For those of you who feel as though you have a black thumb and cannot keep any houseplants alive and thriving, I want to assure you that with armed with a little bit of knowledge, you can definitely add some green to your space. The demise of houseplants often stems from the lack of knowledge of what the particular plant needs to thrive. You may go to a nursery and fall in love with a beautiful plant, bring it home and find that you are not able to keep it happy. The key to success with houseplants is finding the right balance between a plant you love, a plant that will love your space and a plant that will tolerate what kind of plant parent you will be. Are you a hands-off person who will maybe water the plant once in a while? Or are you prepared to dote over your plant? Does your home have a lot of bright light or is the most you can give any plant low to medium light? These questions, armed with some technological cheats, are what you need to be the best plant parent you can be!
I like to use an app to identify plants I'm not sure what the names are and it's called Picture This. There is option to pay for the use of this app or you can use it for free for a limited amount of identifications per day. This app is good for popular plants and can help with identification, but it is not 100% accurate, so your best bet is going to a Facebook or Reddit page and asking for identification there.
If you're not sure how much light, which is essentially plant food, you can provide in your home, there are a number of apps for that too! I use one called Plant Light and it costs $.99 on the app store for iPhone. It will measure the light coming in through the rear-facing camera on your phone. Just hold it directly at the light source and it will tell you how intense the light is in that area. This will give you an idea of what kinds of plants will thrive in your home.
Without further ado, here are five SUPER EASY, low maintenance houseplants for a beginner plant parent.
IF YOU FORGET TO WATER PLANTS
ZZ Plant: You will have a very hard time killing this plant if you have a fear of killing plants. This is the hardiest or hardy plants. You can ignore this and leave it in the dark for 4 months and it will be fine. With it's attractive dark green waxy foliage and its chubby stems, it makes it the perfect addition to an office desk or a dark corner that needs something. Since it has intense tuberous roots that hold lots of water, along with thick stems and leaves, they can go quite a while without water. They really don't need much attention at all.
IF YOU HAVE LOW LIGHT
Sanseveria (Snake Plants): You can also be pretty negligent with these as far as watering and they will probably be okay. It's a very forgiving kind of plant and there are MANY different varieties of Snake Plants in all sizes and color and shape to try. It can thrive in low light situations and is also very easy to propagate to make more plants!
IF YOU LOVE PINEAPPLES 🍍
Dracaena Janet Craig Compacta: If you think pineapples are cute, then you need this little plant in a pineapple shaped cachepot right now! This dracaena is simply adorable and is not very needy at all. It can thrive in just about any lighting situation, although it does great it bright light. It is a slow grower so it will stay pretty compact if you do not have a lot of space to keep large plants. This plant is super easy to keep and will make you smile with it's attractive long green leaves.
IF YOU LOVE BEAUTIFUL LEAVES
Scindapsus pictus (Silver Pothos): This plant is super easy to find, super easy to grow and amazing to look at. They have a lovely silvery variegation on the leaves that is actually silvery and somewhat magical. Just like any other pothos, it is a vining plant which can live and climb on other surfaces. These are tolerant of a little under-watering and will grow impressively for you with medium to bright light.
IF YOU NEED AN INSTAGRAM-ABLE PLANT
Monstera Deliciosa: This is the IT plant right now and there is good reason for that. It's easy to care for, gets gigantic and has amazing split leaf foliage as it matures. It is named because of its potential size as it gets "monstrous" and it produces a delicious fruit that apparently tastes like pineapple. These plants will thrive in medium to bright conditions, but not direct sunlight as you may burn the leaves. These plants are very forgiving and will be okay if they dry out slightly between waterings. Be sure to clean the leaves regularly as the sheer size of the leaves makes it prone to collecting dust. A plant will have trouble photosynthesizing efficiently with dusty leaves.
Don't be afraid to experiment with houseplants to enrich your space! With a little bit of knowledge, you can turn your black thumb into a very green one!