Plant Finder – Choose the Right Houseplant for Your Space and Your Life
How to Find the Perfect Houseplant for Your Lifestyle
Houseplants can really add a good vibe to any home, and luckily there are many available for purchase these days. However, we all live different lifestyles, and the best houseplants for you may not be the best ones for someone else. Therefore, the following guide can help you decide which houseplants would be best for your specific living situation.
First of all, some plants can be quite high-maintenance compared to others, so you’ll want to be honest with yourself about how much time and energy you are able to dedicate to your plants.
If you’re usually rushing to get out the door and just don’t have much time, you may want to look into drought-resistant houseplants that can survive if you forget to water them a few times. Plants like succulents and cacti are unique in that many of them can actually retain water in them for future use. Many of these only require water every month or so, and some of them are also very good for the air quality in a home. Therefore, these are also excellent for people who are forgetful or just don’t make their plants a priority.
Houseplant owners who are more relaxed about their plants yet not neglectful appreciate the likes of Aglaonema and Pothos. They do require water when they become dry, but they are more tolerant to sporadic care than other plants, so if you’re leaving town for a week or so, they should be able to survive without you watering them.
Bear in mind that some plants such as peace lilies will actually “notify” you when they need to be watered, as they will become a bit droopy in appearance but will perk up once watered.
If you’re the type who waters sporadically but feels like it’s overdone every time and your plants have historically not survived, lucky bamboos may be a perfect fit. It is very hard to overwater them and, unlike many other houseplants, they are not overly susceptible to root rot. Cyperus plants are also good options if you’re the type who has a heavy hand with the watering can, and they also have a quite unique appearance that can make your home interesting.
If you’re a planner with set schedules and an enormous wall calendar (or just a good task list on your smartphone), you may want to choose houseplants that have a stricter care process that must be followed. This includes Ficus and Hoyas, which aren’t hard to maintain but have watering and fertilization regimens that are crucial to their survival. Venus Fly Traps may also be good for you, and if you’re looking for a plant that requires you to care for it exactly as outlined, consider a bonsai.
Think About the Place
A common misconception about plants is that they all require sunlight to survive, but this is not true. All living layouts are different, and some provide more access to sunlight than others. Therefore, another important factor to consider when searching for your perfect houseplants is where you live.
If you live in a small apartment with very few or no windows, your best option may be getting a grow lamp and planting a snake plant under it. Prayer plants and Chinese evergreens are additional plants that can survive without a lot of sunlight, while Dracaena plants are another viable option. ZZ plants are a favorite of busier people, as they don’t require much maintenance or sunlight.
Contrarily, if you have a lot of rooms and ample sunlight, you have more options. If you have a lot of windows, you should figure out which direction each one is facing and plan your houseplant layout accordingly. Most plants come with labels on them to let you know if they can handle full sunlight or if they should only receive some sunlight each day, and you can use this guidance to decide where to place them.
In general, plants that need bright light should be placed in south-facing windows, plants needing medium light may do well in east-facing windows, plants that thrive in low light could live in north-facing windows, and plants that require strong light should be placed in west-facing windows with a barrier between them and the sun.
If you’re looking for pops of color and have access to a lot of sunlight, you cannot go wrong with Hibiscus plants. These bloom amazing flowers that can brighten your whole living area, which has been proven to increase people’s overall happiness.
Believe it or not, however, many plants are susceptible to their own version of sunburn and need a break from the sunlight. Some houseplant owners who are extremely dedicated to their plants have a daily routine of moving their plants around throughout the day to accommodate required sun or shade.
Cater to the Environment
The weather and environment that houseplants are living in is also important. If you live somewhere very humid, ferns are a household favorite. They sometimes get a bad reputation for being high-maintenance, but they are actually quite simple to care for if they are in the right spot. They love sunlight, humidity, and a lot of water and attention. Plants like these will grow great in a bathroom, as they can thrive on the humidity generated by its owner(s) showers in addition to regular watering.
On the contrary, the Jade plant is an excellent choice for low-humidity environments and still requires a lot of sunshine. String of Pearls is another option and only requires watering every couple of weeks. For another low maintenance plant in a low-humidity environment, consider Devil’s Ivy.
Don’t Forget the Pets
Unfortunately, some of the most beautiful and popular plants are not pet-friendly and can make your furry friend(s) quite sick. Perhaps the most common one that is poisonous to dogs and cats is the aloe vera plant. Ivies are also not good for pets, nor are Sago palms. Before purchasing any plants, do some research and make sure they can cohabitate with your pets. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals regularly updates its website with guidance on which plants are okay for pets and which are not.
If you’re not able to get the specific plant you want, you can normally find an alternative that is close to it but pet-friendly.
Decide Where to Buy Your New Houseplant
What houseplants you buy will also depend on where you are buying them. If you live more of an “in-person” lifestyle, you will likely find different options when you visit your local nursery compared to buying them online if you have more of an “at home” lifestyle. Online stores may have more options than a small local nursery, but as always, shopping online versus in store has its pros and cons.
As long as you do your research on which houseplants suit your lifestyle best and subsequently buy them from reputable places, your home will be a more inviting place in no time.