Healthy Indoor Plants

Even if you don’t think that you have a green thumb, you only need to know a few basics to keep your indoor houseplants thriving. From placing them in just the right spot for the best light, to potting them in the right size pots, you’ll soon have a plenty of green to complement your indoor décor.

Lighting Conditions

All plants require lighting; they use them to grow the starches, sugars and other substances needed to live and grow. Most plants are partial to bright light, so the best place for a household plant is in front of a window. If windows face south, a plant will still receive a large amount of light even if it is placed far into a room. If windows face east, a plant should not be placed more than a few feet into the room in order to receive optimum light. Light from windows facing west tends to drop off quickly but contains a large amount of heat, so it’s best to place plants close to the window with a sheer curtain drawn during the mid-day. Windows facing north provide the lowest amount of light, so plants should be placed directly on the sill. If artificial lights are used, a fluorescent light should be used instead of an incandescent bulb in order to light the plant with a healthy amount of heat and red, orange, blue and yellow-green blue rays.

Planters and Pots

Planters and pots that are too small for a plant will force the plant to grow poorly due to the soil remaining moist for too long of a time. Plants placed in planters and pots that are too large will become root-bound and topple from an unstable point of balance. A plant requires drainage holes in a planter or pot in order to avoid root rot with a saucer underneath to catch the excess water. Plastic houseplant pots are the most common; since plastic pots are non-porous they do not require you to water them as often. To create a decorative look that complements your home decor, buy indoor plants in an appropriately sized plastic pot with drainage holes to slip inside decorative planters, wooden barrels, or metal containers.

Popular Houseplants

Visit any gardening section of your favorite home store and you’ll find these usual suspects, and with good reason. Most of them are hardy, forgiving and thrive in even some of the more challenging environments. So whether you are new to indoor houseplants or are looking to add to your ever-growing greenery, give these a try and discover why they are favorites.

Peace Lily

The Peace lily is easy to care for, hardy and forgiving. Peace lilies thrive in basements, bathrooms or damp areas of the home. They adapt well to low light but require weekly watering and are poisonous to pets. These plants provide color, beautiful blooms and are wonderful air purifiers.

Dragon Tree

The Dragon tree is one of the easiest indoor plants to grow and recovers quickly if neglected. Keep the plant away from dogs and cats, as its leaves are toxic to them. Dragon trees will thrive in any room of the home and are natural air filers removing benzene, formaldehyde, xylene and toluene from the air.

Spider Plant

Love a hanging or trailing houseplants? Spider plants are undemanding and easy tot grow. Pot them in hanging baskets or display them atop a console table in your entryway. Spider plants are great in any room and quickly purify the air.

English Ivy

English ivy is a dainty home accent plant that you can use as a hanging plant or on a mantel where the stems can drape down. English ivy thrives in moist air and soil. Remember to frequently mist the ivy for best results, especially during dry winters. Keep the plant away from heat vents. They remove benzene from the air.

Boston Fern

Boston ferns are beautiful plants with long, graceful fronds bedecked with tiny leaves. They are a bit more difficult to grow and need a little extra care. They will thrive in any place in the home if they receive adequate lighting and humidity. To provide it with the extra humidity it needs during dry winters, consider setting the fern’s pot on a tray of pebbles filled with water. In addition, Boston ferns should be misted daily for optimum growth.  It’s considered one of the most efficient air purifiers.

Gerbera Daisy

Gerbera daisies’ bright and bold blooms are splendid and long-lasting. They are popular plants and you’ve probably received a Gerbera daisy as a gift at some point. Growing Gerbera daises indoors can be a bit tricky. Place them in rooms that have moderate temperatures and bright morning light (afternoon sun may scorch the leaves). They prefer slightly moist soil, but don’t let the pot sit in water. Gerber daisies release oxygen at night and refreshes nighttime air in living spaces and bedrooms.

Philodendron

Philodendrons have lovely vines, low light tolerance and adapts well to almost any indoor setting. It’s the perfect plant for draping over the side of a bookshelf or a large piece of furniture like a sideboard. They are excellent air-purifying plants and are particularly good at absorbing formaldehyde.

What’s your favorite?

What are your favorite houseplants? Which ones have you had great luck with? Share your plant savvy in the comments below!