House Plants for Beginners from @_plant_story_
Posted on June 01 2021
As you certainly know by now, houseplants are everywhere. From greenhouses, to the supermarket, building supply stores, online, Facebook marketplace, and almost anywhere in between. Plants not only add a beautiful living esthetic to your home, but they are also proven to brighten your mood and improve your health by cleaning the air you breathe.
I started my plant hobby-ing back in 2018 in the before times. You know, before Covid, and well before *everyone* jumped on the houseplant bandwagon. When you could find a cebu blue pothos without having to spend hundreds of dollars for an unrooted cutting with a couple leaves on it. I often think about that full hanging basket I passed up on when you could find them easily at most greenhouses. I still don’t have one, but it’s definitely on my wish list.
I started with a spider plant – probably one of the easiest plants out there, which I came to find out after *finally* keeping something alive long enough to decide that if I could keep one plant alive and happy, I could probably keep another one alive. Soon after I added a golden pothos, then a handful of succulents, a ZZ plant; they all seemed to be thriving. It was spring and each new leaf that sprouted gave me a boost of confidence – it was so exciting seeing these plants put out new growth with just a little attention and regular watering. I started reading up on tips and came to find out that overwatering killed more plants than neglect ever would! After hearing about the benefits of a moisture meter come up in almost every blog I read, I decided to pick one up. Best decision ever. It takes the guesswork out of caring for your plant babies. I had more plants than ever before and I was managing to keep them all (for the most part) alive.
I would have to say that some of my favorite beginner plants are, without a doubt:
- Spider Plant – there are so many varieties, including variegated and curly. They produce offshoot babies that you can use to add to your collection, give away to friends, or sell or swap for different plants.
- Pothos – again, so many varieties! My absolute favorite is the Marble Queen; however Neon comes in at a close second. There are dozens of different varieties, both common and very rare.
- Zamioculcas Zamiifolia aka ZZ Plant – can basically just live in any condition. Limited watering, no problem. Low light, no problem. It’s that “set it and forget it" plant that seems to just live forever.
- Monstera Deliciosa – it’s the gorgeous fenestrated leaves for me on this one, plus easy to care for. Fenestrations are those slits you see in the leaves.
If you are new to plants I recommend starting small. Like buying small plants vs
buying some that are much larger. There is nothing more heartbreaking than splurging on a plant and it not surviving. It’s also really exciting to look back at your plant pictures year over year to see how much they’ve grown!! Do some research; find out what plants would thrive in the light conditions you have in your home. Join local plant groups on Facebook – they offer tons of support on plant care, and pest control. Yes, plants can sometimes come with bugs – some harmless and some not so much #thrips. That is why you should always check a plant over really well for signs of bugs before taking it home with you, and also isolate new plants for a couple weeks before putting them in with the rest of your collection. Fertilize your plants during the growing season to give them an extra boost to produce more growth.
Before my collection started to grow I killed my fair share of plants, including several cacti that were supposed to be “easy” because they rarely needed water – but guess what, if you don’t water them at all and forget about them completely, they will quite literally shrivel up and die. They need water, just not often, and not too much. A Fiddle Leaf Fig that I got for a steal of a deal at was another casualty. She was extremely upset with me that I moved her from one side of my window to another - most dramatic plant ever. Did not forgive me when I moved her back to her original spot.
Over time, I have grown my collection up to about 60 plants. I am no beginner, but certainly would not call myself an expert yet.
That’s my plant story.