The Best Houseplants For Beginners
Houseplants are seriously popular at the moment and it’s wonderful. Having greenery in your home is unbelievably good for our living environments and I think it’s really fun to have something that you need to tend to and subsequently get to see thrive. All that being said, some are easier than others to look after and these are my top 5 houseplants for beginners and no, there’s not a succulent in sight...
FICUS ELASTICA (RUBBER FIG)
Apart from regularly dusting the leaves of your rubber plant, they are really easy to take care of, they don’t require much attention at all. In the winter you can go a good few weeks without watering and in the summer I tend to go round them once a week as that keeps them happiest as well as feeding them once a month. They tend to thrive with reasonably soggy soil but you do have to be careful about overwatering and also overfeeding. I have 4 variations of the rubber fig plants now and my all time favourite is the ‘black prince’ variety which has the really deep almost emerald green leaves as they’re incredibly shiny. My first venture into the world of rubber figs was a tricolour. And I think maybe due to where it lived for a few years as well as underfeeding it lost nearly all its lower leaves but it's still growing and isn't far off the ceiling.
SANSEVIERIA TRIFASCIATA (SNAKE PLANT)
You might know this as a ‘mother in laws tongue’ as that’s what they’re mostly called but it’s not hard to see why they’re also known as snake plants too due to the incredible pattern on the leaves. Undoubtedly the hardiest plant in my collection as you can forget about them for a few weeks and then water them as they’re quite happily left alone. Like anything with large leaves though you might want to give this a dust with a cloth or even take it in the shower and rinse it down which is what I tend to do if it’s really dusty. These plants can have direct sunlight but will still be happy in a somewhat dim area and are ok to be left to dry out in-between waterings. If you fancy some foliage but want something that is seriously low maintenance then this is a great option.
Cacti are known for being easy houseplants and they are but they’re not impossible to kill and plenty of mine have died. Again, they are a good option if you’re not interested in anything high maintenance and just getting into the world of plants. I bought a lot of cacti when I first started my collection have *nearly* all of them to this day, including this one which I repotted and it’s grown a serious amount in the time I’ve had it. Minimal watering is needed for cacti throughout the winter and then a little more frequently in the warmer months. They do like a sunny spot obviously as they’re mostly found in the desert and if they are put into indirect sunlight then they will grow towards the light (just like any plant).
MONSTERA DELICIOSA (SWISS CHEESE PLANT)
This beauty is something you might want to own once you have a little bit of experience with houseplants already as to get the ‘cheese’ effect on the leaves isn’t always easy. I learn that lesson the hard way with my first monstera as whilst it grew plenty of new leaves not a single one had any holes. Monstera tend to perform well with frequent waters, around every 10 days I find works well for me all year round generally and then regularly feeding is also a must. They’re a plant who very much likes to be moist but can be ok when left to dry out, if the leaves are weeping on the edges then that’s a sign of overwatering. I keep mine is a light airy spot as it doesn’t do well in shade at all, it’s probably not one I’d recommend for super harsh direct sunlight either. You do have to dust the monstera a lot as those large leaves gather dust quickly so to keep them looking healthy I do recommend frequent dusting or showering.
CEROPEGIA WOODII (STRING OF HEARTS)
I always looked at these plants and thought they might be really difficult to look after but it turns out they’re incredibly simple to tend to. They’re a trailing plant and can grow up to 5ft. Their roots are very delicate so you do want to handle them with care as you will need to give this plant a little trim every so often to encourage new growth and to prevent any tangling. I keep mine in a reasonable amount of sunlight but they’re generally quite happy in most spots but probably won’t thrive anywhere really dim. Due to the skinny roots, this means overwatering is common and it’s easy to get root rot so wait until the soil is somewhat dry until watering again.