How fitting during National Indoor Plant Week, that my daughter’s friend would ask me about houseplants when we were out to eat together this evening. She and her husband are renting a home and are working on their outdoor landscape. But she also told me that she would like to grow some houseplants and needs some easy ones. So she wants me to relay to my daughter 3 easy houseplants to start with. I decided to write about it instead, so hopefully, other young people starting out can also benefit from this. I love when young people show an interest in houseplants.
Three easy plants
I’m going to recommend the 3 plants my daughter has in her apartment and workplace. She has kept them alive for 21/2 years and she does very little for them. They do have great light and my TLC once in a while, but 99% of the time, she takes care of them. So, here we go. And then, one more plant that I think is worth including because it’s easy and gorgeous.
The first and easiest plant, in my opinion, is any Philodendron. Here are the two in her apartment.
The first is ‘McColley’s Finale’ and it is a self-heading philodendron and stays a good size. The second one is the Philodendron ‘Lemon Lime’ or the bright green heart-shaped philodendron. If you prefer a darker green, the original heart leaf is much darker. Philodendrons can take low light and still look good, but if they have brighter light, they look even better. Check them every week to see if they need water. If you stick your finger in the pot and it is dry up to your second knuckle, water it. If it is still quite moist, don’t and check again in a few days. Never water your plants on a schedule. Things change. The seasons, the amount of light, and the temperature. These factors affect how much water your plant uses. It may be more or less depending on these things, so always check before your water. I can’t stress that enough! Always water a plant until water runs out the bottom of the container (this means there is a hole in the bottom of the pot, which it should have). Drain any water that is still sitting in the saucer after 1/2 hour.
#2 Pothos, philodendron, scindapsus
I have lumped pothos, philodendrons, and scindapsus into one group. They all have similar care and are often mistaken for one another. They all can tolerate many different light conditions. This ‘Silver Satin’ pothos (Scindapsus not pothos) is one I sent to work with my daughter two years ago this week for National Indoor Plant Week. Her desk is in the interior of a building, so the only light this plant gets is fluorescent. Here it is on her desk two years to the day Sept. 16. Still looking good in an office situation without any natural light!
This golden pothos or Epipremnum aureum was in the waiting room at a doctor’s office. It also only receives fluorescent light.
Below are some more philodendron and pothos varieties to choose from.
#3 Aloe Vera
The Aloe vera is also an easy plant. It does need more light than the above-mentioned plants, as it is a succulent. But, if you have the light, it’s worth it because it does double duty. It not only is a nice houseplant, but if you get burnt, whether from the stove or the sun, the sap inside will take away the burn almost immediately, so every home needs an Aloe vera. It also doesn’t need a ton of water (that means you still water it until water runs out the bottom, but you may not have to water it again for a month or more-always check) and can take quite a bit of abuse and still look decent.
I’m going to throw one more plant in as a bonus. The Aglaonema. It comes in a myriad of colors and patterns and is easy to grow. It needs a little more light because of the color and variegation but is still very easy. Give it bright light and keep it evenly moist-not too dry, not too wet. As before, check it once a week, but only water if it needs it.
So, here are four easy plants that anyone new to houseplants could care for successfully. There are many more, but she requested three and I could only narrow it down to four. I didn’t want to overwhelm her with too many decisions at this point. These plants are also relatively easy to find, at an Independent Garden Center (where I hope you look first), or a big box. Good luck!
Have a great week!