Top 5 Houseplants for Beginners

Top 5 Houseplants for Beginners

Jan 10, 2019
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We get asked all the time to make recommendations for the perfect houseplants for beginners. With a wide array of answers, it always seems to start with a game of twenty questions. Asking things like how much light do you have? What is the average temperature of your home or apartment? Do you have pets? and so on. All valid and reasonable things to know before supplying a recommendation. However, none the less discouraging for an excited first-time plant owner who can easily mistake these questions for the level of difficulty involved in owning a houseplant.

Please don't be discouraged, buying a houseplant is much easier than planning for your first puppy or a new bundle of joy. However, they do still need love and attention, water and light, need to be fed, and occasionally need a bath. Just because we're listing the easiest houseplants to care for doesn't mean they can be brought into your home and never thought of again.

Houseplants are selected to enhance your décor, but many have added benefits like cleaning the air in your home of toxins and chemicals. The following list of plants can turn the blackest of thumbs green. For the record, no one has ever been born with a black thumb so leave your apprehensions behind and choose a plant. Trust me once you make your first houseplant happy you’ll be quickly on the lookout for your next plant buddy.

Pothos:

Pothos or Devil’s Ivy is an easy to grow indoor plant that has air-purifying abilities. They are known to absorb and remove chemicals like formaldehyde that are released by materials in the home like carpet and furniture. Pothos produce stems (or runners) that can reach up to 8 feet long. They can be cut back if you desire a more compact plant. When you cut them back, the cuttings can be placed in a small vase with water and they will grow roots. You can either pot them and grow your collection or pass them on to a friend and help them begin their own houseplant journey. Everyone will think you are a houseplant pro!

Pothos will thrive in just about any lighting conditions and don't mind drying out between watering. Pothos will let you know when it needs water by wilting slightly when too dry but fear not after a drink they perk right back up like it never happened. Basically, pothos provides a great way to learn about watering houseplants using visual aids. A few of our favorites are Silver Satin Pothos with silver-colored velvet leaves, Neon Pothos with vibrant green leaves, and the old standby Jade Pothos with its greenish-blue foliage.

Jade Pothos in a decorative Pot

Spider plant:

I bet if you ask your grandparents what their first houseplant was the answer would be “I got the most beautiful little Spider Plant from my neighbor when we first moved into our house”. I say that because that’s what my grandmother said.

Back many years ago spider plants were so popular because they are so easy to care for, stand-up to just about any watering schedule, tolerate various lighting conditions, and again like pothos they produce babies which can be repotted and gifted. Spider plants are also listed on the clean air plants and remove formaldehyde and benzene from the air. Their bright-colored leaves brighten up about and living space. Spider plants should be at the top of any beginner's bucket list.

Easy to grow Spider Plant in decorative pot

Peace Lily:

If you’re looking for a larger plant that is easy to grow, consider the Peace Lily or Spathiphyllum. Peace lilies are not true lilies at all but rather a member of the Araceae family. Their blooms are pure white and resemble a calla lily hence the name. It is also a clean air plant and removes many toxins from the air we breathe. They are mostly used as “floor plants” due to their height of about three feet.

They will tolerate low light but tend to bloom more frequently when placed in bright indirect light. Like the pothos, it will let you know it needs water by wilting which can throw most new houseplant growers into a panic. Fear not though a good drink of water and it will be right back into its glorious condition. Peace lilies can be toxic to cats when a very large amount is ingested but mouth irritation begins on the first bite which in most cases ends the grazing of the plant. If you’re looking to fill a large void in the room consider the easy to grow Peace lily.

Pure White flowers of the Peace Lily Plant

Snake Plants:

Snake plants are considered by most to be a succulent. Which in simple terms it will not require much water. They are not very particular in terms of light however when placed in bright light they tend to have more color in the foliage. Snake plants are perfect bedroom plants as they are one of a small number of plants that “breath” at night when other plants are sleeping for the night. While you’re sleeping they are busy removing toxins from the air and producing much-needed oxygen so you can have a good night’s sleep.

A couple of our favorite varieties are Sanseveria laurentii, which is a taller floor plant variety. The small but always popular Starfish Snake Plant, which resembles a starfish standing upright in the pot. Snake Plant Black Coral with its dark leaves and taller size, and finally Snake Plant Moonshine with its silvery-gray leaves and mid-size makes it the perfect tabletop sized plant. There are so many Snake Plants, that you’ll surely get hooked on this group of plants.

Snake Plant Leaves

ZZ Plants:

This is probably the most resilient plant on the list. ZZ Plants are nearly impossible to kill. ZZ Plants can reach heights of 3 to 4 feet. But can be kept smaller by simply leaving them in a small pot. Therefore it makes a good table plant or a floor plant depending on your needs. It can be grown in the brightest of light or the lowest of lighting conditions.

When grown in lower light it tends to grow slower and can be kept shorter. The only watering condition it will resent is too much; typically it will require water no more than every three to four weeks. The leaves shine naturally so it always looks its best. ZZ plants thrive on neglect making it perfect for beginners.

The Dark Green Leaves of ZZ Plant in a wicker pot

There you have it the 5 best and easiest houseplants for beginners. Try one or all of these plants in your home and let them give you the confidence boost you need to dig into the endless list of houseplants that should be included in your home.

-Woodie