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Houseplants became all the rage in 2020 when people were forced to stay home more.
With little to keep them occupied and the burden of loneliness around every corner, houseplants provided a healthy, joyful way to feel connected to something when connecting to each other just wasn’t super safe.
I’ll admit that my journey to plant parenthood began well before pandemic but for an equally unfortunate reason – the unforeseen death of my mother.
Two things happened when we lost her: 1) I inherited a couple of her very long-living pothos and, 2) I received several potted plants in sympathy since they seem to be deemed a better investment than standard flowers.
I felt thrust into unwilling and unprepared plant ownership but, not wanting to let Mom down (she had quite the green thumb and excelled at indoor and outdoor gardening), I decided to educate myself about how to keep the plants that had become a part of my life healthy and happy.
Turns out, the effort had a profound impact on my own mental health and happiness. Not only has the experience been educational and positively fulfilling, it has also changed the entire aesthetic of my home making it a sanctuary throughout the pandemic when it could’ve otherwise been more of a prison.
If you’ve fallen in love with the #plantmom hashtag on Instagram or found yourself spiraling down the rabbit hole that is Planttok then you too may be wondering if plant parenting should be a part of your future.
Personally, I’d say the answer is yes.
Even if you have a brown thumb.
Even if you haven’t met a houseplant you couldn’t kill.
Even if you’re super busy, live in a basement apartment, have a cat, travel a lot or are strapped with student loan debt you’re trying to pay off as quickly as humanely possible, plant parenthood is for you.
Let’s start with choosing an easy houseplant that will work for your lifestyle.
Easy Houseplants Even You Can’t Kill
If every plant you’ve ever owned has met an untimely demise.
Start with a pothos.
They’re kinda known for being unkillable and are willing to put up with awful conditions and little care. They’re even hearty enough to withstand being forgotten and over watered by plant parents who think more water is the answer to every plant woe. They are a low light plant (they still need some) who could largely be considered the house elf of the plant world as they’re willing to put up with your neglect if you just throw them a few crumbs of light and water from time to time.
They will, of course, thrive marvelously if given proper care and can grow into wonderfully lush, creeping beauties over time.
If You Don’t Get Much Sun
Check out the fittonia.
Because even basement dwellers could use a little plant joy.
Also known as nerve plants, some of these colorful and all of them interesting to look at. They can survive with low light quite easily but expect less vibrancy in their colors if you don’t give them much access to the sun.
Important to note: low light doesn’t mean no light! Every green plant is going to require some amount of sunlight to keep kicking, so make sure these low light plants have access to the rays in some way.
Also, understand the difference between low light and indirect light. Some of our potted pals like a lot of light, just indirectly with a little shade please.
Also try: Monstera
Product rec: If you really live in a hovel, you can provide a little artificial sunlight to your greenery with a grow light.
If You’re Strapped for Time or Forget to Water
Snake plants might be the answer.
They’re happy with very infrequent watering and can even deal with low light. If you’re the neglectful sort, think about leaving it in your window so it can enjoy sunny days and water it when it happens to cross your mind (which should be about when the soil feels all the way dry).
Snake plants are cool to look and can grow quite large so they are a great item to decorate with.
Others to try: Ponytail palm, succulents and ZZ plants
Product rec: Some plants just like a little spritzing from time to time. Try this plant mister to make the job easy for your potted peeps.
If You Usually Drown Your Plants
Pitcher plants will love you.
It’s carnivorous and cool. I have one of these and can I just say that she is so much fun and really will take care of any gnat issues you may have around your plant babies.
They are plants that need to have moist soil at all times so if you’re a chronic overwaterer, this might be the plant for you. They are a little finniky so I wouldn’t say they’re the best option for a very new plant owner, but if you’re ready to jump into something a little more exciting they may be the perfect option.
They’re tropical so they also enjoy humidity more than your basic plant.
Product rec: Consider a mini humidifier to keep conditions perfect for them. Try this one: SmartDevil Humidifier
Pro tip: Use only distilled or rain water, tap water is not their jam.
Others to try: Boston fern or baby’s tears.
If You’re Also a Pet Parent
Calatheas are safe for your fur friends.
Not only easy to care for, but pet friendly too!
Calatheas, also known as prayer plants because their leaves roll up at night, are happiest during the day in bright, indirect light but will keep with lower light conditions. They prefer watering every one to two weeks and are relatively low maintenance and easy to care for.
They may not fare so well if the pets they share a home with nibble on them a bit, but your pet should be fine if they do.
Others to try: Polka dot plants, peperomias and fittonias.