A plant is the world’s oldest housewarming gift (other than a bottle of wine), because nothing makes your home feel fresh and lived-in like live plants. Bonus that they naturally clean your indoor air, too!
Here’s a brief look at which plants to include when designing your home, with tips to get the most out of specific situations.
Best for Beginners
Snake Plant (Sansevierias)
Snake Plants are some of the toughest plants around. Indoors or on your balcony, these spiked lovelies can deal with nearly anything.
Care tips: They’ll grow faster in strong natural light and slower in low light, so decide where to place them. Buy darker-leafed varieties for low light. No direct sunlight like a west or south window – they burn! Always ensure the soil is nearly completely dry before thoroughly watering again, though these will do well in a bathroom, too. Snake plants are mildly toxic to cats and dogs.
ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
Roots called rhizomes help this plant stay hydrated, while its variegated leaves go from bright green to a dark emerald.
Care tips: Low light and not much water, so it’s low-maintenance. Water when the soil is dry, or every two to three weeks. Poisonous if eaten, so keep away from kids and pets.
Asparagus Fern (Asparagus setaceus)
Stunningly delicate, the Asparagus Fern does better as a houseplant than an outdoor plant since it’s considered an invasive species.
Care tips: Keep in a sunny spot and let it dry out between waterings. Keep away from cats and dogs – it’s toxic to them.
Known as a prayer plant because the Maranta’s leaves will raise and lower with the sun throughout the day. Gorgeous variegated leaves include shades of green and bright pink.
Care tips: Medium to bright but indirect sunlight. Water weekly or every other week, when you see its leaves look droopy. Pet-safe houseplant.
Best Indoor Tree
Ficus Altissima (Variegata)
For those who love the look of a leafy indoor tree like the fiddle leaf fig, try a ficus altissima with large velvety yellow and green leaves. “This plant makes a statement without the more complex care instructions that come with the Fiddle!” explains Joyce Mast, a horticultural expert at Bloomscape.
Care tips: Place this hardy plant in bright, indirect light, then let it grow. Indoors, this statement plant can gain six to eight feet in height (outdoors, up to 40 feet!) Toxic to dogs, so take care.
Kimball Starr Interior Design creates healthy homes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Lake Tahoe. Contact her today for a socially-distanced in-person or remote consultation.