Are you a new plant parent? Or perhaps you’re toying with the idea of having one of these ‘green things’ in your house but you’re not sure where to start. Are you worried you might end up purchasing a high maintenance drama queen that takes you in and spits you out leaving you feeling inadequate as a green finger?
Well speaking from experience, knowledge comes with time, and by no means am I an expert (far from it 😂) but I can say that it was only a few years ago when I wouldn't have been able to name one common house plant.
So, there’s absolutely a space for you in the wonderful world of plants and if a plant dies, that doesn’t mean you should give up and no longer enjoy them, it may simply mean that you’re picking plants that are a little more needier than others or perhaps you’re not aware of a few tale-tale signs that they’re unhappy. Hey, even though my collection is growing I still have plants that inevitably leave me, so it will happen!
Now, if this sounds like you and you’re ready to enter the wonderful world of indoor plants, then keep on reading. Here are my top 5 picks for plants that are great to begin with when starting your plant journey.
1. Peace Lily
This was my first plant (thankfully) however I didn’t pick it from reading a blog like this, I picked it because it was the cheapest plant in the store which had the most foliage (bang for buck was my thinking strategy). However, it turns out that this particular plant is great for a beginner. If you forget to water it, they will tell you they’re thirsty, as their leaves heavily droop (which is a sure indicator ) but don't fear, with a little water they'll bounce back quickly reaffirming your position as a good plant parent.
Peace Lily's require medium, indirect sunlight, so that makes finding them a new space in your home easy. I currently have two and one of them is in an area with very little light (our hallway which has no windows) yet it still continues to thrive. Victory!
This plant knows how to really hang in there. I put one in our spare bathroom and completely forgot about it. By the time I remembered about it, its leaves were pale (a sure sign it’s thirsty) but thankfully all leaves were still intact.
Like the Peace Lily, they’re quick to bounce back and it’s incredible to watch the vibrant green colors return to their leaves. They do prefer to be in brighter, indirect sunlight, however (like mine) they will grow in other areas too, although I've noticed it does seem to hinder their rate of growth.
Monstera Deliciosa (swiss cheese)
Don’t let the name or size fool you, these are like gentle giants! You can start out with a baby monstera (shown above) and appreciate its beauty as it grows.
Native to tropical forests, this plant naturally likes warm (even humid) environments, therefore bright, indirect sunlight would be a good place for this beauty. Due to the large leaves, it pays to wipe them down with a damp cloth if they are prone to getting dusty where they are.
Heart Leaf Philodendron
It’s sweetheart name just lures you in. With its beautiful green leaves shaped like hearts, what’s not to like!
Not only does it look great but it’s also a very easy plant to take care of. In fact, I’ve done very little with mine, yet it’s trailing beautifully. I believe having a well-drained pot helps and I just check the top of the soil once every one to two weeks to see if it’s dry. Super easy and it definitely adds a statement piece to a shelf if you’re looking for a trailing plant
Snake Plant aka Mother-in-laws-tongue (OOoooo)
First off, how cool are these plants! They just ooze style and are easy to slot into a space without having to worry about their leaves spilling over anywhere, they’re a straight-up kinda plant, just how I like it!
Known as one of the hardiest of plants, the snake plant can endure many conditions and neglect. They prefer dry soil (so the key here is not to overwater it), in fact, sometimes thriving off bouts of non-watering. Not only are they easy to care for but they are one of the most popular air purifying plants and let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to be breathing in fresh, clean air!
Fun fact about snake plants - The Chinese used to grow them as a valuable house plant as it was believed the eight gods presented their virtues (poetry, art, beauty, intelligence, prosperity, long life, health and strength) to those who grew the plant. Often people will place them close to the entranceway of their home enabling the eight virtue to enter - You're Welcome!
So, there you go! Hopefully, it’s not information overload but a starting point for when you hit the plant shop up next.
My advice would be to just start with one or two and you’ll start to see how often you need to water them and in what light they prefer and then just add on as you go. If you're still not confident, here's a plant-beginner friendly e-book⏤"Keep Your Houseplants Alive" to turn your black thumb to green thumb in no time.
All the best and please do let me know how you get on!
If you want to follow me, I’m on Instagram @alfie_n_gem, where most of my posts are around plants and plant tips sprinkled in with a few posts of Alfie (my little pup) - Hope to see you there :)