Plants are a double-edged sword. They can liven up a room and give any plant owner a sense of accomplishment as they grow, but they also come with a lot of potential problems, like bugs, watering, and just plain death. A dead plant can ruin any room. That being said, the term “Plant Mom” and “Plant Dad” describes perfectly how plants come with responsibilities and problems, but plant owners like myself argue that all those things are completely worth it. So, for those who are itching to get into the Plant Parent aesthetic, here are some recommendations for your first plant to start your family with.
1. Pothos Vine Plant
Pothos vine plants will always go down in my books as one of the best beginner plants. This is mostly because it was the plant that started my obsession. Why are these one of the best plants? They are easy to care for, there are many different variations of Pothos plants, they grow fast, and they can grow long vines that you can help climb up a wall with some command strips to make all your visitors say “wow”. They are also easy to propagate (take a cutting and begin a new plant off of an old one), and easy to prune to get a fuller-looking plant.
Even my mother who has plant anxiety has a Pothos plant that was a cutting from my original plant. She usually hates plants because of the responsibility and the guilt that comes with accidentally killing a plant. But her Pothos plant has become her favorite now, and it flourishes with little interaction. So, if my mother can do it, you can too!
2. Coleus Plant
Yes, you have probably seen these types of plants in planters outside of stores and even on Augie’s Campus. But they can also be awesome indoor plants with their leafy bodies and vibrant colors. Like the Pothos plant, there are thousands of variants of Coleus plants. The reason Coleus plants made this list is that most of the variants are incredibly hardy plants. It is easy to tell when these plants need some care because their leaves will dramatically droop. It is impossible to ignore! Yes, you will feel some guilt when you see that, but after some water or some shade, they will pop right back into being a happy bouncy plant. Just remember with these plants to research the species you got, and also pinch the little baby leaves and flowering buds out of the center to encourage more stems to grow out, making your plant more shaped and bushier instead of lanky and unappealing.
3. Anthurium Plant
This plant, also known as the “Flamingo Flower” was another one that my mother was given that has thrived in her care. The Anthurium is an easy-to-care-for tropical-looking plant that will give you that pop of color in your living space. It isn’t too picky about light, and watering is as easy as noticing that the soil is dry and ready to receive. I have one of my own and there haven’t been any problems in the three years I have had him.
These are just a few choices, but hopefully, these will help open up the great world of plants to all beginner plant moms and dads. As a plant mom myself, here are just a few pointers from my own personal experience:
I have always struggled with succulents, so in my opinion, if you want succulents, choose larger succulent-like plants. A Jade plant or an aloe vera plant are good choices. “They thrive on neglect” as my grandma likes to say.
Be okay with the passing of a plant. We all make mistakes, and sometimes certain plant types are just fickle, so the best thing to do is move on and try again. You will gain good experience from every mistake you make.
If you would like to avoid the most common mistakes when caring for a plant, research and take notes on each new plant you get. At least look up your plant online and there should be a load of helpful tips and information about that specific plant-like watering habits, what light it needs, and common problems with that plant.
But if you find that live plants just don’t work for you, silk flowers and artificial plants are very cool too. Just don’t forget to dust them every now and then. I personally enjoy the artificial succulents, because succulents have never loved me as much as I love them.
Now, what are you waiting for? Go find your local plant nursery and get yourself started on your plant journey!
More resources: https://bloomscape.com/beginners-guide-houseplants/