Easy-to-Grow Houseplants for Beginners: A Guide to Adding Greenery to Your Home
There are many benefits to adding plants to your home, and here at Plantopia, we enjoy bringing plants to the people.
We are a small Nursery located near Punta Gorda, Florida. We offer many external plant options, but outside plants are not the only place we see our customers incorporating the fantastic benefits of plants.
Indoor plants not only add beauty to our homes and offices, but studies have shown that indoor plants are linked to:
- Improving your mood
- Reducing fatigue
- Lowering stress and anxiety
- Improving office performance and focus
- Boosting healing and pain tolerance
- Minimizing the occurrence of headaches by improving air quality
- Easing dry skin and respiratory ailments due to dry air
Even NASA has studies on ideal plant ratios recommending 15-18 houseplants per 1,800 square feet; we understand not everyone has the space for all of these plants, but it is a no-brainer that incorporating some indoor plants with your external landscape can help bring some of the luxurious outdoors into your living or working spaces.
Dracaena trifasciata, commonly known as the snake plant
The snake plant is one of the most popular and hardy species of houseplants. The plant has stiff, sword-like leaves and can grow anywhere from six inches to eight feet tall.
Colors can vary; however, most have a green-banded appearance, commonly with a yellow border. These plants are easy to grow and, for most, are indestructible. They thrive in bright light or darker corners of your rooms and offices.
Snake plants prefer indirect but steady light with some direct sun. They can adapt to full sun conditions and will also survive dimly lit situations.
Snake plants prefer a loose, well-drained potting mix. This plant will do well in sandier soils. Use a potting media low in peat content. Peat works well in many situations, but it can become tightly packed and sometimes has problems rehydrating or draining. An all-purpose cactus potting soil is a good choice.
Let the soil dry between waterings. During the winter, reduce watering to monthly or whenever the soil is dry to the touch. Err on the side of under-watering; too much water can harm the plant.
Temperature and Humidity
Snake plants prefer warm conditions and will suffer if exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Set the plant in a place where it will be protected from drafts. A temperature range between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit is best. Frost will kill this plant.
Feed with a mild cactus fertilizer during the growing season or a balanced liquid slow-release 10-10-10 fertilizer or a 20-20-20 fertilizer diluted to half strength. Do not fertilize in the winter.
Epipremnum aureum Pothos or the Devil’s Vine
Another easy plant to grow, Pothos, is known as a tailing vine and is native to the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. This plant has heart-shaped green leaves with white, yellow, or pale green striation. Be careful. However, these plants can be toxic to pets.
Pothos likes sun or shade, but you need to watch if it’s too much of either. When grown indoors, pothos prefers bright but indirect light. Variegated plants sometimes lose their leaf pattern and revert to all-green foliage if they don’t receive enough light. Moving them to brighter conditions usually restores the variegation. Suddenly pale-looking leaves mean the plant is receiving too much sun.
Pothos plants thrive in ordinary, well-draining potting soil that can be dry or even rocky. Pothos thrives in a soil pH ranging from 6.1 to 6.8 on the scale. It is tolerant of various conditions, from neutral to slightly acidic.
A pothos plant likes to have its soil dry out completely between waterings. If left in continually damp soil, the plant’s roots will rot. Black spots on the leaves (or the sudden collapse of the plant) indicate that the soil has been kept too wet.2
The plant will indicate when it needs water. When it starts to droop, it needs water. However, don’t wait until the leaves start shrinking, or the plant will lose some leaves. Dry, brown edges mean the plant was kept dry for too long.
Temperature and Humidity
Pothos should be kept in temperatures that are consistently above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, though they most appreciate a common room temperature that hovers between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Additionally, pothos plants like high humidity. You can increase humidity around the plant by keeping it in a typically humid home area, such as a kitchen or bathroom. Still, the plant is very tolerant and can thrive even in low-humidity environments, so there’s no need to invest in a humidifier.
Pothos plants are not heavy feeders. But because there are typically no nutrients in most potting soils, you can feed the plant bi-monthly except when dormant in Winter with any balanced houseplant fertilizer to increase nutrition.
These are just a small sample of plants that can be planted indoors and cared for relatively easily. We would love to work with you to help integrate your exterior landscape indoors to help you with stress and add a touch of beauty to your Florida Oasis.