If you’re like me, the mere thought of cultivating indoor plants creates the image of brown leaves and drooping blooms. Whether your challenge is that you have little time for maintenance or simply a less-than-green thumb, maintaining indoor plants can seem a daunting task. However with just a little knowledge and effort, anyone can turn their home into a sanctuary for fresh, appealing foliage and blooms!
For a classic, clean touch of green:
THE JADE PLANT
An instant addition to any room, the jade plant adds a touch of class with its smooth, round, glossy green leaves. Also known as the Money Plant or Jade Tree, some varieties are able to produce blooms of pink and white with years of age.
The Jade Plant should be watered regularly, but can be ruined if over watered; therefore see that the soil is completely dry before watering. The plant’s perfect spot in your home is an area that receives regular sunlight. As the jade grows and begins to appear top-heavy in the pot, repot the plant into a bigger container. This will normally occur every few years. Pieces of the jade can be cut off and planted into small containers and will grow easily—giving you a “baby” jade to go with your full-grown plant.
For upright architectural delight:
THE SNAKE PLANT
Also known as the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, this succulent plant is certain to spruce up any area of the home. It features tall, upright leaves with green interiors and yellow edges.
The Snake Plant is ideal for someone new to keeping indoor plants, as its maintenance is minimal. The ideal time for watering the plant is when the soil is completely dry. Watering is normally needed once a week, if that, but even if it is left dry for over a week, it may still survive. Place the Snake Plant in a location that receives a reasonable amount of light, but not full light all the time. As the width of the plant grows close to the interior of the pot, replant your Snake Plant into a bigger, wider space.
For an appealing (and healing!) addition:
THE ALOE VERA PLANT
For a conversation starter, try an Aloe Vera! Not only are the leaves of this plant a vibrant, speckled green, but they also produce the well-known gel commonly used to relieve the sting of burned skin.
Surprisingly, the Aloe Vera plant is easy to care for and requires little attention. It needs water when the soil is completely dry—normally only every couple of weeks. It is best suited in a spot where there is steady light. Every couple years, as the plant outgrows the pot, replant for ideal growing space.
For a bit of whimsy:
THE PONYTAIL PALM
Also known as Elephant’s Foot or Bottle Palm, this uniquely shaped plant is like a miniature tree with quirky, slender dark green leaves. It sits on a wooden trunk that is exposed above the pot and is a fun addition to any part of the home, such as an entry table, mantel, bookshelf, corner table, or counter.
A tolerant plant, the Ponytail Palm requires little watering, and can withstand being dry for up to a month. Water should be added in moderation when kept in the home. Normally, it will need to be repotted every three years to ensure optimum growing space.
For a pop of vibrant color:
THE BROMELIAD PLANT
A positive eye-catcher, the Bromeliad Plant features shiny green leaves surrounding a brightly-colored flowering center called a rosette. Often the rosette is bright red or pink, adding a burst of appealing color within a room. The Bromeliad is in the same family of plants as the pineapple; and the resemblance is visible in the green leaves.
Care for the Bromeliad Plant by adding lukewarm water to the inside of the rosette every couple of weeks. Place the plant somewhere in the home that gets light, but is not drenched with full sun at all times. Offset bromeliads may grow from the plant, and may be divided and repotted in separate containers no more than once each year.
Though this is by no means a comprehensive list of the easy-to-care-for indoor plants on the market, it is a glimpse of what you can use to refresh and update your home décor. Have fun when choosing the right plant for you, keeping in mind that you can keep it alive with just a little attention. Soon enough, you will develop your very own green thumb!