A Guide to House Plants

House plants should be an essential part of any interior design plan or household layout. Having plants in your home brightens the inside and has the ability to keep spirits high for everyone who is inside. Additionally, with winter coming and gloomy days ahead of us, house plants can provide little bursts of happiness even on the darkest days. House plants are usually extremely easy to take care of and do not require a lot of attention, so they’re perfect for anyone. I’m here to encourage you to join my roommate's and my obsession with houseplants and give you the rundown on the basics of being a successful plant parent.

First, in order to be a plant parent you have to get plants to parent. There are lots of different options for plants that can survive inside with the right amount of sunlight and care. The first indoor plant you can never go wrong with are succulents. Succulents require lots of sunlight and little, but consistent, watering. Succulents store water in their leaves, which makes them drought-tolerant so they won't completely die on you if you forget to water them every once in a while. Succulents come in all different shapes and sizes, and displaying them together can create a beautiful setup that highlights their differences. Another great option similar to succulents are cacti. Cacti rarely need watering and love to be in the sun, so putting them in a windowsill or in a kitchen with sunlight can be a beneficial display for them. 

You might feel that succulents and cacti have too much of a desert vibe and that you want leafier or larger plants to take up more space in your home. Luckily, there are lots of options for leafier plants that survive perfectly well indoors, if taken care of properly. The first plant, and my personal favorite, is a Heartleaf Philodendron, otherwise known as the Sweetheart Plant. These plants require more watering than succulents or cacti and should be sheltered from aggressive, direct sunlight. They need to be repotted roughly once a year in a peat-based compost, which is not hard to manage at all. Additionally, if you forget to water them or your plant starts to die, Sweetheart Plants are great at bouncing back and can be saved if you catch it in time. Another great addition to any home is a Dragon Tree. I know the word "tree" sounds kind of intimidating, but they are not super large and won’t take over your home. Dragon Trees should be placed in bright, but indirect sunlight and should be watered when the top of the soil has dried out. They do not like to constantly be wet, so they should be in a pot with proper drainage (which is not hard to find). Finally, they should be repotted if you can see roots growing out of the drainage holes in the pot.  If you’re looking for flowers or color to add to your home instead of just greenery, there are a couple flowering indoor plants that are easy to look after as well. One super common plant that you can find in a lot of homes are orchids. Orchids are a beautiful addition to any house plant collection and add subtle pops of color to any indoor environment. The first thing to know about orchids is that you cannot put them in normal soil or else they will die quickly. They should be in chips or bark or some loosely packed material so they won’t become waterlogged. Orchids have to drain or they will die from being overwatered, so it’s better to forget to water them occasionally rather than water them too much. 

Hopefully these tips and examples of a couple of house plants that are easy to take care of have inspired you to look into adding greenery to your home. I promise you won’t regret your decision, and if you are intimidated by caring for another living thing, just start with one small plant and go from there. Going further, if none of the plants in this article caught your eye, it is super simple to go to a gardening store or look something up on the internet to find the kind of plant that suits you and your aesthetic.  

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