10 Best Houseplants for Beginners
If you are just beginning your gardening journey, a few simple houseplants are a great way to get things going.
You’ll want to choose some healthy specimens that show no signs of disease. Opt for adaptable and forgiving plants rather than needy ones with special requirements.
Before we walk you through 10 of the best indoor plants for beginners, there are a few basics to think about when it comes to growing inside your house…
Temperature and Light
Since the majority of houseplants are tropical, you need to provide them with a temperature they will be comfortable with.
Shoot for somewhere between 65°F and 75°F during the day. Don’t let it drop too much below 55°F overnight or your plants will start to suffer.
It’s also crucial to keep the temperature pretty constant. You want to keep your plants clear of fireplaces and heaters and well away from any drafts.
Houseplants appreciate light, they don’t enjoy too much of it though. Bright windows which only get direct sunlight during part of the day are the smart option in terms of lighting and location.
Houseplants respond well to humid conditions, particularly in winter when the air can become dry.
If you need to increase the humidity levels, there are a few simple things you can do, the most obvious being to invest in a humidifier. If you don’t want to buy more equipment, try grouping your plants together, popping them in pebble trays or misting them gently with water.
For a boost during the winter how about moving your plants into the bathroom where things are naturally more humid?
In fact, even when it’s not winter, adding plants to the decor of your bathroom can really enhance how relaxing the room feels. It’s something to consider when designing your next bathroom.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to watering. It really does vary from plant to plant.
If you are not an experienced grower, following some simple pointers will make your life much easier.
- Check the soil on a weekly basis. If you push your finger into the dirt and it feels dry, it’s time to water. Moisture means you can hold fire
- Water the soil rather than the foliage
- Go slowly and carefully when you water and stop once drops start running out of your drainage tray
- Over the winter months, avoid using water from the cold faucet. It also pays to dial back your watering to once every 2 weeks
- Strike a balance. You don’t want to see droopy foliage indicating a parched plant but you don’t want to oversaturate your plants either
Pots and Soil
Get the size of the pot right. If it’s too big, the roots can rot. Use a pot that’s too tight and the roots can become crowded and starve. Repot once a year and only increase the size of the pot by an inch or so.
You need soil that’s packed with nutrients and drains well. Garden soil will not work well. Instead, choose some houseplant potting mix. There are specific soils for orchids and succulents but in general, an all-purpose soil is absolutely fine.
From spring through to fall during the growing season, your plants will appreciate a little helping hand with some extra feed.
Standard plant food is normally sufficient. You can get this in powder, liquid or slow release form. Use what you feel most comfortable with.
Over-fertilizing can kill off your plants so exercise a light touch and follow the instructions carefully.
Now for a look at 10 great plants you can grow indoors with ease even if you are not an experienced gardener.
Best Houseplants for Beginners
Tillandsias are considered among the best indoor plants ever. They can grow with or without soil and require very minimal care. In fact, you can forget to water them for weeks on end and they will still remain alive. These are hanging plants so perfect for smaller homes where space is at a premium.
2. Spider Plant
This plant requires watering only twice a week and needs medium light. It helps to eradicate foul smells, formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. This makes it a perfect bathroom plant. Spider plants thrive in humid environments.
Learn More: How to Care For The Spider Plant
3. Snake Plant
The snake plant is commonly referred to as the mother-in-law’s tongue or St George’s Sword due to its blade-like appearance. This variety isn’t a fan of bright lights favoring low lighting and humidity. Snake plants can also remove nasty odors and toxic contents from the air.
Learn More: How to Care For The Snake Plant
4. Peace Lily
This wonderful white flower needs indirect sunlight but it can survive even in low light. Peace lilies also clean the air of any toxins. Its soil should always be moist.
Learn More: How to Care For Peace Lilies
This versatile flower should be placed or hung beside a window so it can benefit from indirect sunlight. Orchids are tailor-made for the bathroom. The humid environment in the bathroom replicates the plant’s normal conditions. Place orchids by the sink or near the bathtub where water can periodically splash on them.
6. Lucky Bamboo
Like tillandsias, lucky bamboo can grow without soil. They can be popped in a glass half filled with water and pebbles and they will grow well. The water should be changed twice a month. They require very little by the way of the sun’s rays and almost no maintenance.
Learn More: How to Care For Lucky Bamboo
These hanging plants have the ability to crawl up the walls if allowed to. Ivy vines should be positioned near the window for enhanced sunlight exposure. Ivy is not demanding to grow so suitable for absolute beginners.
Learn More: How to Care For Ivy
Known widely as the dragon plant, this variety welcomes highly humid areas. Low humidity makes their leaves dry and die. Dracaenas also filter the air of any toxins and impurities. This type of plant favors low lighting.
Learn More: How to Care For Dracaenas
9. Cast Iron Plant
True to its name, the cast iron plant is very tough. It can withstand extreme heat, dryness and humidity. These plants hate direct sunlight and love to soak in low to moderate light. They need to be regularly watered but the soil should dry up thoroughly before you water again.
Learn More: How to Care For The Cast Iron Plant
10. Aloe Vera
This medicinal plant is aptly called an immortality plant due to the fact that it doesn’t die that easily. Its aloe properties can be used to treat thinning hair and dandruff by rubbing the cut leaf on the scalp. Aloe can also be used as a cure for small wounds caused by shaving.
Growing houseplants is a great way to add some color to your home without needing to put in too much effort.
Any of our chosen 10 require precious little by the way of gardening skills. Give them a try and see how you get on.
Author Bio: Neil Appleby is full-time freelance writer. He writes for a wide range of websites and businesses such as Smart Style Bathrooms. He’s particularly interested in the world of gardening, home, and health and fitness.