Only in the past two years have I become a plant person. Before that, I killed every plant - even fake ones. I finally made a commitment to learning about the care and keeping of houseplants and have successfully become a happy (and kinda crazy!) plant lady! I have quite a few plants now, but wanted to share my Top 5 Houseplants based on care and beauty.
MY PLANT STORY
Growing up, my mom had plants all over our house and our porch. She seemed to be naturally gifted at keeping plants alive, propagating them, and nurturing them. We had African violets on every windowsill, snake plants that grew to several feet in height, Christmas cacti with bunches of blooms…I loved it!
Over the years, I tried to keep houseplants. All too often, I’d forget about them long enough that I’d find them months later, dead and shriveled in their original pot. I killed succulents, y’all. It was a dark time.
About two and a half years ago, I decided enough was enough. I was going to become a plant lady if it killed me! I started with one plant, learned how to care for it, loved it, and watched it grow. When I felt confident, I added another, and another…and now I have about 17 potted plants in my house at this moment. Yay!
I won’t bore you with allll of my houseplants today. Instead, I’ll share my Top 5 Houseplants based on their ease of care and their beauty.
MY TOP 5 HOUSEPLANTS
#1 - GREEN PHILODENDRON
The first plant I ever kept alive successfully, the Green Philodendron is a common houseplant that is relatively low-maintenance.
How low-maintenance, you ask? Well, do you remember when I remodeled my kitchen? And all of my kitchen stuff lived in my dining room, and all of my dining room stuff lived in my home office?
Well Lucy, my green philodendron was in my office. And during renovations, I didn’t go in there for several weeks.
And Lucy lived. She was a little dry and sad-looking, but I moved her to our kitchen window and gave her some fresh water, and she perked back up and started growing again in a matter of days!
Green philodendrons are fun plants to have because you can easily propagate them by clipping off the long pieces and rooting them to create new plants. You can also drape the long pieces around furniture, down bookcases, or wrap them around hoops to make them even more decorative!
I propagated Lucy a couple months ago and she’s thriving! My little Lucy plant is now 5 different baby Lucy plants that will be given as gifts to my friends this Christmas!
#2 - FIDDLE LEAF FIG
Now listen. Let me be very clear about something: Fiddle Leaf Figs are NOT low-maintenance. In fact, they are quite finicky little plants and I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I decided to bring one home.
I figured, since I kept my green philodendron alive, the next obvious step was a fiddle leaf fig. I basically went from elementary school to college in one step.
While they are pretty high-maintenance, they are so gorgeous that it’s worth it to learn how to care for one. Here is what I’ve found works for Lola, my beauty:
- Fiddle leaf figs really love sunlight, so mine thrives in front of our big living room windows that face west – great afternoon sunlight for my big girl!
- Fiddle leaf figs aren’t fans of being watered often. The roots need to be mostly dry before you water again so as to prevent root rot. You’ll know you’ve over-watered when you see brown spots appear on the leaves. If that happens, clip the lower leaves that are brown and don’t water your plant for about a week, then see how it looks.
- You’ll need to wipe off their leaves from time to time with a damp paper towel (gently!) to keep the dust away.
Lola has been growing and thriving for almost two years and I love her so, so much! I repotted her about a month ago and put her on a pedestal (because she’s a queen!) and she’s happy as can be! She has produced three new leaves just in the past week!
#3 – MONSTERA (OR SPLIT-LEAF PHILODENDRON)
Another member of the philodendron family is the split-leaf, also called a “swiss cheese plant”, or Monstera, and for good reason. These beauties can grow incredibly large, so it’s important to have the space in your home to allow them to do just that!
We actually brought home our Monstera, Lorraine, for my daughter. When we moved into our new home, however, her room didn’t get the same light as the room in our old house, so we moved her Monstera to the living room.
Monstera’s grow very well when they have medium, indirect sunlight, and need to be watered roughly once a week, with the amount dependent on the size of the plant.
As Monstera’s grow large, you might want to use stakes to prop up some of the taller leaves so the plant doesn’t take up quite so much space horizontally.
You can propagate Monstera’s, as well, but they take a bit more patience to do so. I’m about to propagate Lorraine soon and will do a separate post on that later to show you the process.
#4 – NEON POTHOS
Neon Pothos are very similar to the green philodendron, but have bright green (neon!) leaves. They are also pretty low-maintenance, which makes them a great houseplant for beginners!
Neon’s should be watered about once a week, allowing their roots to dry out between waterings. In the winter months when you’re running your heat in the house, you may need to water a little more often to compensate for the dry air.
My neon, Lyla, lives on top of my bookshelf in my home office and enjoys indirect sun from an east-facing window. She’s one of my newer plants, but she’s starting to grow a few longer pieces, and I just adore her!
#5 – CROTON PETRA
My two Croton Petra plants are the newest additions to the family, and they are stunning! Croton’s come in different varieties but all grow leaves with gorgeous red, yellow, and orange mixed in with the dark green.
Croton Petras are pretty easy to care for, and can make great houseplants, or be planted in flower beds outside for some added color, as long as it doesn’t ever get super cold where you live.
I have two croton petras – one in my home office in an east-facing window, and one in the living room in a west-facing window. They need a lot of direct sunlight to maintain their bright colors so window sills make for a good home. They should be watered regularly, so I always feel the top of the soil and if it feels dry, I water it.
They are tropical plants so they appreciate a humid climate. You can put your croton on a tray of pebbles and water the pebbles, allowing them to soak up the humidity as the water in the pebbles evaporates. This is how I water my succulents and they love it!
As I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, I name my plants. My office croton is Gertrude and her sister in the living room is Matilda. Just in case you were wondering. *wink*
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE HOUSEPLANTS? DID YOU DISCOVER ANY NEW ADDITIONS FROM THIS POST?