Beginners Guide to Houseplants
Hello! And welcome to our beginners guide to house plants! Houseplants are a great way to decorate your home and they come along with many other benefits. According to studies by NASA, house plants can clean the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) from your home by pulling them from the air and sending them down to their roots to turn into food! Additionally, plants release oxygen and moisture into the air as part of their photosynthesis process. If you live in Calgary like us, then you know its good to get all the moisture you can. Especially during winter! Also, did you see that episode of Greys Anatomy where Maggie turns a room into a jungle for the purpose of relieving anxiety? Well, its true! Plants are proven to help improve mental health.
1). Variegated String of Hearts & String of Hearts
I’m too excited to wait, so I’m going to start with my absolute favorite! The Variegated String of Hearts (VSOH) and the regular String of Hearts. Both are SO cute and so easy to care for. The variegated version is a little harder to get your hands on (as it’s in high demand!) but so worth it when you finally do. VSOH can come with the pink tones as seen in the photo or white and green – both are stunning. These plants are considered succulents which for us means they’re easy to care for! They are susceptible to root rot if overwatered so my best tip for these is a moisture wand to make sure the soil is completely dry before watering. If possible plant in a pot with a drainage hole in the bottom so you can water from the bottom as to not get their leaves wet – they don’t like that. Both VSOH and regular String of Hearts love plenty of sunshine and room to grow as their vines can grow to be up to 8′ long!
2). Snake Plants
Snake plants are quite popular and easy to find! There are around 70 different types of snake plants out there but the most common one you’ll find is Sansevieria trifasciata (Mother-in-law’s tongue). These are hardy plants that can withstand full to indirect sunlight – indirect being best. They’re considered a succulent as well meaning they like to dry out between waterings!
3). Persian Cyclamen
Another stunning house plant with heart shaped leaves and sweet scented flowers that come in shades of pink, purple, red, and white. Warm temperatures actually make this plant go dormant in the summer and then in the fall they spring back into life. Although I’m putting this plant on our beginners guide list – I wouldn’t say this is a beginners plant and to experience success with this plant – do your research! It is an absolutely stunning addition if you do.
4). Peace Lily’s
Another popular and easy to care for plant that is easy to find, the peace lily has gorgeous deep green foliage contrasting their bright white “flowers.” The most common mistake in caring for Peace Lilies is overwatering – these house plants prefer to be on the dry side so make sure you check your soil before watering! Depending how you’d like your Peace Lily to look you can keep it in bright indirect light for more of those white “flowers” or low light for less flowers and let the deep green foliage take the stage!
5). Alocasia (AKA African Mask, Elephants Ear)
How COOL is this plant?! These plants are relatively easy to find and can grow up to be 2′-6′ tall. Classified as a tropical it originates from Asia to Eastern Australia, and widely cultivated elsewhere. There are around 79 species of Alocasia available, and I wouldn’t say these plants are beginners plants (loves dry soil but high humidity? Seems counterintuitive) but once you find the Alocasia of your dreams and bring it home do your research on the species and you should be just fine!
If you’re a fan of succulents then you’ll love this guy! This house plant has woody stems plaited with bluish grey leaves and can grow up to 4′ long so make sure you have room. Like all succulents Burros tail can be susceptible to root rot so make sure when you bring it home and replant in its new pretty pot that you have a drainage hole as well as well draining soil. Keep your eye out at your local greenhouse for this beauty!
7). Pilea Peperomioides (Chinese Money Plant)
This plant has it all – easy to care for, not hard to find and simple yet eye catching foliage! This plant has also been referred to as “The Friendship Plant” as it is easy to propagate making it the gift that keeps on giving. They can adapt to low light conditions but prefer brighter indirect sunshine and will tend to reach towards the light so make sure you occasionally rotate them. This plant is thought to bring good fortune, money, and abundance to its owner, contributing to its popularity as a housewarming or hostess gift.
8). Zanzibar Gem (ZZ Plant)
This is a beginner friendly house plant that is super easy to care for and doesn’t hold back in the looks department. While growth can be slow with this plant it will reach up to 16”- 28” so it won’t take up too much room. Perfect for small spaces while its thick waxy leaves still take center stage. This plant isn’t fussy and can tolerate low light, low watering conditions and the average humidity in your home should be just fine!
9). Monstera Deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant)
You’ve likely seen this plant featured in tons of Instagram posts as it is a very popular house plant. Not hard to find and not too hard to care for this tropical plant has stunning foliage that easily catches the eye. They can grow quite large and prefer a large pot so make sure you have room! They can tolerate low light but this can make them become a little “leggy” and their leaves wont split as it grows. As this house plant is native to tropical areas it does prefer high humidity but can adapt to your regular household levels of humidity.
Last but not least never underestimate a house plant that pays for its rent! In fresh herbs that is. If you love cooking (or even if you don’t) fresh herbs like rosemary, oregano, thyme and basil can bring a little piece of greenery to brighten up your kitchen and your meals! They are so easy to grow with the right tools and are so handy to have around (fresh basil on your third night of pasta this week? Yes please).
That’s it for this blog post on house plants. If you’re thinking of purchasing your first house plant then our best advice is to do your research and invest in a moisture meter. Even the best of us lose our favorite house plants sometimes. Don’t let it get to you! Just try again and learn from your mistakes. We hope you’ve enjoyed our mini guide to house plants and would love to see any photos or recommendations you have!
Stay warm and stay safe,