When I moved into my new house a few years ago I received an aloe plant as a housewarming gift. I was so excited to care for it and watch it grow but I had no clue what I was doing. This being my first plant, I cared for it how I assumed I was supposed to: water daily and make sure it gets plenty of sunlight. Soon the small little aloe leaves began to turn brown and fall off so I turned to the Internet to try and find out why. Within seconds I found my answer; aloe does not need to be watered every day. Once I cut back to only watering my aloe plant once every week or longer it finally began to thrive. I have since brought more plants into my home but not before researching the plants’ needs and making sure they fit my lifestyle. I know that I am not good at sticking to a strict watering schedule, so I try to look for plants that can go several days between watering. I also do not have enough space to house plants that require direct sunlight so I tend to lean more towards plants that can still thrive with little light. My plant collection is still pretty small but here are a few that I have found are easy to care for and add extra life to my home.
You may also see these plants listed as Golden Pothos, White Marble Pothos or Epipremnum Aureum. If you are new to the house plant world, I suggest starting with this houseplant as they are nearly indestructible and require very little attention. While you may notice your pothos thrive more in some light they will still grow in dark corners. This makes them perfect for homes with very little natural light or even in an office. It is best to wait until the top inch of soil is dry to water. That means you may only need to water your pothos once every 1 to 2 weeks. Since this is a trailing plant, you might prefer to display it in a hanging basket and let the vines grow as long as you like. If you plan to keep the vines shorter you can propagate it to make more pothos plants. To do that just take a cutting from the end of one of the vines, about 2 to 3 inches, and place the bottom inch in water. Once you start to notice roots sprouting, it can be transferred to soil. You do want to make sure your pothos is planted in a pot that will allow water to drain out to help prevent over-watering and root rot. Another reason you should keep pothos in your home, they can help purify indoor air of chemicals such as formaldehyde, trichloroethene, toluene, xylene, and benzene.
This plant’s scientific name is Sansevieria Trifasciata but it is most commonly listed as snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue. Like pothos, snake plants are very easy to care for and do not require regular watering or much light. It is best to place them in indirect sunlight and wait for the top inch of soil to dry out before watering. During winter you may even wait longer between waterings. Without proper drainage snake plants can become victim to root rot, so make sure you plant it using a well-draining soil and in a container with a drainage hole. I have also found that the long flat leaves collect dust so remember to wipe them off with a damp towel or sponge periodically. These plants can grow anywhere between 8 inches and 12 feet tall. Snake plants are said to help improve your sleep and are also known to remove toxins from your home such as formaldehyde and benzene.
Spathiphyllum, or more commonly known as peace lily, is another common house plant. Although they are not true lilies they get their name because their white flowers resemble that of the calla lily. Peace lilies are a tropical shade-loving plant with broad green leaves and white hood-like flowers. Some may grow up to 3 feet tall. Because these plants prefer shade they are ideal for offices or bedrooms. They do not require daily water, instead water about once a week or wait until you notice the leaves starting to droop. Because of the easy care and benefits of cleansing the air, peace lilies are perfect for your house. However, if you have dogs or cats you may want to choose a different plant as the peace lily can cause irritation or swelling if ingested.
One of the most common succulents, aloe vera makes a great indoor plant. Not only do they look great, you can also apply the juice from their leaves to your skin to relieve pain from scrapes or burns. Aloe plants require bright indirect light and need to be planted in well draining soil and a pot with a drainage hole. You will want to water your plant deeply but infrequently. It is best to let the soil dry out in between waterings, therefore you may only need to water about every 3 weeks.
Because I’m still pretty new to the house plant game, I only have a small collection. I like to get used to the plants I have before I take on a new one. But, I do keep a list of beautiful plants I see and would like to add to my home in the future. That way I can take my time to research which plants are the best fit for me and I have time to find the perfect spot for it.
Other plants I would like to add to my home in the future:
- Spider Plant
- Fiddle leaf fig
- String of pearls
- Haworthia zebra