Using plants to add pops of colour and life throughout our personal spaces is nota new concept. Houseplants have been around for centuries and have many benefits other than its aesthetic appeal. Some plants purify the air, while others come packed with healing properties. Although indoor plants have been around for a long time, I noticed that the trend has made somewhat of a comeback.
And while I’m all for revamping past trends, I have a couple of concerns. Some houseplants just have a certain sad, kitsch feel. For example, a hanging ivy plant will make my home look like an Italian restaurant from the 80’s and I don’t want any part in that.
I’ve also lived with myself long enough to know that I am not going to be in the mood to keep up with dependent, moody indoor plants. I put the plant in the corner to look pretty and fill a random whole, not to keep tally of its time-specific diet and sunlight preferences.
So we made it easy and rounded up ten houseplants that aren’t picky and won’t make it look like you’re house-sitting for your grandma (we’re looking at you hanging ferns).
[ Delicious Monster ]
This house plant is known as a monster for two reasons: 1. They reach a monstrous size. 2. Their leaves are poisonous when ingested. But don’t fret. In all my life I have never seen a living thing (animals and babies alike) try to eat this tropical beast.
Also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant, this guy prefers gentle sunlight with average levels of watering. Your monster may need some extra support and a bigger pot, as they do grow to be quite large. This can be an upside or downside, depending on the size of your room.
// extra tip: repot your Delicious Monster directly after purchase to ensure luscious, green leaves.
[ Succulents ]
These tough buggers know how to make the best of a bad situation. Even though succulents are plants with juicy leaves, stems and/or roots, they don’t need a lot of ‘juice’ to keep them going. They can get by with about a tablespoon of water once every two weeks.
There is also a huge array of types to choose from, each with their own flair of textures, tones and flowers. Experiment with different looks by paring different types together or show them off by potting them alone.
// click on the image link to see how to make the beautiful painted pots pictured above
[ Snake Plant ]
I know what you’re thinking: ‘You said no kitch, but I’m pretty sure this is the fake plant I see when I visit any doctor’s office.’
Fair enough, I feel you. But I still think the Snake Plant has great potential, especially when done right. A REAL Snake Plant and the right pot is the key here. Get a minimal or white pot and watch this plant’s beauty skyrocket.
Contradictory to its other name, The Mother-In-Law’s Tongue won’t be giving you a hard time; put them in direct sunlight and water them sparingly.
They’re also ideal for small flats since the leaves grow together densely and in a vertical manner. Snake plants also draw the eye upwards, which is great for showing off artwork or photographs on the wall.
Snake plants are a perfect indoor plant as they also purify the air around them.
// put a Snake Plant in your bedroom, since they convert CO2 to oxygen at night.
[ Peace Lily ]
The Peace Lily might sound familiar to you, but what you don’t know is that this lily actually purifies the air as well. They are quite hardened despite their delicate beauty and can be kept in darker rooms and indirect sunlight. Water them when the top soil feels dry.
// added bonus: the white lily is actually a leaf, not a flower. This means it won’t shrivel up and die – you’ll have a “blooming” flower in your house for most of the year.
[ Palms ]
Transform your humble abode into a palace by placing ferns in the corners of rooms. There are a wide variety of palm trees to choose from, so go wild. My personal favourite is the Areca Palm pictured above. I find that they work well in bathrooms, since they generally prefer to have wetter soil. It also lends a fancy bath house feel to your bathroom. They’re pretty easy going and not very picky when it comes to sunlight and fertilizer preferences.
// fun fact: the Areca Palm reached number one in NASA’s study of the ten most air purifying plants.
[ Cactus ]
The cactus is a succulent, but not all succulants are cactae…
What I’m actually trying to say is, I know this guy is actually a succulent, but I felt it deserved its own spot on the top ten. The reason being they’re so versatile and unique. You get tall ones, fat ones, big ones and small ones.
And because they act like succulents, they’re super easy to take care of. (Once they’re potted. Make sure to wear gloves when you repot).
// a cactus might not be a good idea if you have a toddler running around the house. Just putting it out there.
[ Air plants ]
There are more than 650 types of air plant or Tillandsia. They are quite forgiving and can easily thrive even when neglected. Bundle them together with some string and hang them upside down, or separate them into single hanging terrariums.
Air plants should get 12 hours of light and regular mists with water. Mist them only twice per week during winter months.
// All Tillandsias will produce flowers and then off-shoots from the base of the plant. Break them off from the mother plant to create new bunches or give as gifts. Follow the image source for more unique decor ideas using air plants.
[ Aloe ]
This plant is basically the medic of the squad. Aloe has major healing properties which can assist the healing of cuts, sunburn, skin ailments etc. Break a tip off the plant and rub on the area. Because of Aloe’s amazing qualities, I recommend you keep a couple throughout your home.
They aren’t hard to take care of either. Water your Aloe deeply but then allow the soil to dry at least 5 centimeters deep between waterings. This prevents your aloe from rotting. Water them even less in winter. As you can see, you have a better chance of over watering your Aloe, than under watering it.
// Aloe plants, like air plants, produce plantlets or “babies” that can be removed to produce an entirely new plant. So get that Aloe growing and put one in every room!
[ Bird of Paradise Plant / Strelitzia ]
Given the right conditions, this tropical plant can totally thrive indoors. They prefer loads of bright light and water. They also need to be fertilized every now and then and prefer warmer rooms.
These plants grow quite quickly and will need to be repotted every year. After about five years, the plant should flower, delivering striking orange blossoms that look like a bird’s head. There is also a white variant that produces a white and blue flower.
// Replant your Strelitzia outside if it gets too big. They’re surprisingly hardy and can cover quite large areas in a garden.
Lastly, if you’re wondering what will work best in your kitchen, I’ve got you covered! Check out this post on The Top Herbs to Grow in your Kitchen.