Growing houseplants is one of the easiest ways to make your house (or townhome, apartment, etc.) feel more like home. Caring for a houseplant gives you an opportunity to admire its beauty and can also have benefits for your emotional health. If your lack of a “green thumb” is already giving you anxiety, don’t worry: we’ll provide some beginning plant suggestions just for you below.
WHY OWN HOUSEPLANTS: RESEARCH-BACKED REASONS
Plants make people feel better. That’s not just based on a hunch, either. multiple studies have shown that caring for plants (or even just the presence of indoor plants) have benefits such as:
- Lowering stress
- Helping increase feelings of well-being
- Improving concentration and attention span
- Improving productivity
When you’re feeling calmer and more collected, you can feel a lot more comfortable in your living space and truly feel “at home.” If you’ll be working from home for the foreseeable future, having better concentration and productivity can also be a huge source of stress relief.
Bottom line: with all the research done on the benefits of indoor plants, why not get one and see what happens?
CONSIDERATIONS BEFORE BUYING A HOUSEPLANT
Before running to your local nursery and buying a houseplant, you need to consider a few things:
- Where can I put plants so that they’ll get enough light? Some plants require direct sunlight, while others do better with diffused light (about the amount of light that would come through a sheer curtain). Some plants also require more hours of sunlight than others.
- Do I need to avoid certain plants that may be toxic to children or pets? If you’re not sure if a plant might be toxic for your cat or dog, refer to the ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic plants.
WHICH HOUSEPLANTS SHOULD I GET?
Choosing your first houseplant can be an overwhelming decision. That’s why we’ve narrowed down this list of our top picks for “houseplant newbies" based on these two priorities: plants that are relatively low maintenance and hard to kill.
- American Rubber Plant, Peperomia obtusifolia (pet-friendly)
- Dragon Tree, Dracaena marginata
- Golden Pothos, Epipremnum pinnatum "Aureum" (low-light tolerant)
- Parlor Palm, Chamaedorea elegans (low-light tolerant, pet-friendly)
- Snake Plant, Dracaena trifasciata (low-light tolerant)
- Spider Plant, Chlorophytum comosum (pet-friendly)
- Zebra Haworthia, Haworthia fasciata (pet-friendly)
- ZZ plant, Zamioculcas zamiifolia (low-light tolerant)
Keep in mind: growing houseplants is a learning process full of trial and error, even for plant experts. Just remember that learning is part of the fun. If you do your homework on the houseplants you buy, soon you’ll find the ones that work best for you.