rule of thumb is to water 2-3 times per month (again, take into consideration the environment and adjust as needed).
  • Bonus:  these plants produce beautiful blooms that last for weeks and weeks.  

Aloe Vera

  • Bright, indirect light is best for aloe vera.
  • Aloe vera is really low maintenance when it comes to watering.  
    • As a succulent, they require very little water. (Keep in mind these guys grow natively in desert environments.)
    • In general, water only once a month, maybe twice if it is in a VERY dry location.

Jade

  • Jade plants like bright light (but may do okay medium light).
  • Like aloe vera, Jade is a succulent.  So water this lovely once a month or so and you should be good.  (Did I mention I wish I would have know this a month and a half ago?)

Pony Tail

  • Pony tails can handle very bright and even direct outside light.  
  • They store their water in their bulb, so you can pretty much place this guy and forget about it.
  • Water once a month (if that often).

Schefflera Arborica

  • This gorgeous and popular plant likes and thrives in a lot of bright light.
  • Just water it when you find that the soil is dry.  

Rubber Tree

  • The Rubber-Tree is a very forgiving and easy to care for house plant.
  • Rubber trees like bright light.
  • They do not need a lot of water.  Rule of thumb:  water once a month.
  • Bonus:  They are also an air-purifier.
  • Side Note: Judy has had one of these guys in her home for more than 20 years!!!

Medium/Low Light and High(er) Maintenance

Peperonia

  • Need a plant for your office space?  A Peperonia will be just perfect for you!  These plants do really well in fluorescent light (at least your plants can look good in fluorescent light ;)) or in medium to low light.
  • Like the African Violets, it is a good idea just to water these plants in the tray instead of the soil or foliage.
  • Do try and keep them evenly moist.    
    • Rule of thumb:  Check for moisture and if needed, water once a week.

Peace Lily

  • Peace lilies do best in medium light.
  • This plant is an excellent air filter since it removes toxins from the air.
  • It should be watered weekly.
  • CAUTION:  Peace lilies are poisonous to dogs and cats!

Calathea

  • Calathea does really well in medium-low light.  You should avoid placing it in a location with bright light.  
  • Keep the soil moist.  As a rule of thumb, water once a week-ish.

Medium/Low Light and Low Maintenance

Pothos

  • This very popular house plant likes medium light.
  • Only water it when the soil is dry (think 1-2 times per month).
  • Pothos can and will trail if you let it.  You can also trim it and place the clippings in water.  The clippings will root and can survive in the water, or you can plant them, once they have rooted in soil.)
  • Bonus: Pothos is also an air-purifier.  

Snake Plant and ZZ

  • Both the snake plant and the ZZ are about as easy a houseplant as you can have.
  • They need to be in a location with medium to low light.  
  • Don’t water them often…maybe once a month.
  • Bonus: Both Snake plants and ZZs are air-purifiers.  

Dracaena Marginata

  • Dracaena Marginata also like medium to low light.  
  • You should allow this plant to dry out completely before you water it again.

Houseplants make your space so inviting and beautiful.  They are not just a temporary addition to brighten your space like cut flowers.  Houseplants really can be an investment. Some houseplants can live decades if taken care of properly.  Hopefully this post has given you some information that can help make that happen for you.  BONUS:  All indoor houseplants are 10% OFF every Tuesday in July and August!  

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