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The best houseplants for your indoor garden

February 11, 2020
Picking the perfect houseplants is as easy as narrowing down the plant care that’s the right fit for your home. New plant owners may want to stick to easy-growing species, whereas more experienced gardeners could be on the lookout for a challenge. No matter where you fall on the plant lover spectrum, there are so many choices of houseplants out there, you’ll be sure to find a few that are welcome additions to your living space.

Bird’s nest fern (asplenium nidus)

Out in the wild, the leaves of the bird’s nest fern can stretch up to five feet, but when grown within the home, they’re much more manageable. As a houseplant, this frilly-leafed plant won’t reach too far over two feet, making it suitable for placement on a desk or shelf. However, it’s best placed where it can get moderate sunlight and plenty of humidity, such as a window or near the shower. The bird’s nest fern likes its soil moist but not soggy, so water once the top of the dirt dries out. This plant is safe around pets.

Lipstick plant (aeschynanthus radicans)

With a name like the “lipstick plant”, you can expect nothing short of glamour by introducing this evergreen into your home. The name was given due to the clusters of bright red flowers that bloom on the plant all year. Despite its fashion-forward appearance, you’ll want to consider hanging the lipstick plant outdoors or near the window, due to the fact that the flowers aren’t as sweet-smelling as they look. Lipstick plants prefer indirect sunlight and moderate watering.

Happy bean (peperomia ferreyrae)

The happy bean plant is a charming semi-succulent that’s sure to make you smile. It’s leaves are shaped like peapods that flourish into the rounded shape of a pincushion. Left on their own, the leaves might not do as you’d like; however, with a little bit of guidance, you’ll be able to clean them up so they grow in the direction you’d like. Due to their close relation to succulents, avoid overwatering and keep the plant somewhere with a good bit of humidity. Happy bean plants enjoy bright light, but make sure it’s indirect. If the plant isn’t growing much, it may need more sun.

Arrowhead (syngonium podophyllum)

Good for beginners, the arrowhead plant is a vine that can grow quickly and easily, thriving when left alone. It looks great in a standard pot or hanging in a basket, but be mindful if you have animals at home as the plant is toxic to both dogs and cats. Indirect bright light is best for the arrowhead vine as direct sunlight can cause discoloration to the leaves. Beware of overwatering, and in the warmer months, water it regularly and allow the soil to dry out a little before watering again (but never completely).

Cast iron plant (aspidistra elatior)

The cast iron plant is as strong as its name. Hardy and evergreen, it’s not easy to destroy this plant, even if you don’t possess a green thumb. When planted outside, the cast iron plant will produce flowers, but unfortunately, the same doesn’t ring true as a houseplant. Even so, it’s an attractive plant with rich green leaves that would look great in your garden collection. Most issues with the cast iron plant arise from overwatering, so be mindful. Let the soil dry out between watering, and keep it away from direct sunlight, which will scorch the leaves.

Lucky bamboo (dracaena sanderiana)

Did you know lucky bamboo can be so much more than a novelty plant? Known for feng shui and said to bring good fortune, this little houseplant can be grown in both pebbles and soil, and you can even find some fancier (and pricier) ones with stalks that have been shaped, twisted or braided. Lucky bamboo prefers bright indirect sunlight so the leaves don’t scorch, and distilled water if kept in a small pot of pebbles. If using tap water, let the water sit out overnight for chemicals toxic to the plant to evaporate. Lucky bamboo leaves are mildly toxic so keep them out of reach of small children and animals.

Chinese evergreen (aglaonema)

The Chinese evergreen is a favorite for its pretty patterned leaves. Low maintenance and easy on the eyes, their round and wide form makes it a spectacular plant to display on the table. Chinese evergreens do well in low light conditions, and can handle some moderate sunlight, but keep it away from bright sun as it will burn the leaves. Roughly, they should be watered once a week, allowing it to dry between waterings. The Chinese evergreen is toxic to cats and dogs.