Tony O’Neill, gardener and author of the popular “Composting Masterclass” and “Your First Vegetable Garden,” combines lifelong passion and expert knowledge to simplify the art of gardening. His mission? Helping you cultivate a thriving garden. More on Tony O’Neill
Houseplants make a great addition to any home. They keep the air clean and fresh, add bright colors to your spaces, and add natural decor.
Many plants make excellent houseplants for beginners. However, if you’re unsure about your abilities to grow houseplants, don’t despair! If you’re unsure where to start, this handy guide will walk you through all you need to know to start with just a few or even many plants inside.
List of best houseplants for Beginners
These are some of the best options if you’re looking for houseplants that are no-fuss and difficult to kill. Not only are they great plants to grow, but they’re also hardy and will be good starter plants. You can branch into more challenging houseplants if you succeed with these plants.
1. Golden Pothos Vine is a good houseplant for beginners
Pothos are popular hanging plants that most people have seen. In its native environment, the plant will grow to a huge size and even take over entire trees.
However, when kept in a pot, they will still grow at a much lower rate. They can be trimmed occasionally to prevent overgrowth. You can also root them in a glass of water to make new plants if desired.
2. One of the hardiest houseplants for beginners would be the Spider Plant
A spider plant grows easily in baskets or pots and has long, thin, arching leaves. They’ll also send out offsets on long steps that can be used to create new plants if desired.
Since they’re not picky about light, temperature, or water, they can be quickly grown and are one of the hardiest plants on this list. They also make great gifts, so consider starting new plants from the offsets and giving them gifts.
3. Succulents and Cacti are popular options for houseplants for beginners
If you’re a home grower who never remembers to water their plants, these varieties are probably a good idea. Various succulents and cacti can easily be found in garden centers. In general, they are plants designed to weather dry conditions.
“Only a few love the cactus as others fail to see their beauty. Because others just hate them for the thorns they possess, and they don’t understand the fact that they are meant to work as their protecting gear.”Lone Thinker
Some may have spikes, although many don’t. Both agave and aloe are popular succulents to grow. They do best in bright light and little water but require little care. Some varieties also produce beautiful flowers, so they’re a great choice.
4. Bromeliads are beautiful houseplants that are great for beginners
These plants don’t always make the easy-to-grow list but are unfairly so. They are difficult to coax a flower from as they require high heat and water to bloom.
However, many of the species have beautiful leaves that are attractive. While you may not be able to get a flower very often, they’re pretty plants on their own and still hardy.
5. Bamboo is considered one of the most common houseplants and will be amazing for beginners
Also known as lucky bamboo, this is probably the most common office plant, and with good reason. They thrive in awful conditions and are probably almost impossible not to keep alive.
Bamboo is a plant that can be watered only occasionally and do well even in poor lighting and poor air quality conditions.
They make great plants to gift, and some believe they bring good luck. They’re exciting plants, so make a good choice when you want variety in your houseplants.
Some varieties could cause an issue, so why not check this article I wrote on that subject?
Caring for Houseplants: The Basics
Houseplants can be fussy or straightforward to take care of, but taking a few steps to ensure that they’re in the right environment will make a significant difference in their health. These are the essential elements that each houseplant needs.
Houseplants typically need high, medium, or low light. When you purchase a plant, the tag will tell you the light it needs. Ask a local gardening store or look it up before purchasing.
Since plants can die without adequate light, make sure that you plan to put the plant in a space where it will have enough light. A high-light plant needs five or more hours of direct sunlight, while a low-light houseplant can live in a room without any windows.
All plants need water to survive. Some plants, such as succulents, only need to be watered when the soil is parched. However, most plants should be watered when the top of the soil feels dry.
Most plants will be watered 1-2 times a week.
If the plant does not have specific watering instructions, follow this rule.
Houseplants need fertilizer to thrive, so giving them this fuel is essential. You can use fertilizer through water by adding fertilizer to the water about once a month. If you want to use a slower-release fertilizer, this can be added to the plant’s soil every 2-3 months. Both methods are excellent but choose the one that works best for you.
Surprisingly to some, most houseplants are tropical plants and cannot tolerate colder temperatures. This means they will likely not thrive outside, especially in the colder temperatures.
House plants tend to do best at temperatures between 65-75 degrees.
They may be able to tolerate temperatures as low as 55 degrees but usually not for long. If you tend to keep the home colder in winter, try keeping or moving the plants into a slightly warmer room.
Keeping Houseplants Clean
One area that’s often overlooked is keeping houseplants clean. Although these houseplants are easy to stay alive, they require occasional maintenance. Cleaning them keeps them healthy, but you’ll also be sure to catch any pests if present.
Common methods of keeping the houseplants clean
Several methods will be mentioned below, and for all these steps, it is essential to remember that during the cleaning process, avoid using too much force as this may damage the plant.
|The most common method is using a sprayer to clean the plant gently.
|Use a diluted concoction of basic dishwashing liquid to spray the leaves.
|Use a duster to clean the leaves.
|Rub the leaves with a damp paper towel if needed.
Dirt and dust can accumulate on the houseplant leave like on any other plant, so clean them occasionally or when you notice them looking dull.
Potting Indoor Houseplants
Depending on where you purchase your houseplants, you may need to repot them. Their container may be a simple plastic one, which is acceptable for temporary use but may harm the health of the plant long-term.
You may also need to add additional soil, which can also be an essential consideration.
Pots recommended for indoor plants
Terra cotta is not required but is always a good choice as it helps to control humidity levels within the pot. In general, ceramic pots are a good choice.
Depending on your style, you can choose a preferred pot. However, ensure it has drainage holes on the bottom of the container. If desired, you can set a drainage pot under the pot to avoid getting water on the floor.
Soil for potted plants
In general, potting soil that’s general purpose is going to be adequate for your plants. However, plants such as cacti and succulents need a unique mix. They require soil that’s self-draining.
Your local gardening center will have both types of soil, which tends to be well-marked, so you know what you’re purchasing. Unless you buy a plant with specific needs, general potting soil will be adequate.
There may also be a need to change the soil of potted plants periodically, as this act may provide more air into the roots and renew the nutrients in the soil. Information on why it is beneficial to change the soil of potted plants is further explained in this article that I wrote. Feel free to check them here.
Avoiding Common Houseplant Issues
If you follow these steps, your houseplants will likely be healthy. However, even the most talented gardeners will occasionally run into problems. There are a few common problems that houseplants can experience.
1. Overfeeding of indoor houseplants
One fairly common problem is overfeeding. Too much nitrogen in the soil from the fertilizer will cause the plant to grow, but its growth will be soft.
This makes them more susceptible to diseases, so don’t fertilize more than needed. If required, set a reminder on your phone or calendar so that you know when to fertilize the plants.
2. Overwatering of indoor houseplants
The same holds for watering. Too much water can lead to root rot and other diseases. Although most plants need to be watered one or two times a week, develop the habit of checking the soil conditions before watering.
Most plants should have a top layer of soil that appears dry before watering. Some plants may need more water, but this is not extremely common.
If the plant is drooping, this is a sign that they’re not getting enough soil.
Testing the soil with your fingers can give you much information about watering needs. Try to get into the habit of watering once or twice weekly for the best results.
Conclusion on Best Houseplants for Beginners
All this information may be too taxing for a beginner to grow plants, so I want to remind you that the heart of gardening and planting revolves around loving the plant and its growth! Of course, not every plant will thrive initially, so enjoy the process while noting how they thrive under specific circumstances.
You may be surprised at how easy their care and maintenance can be when you have eased yourself into gardening. Hopefully, these tips will be beneficial to you and aid you in doing an excellent job with plant care. Even beginners can grow healthy plants, and this general guide can help you to get started.
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