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The Best Low-Maintenance Houseplants

The Best Low-Maintenance Houseplants

As we continue to spend most of our time at home, many people are making their first investments in houseplants. 
Houseplants offer many benefits, including beautifying our spaces, improving our mood and productivity, cleaning the air, and so on.

For those new to houseplants, the important thing is that they are easy to maintain.

Many well-intentioned people buy high-maintenance plants and, even with the best will in the world, lose them within days. Obviously we don’t want this to happen to you!
To help add some green space to your home, we want to recommend some low-maintenance houseplants that don’t require a green thumb.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind before starting your interior garden:

  1. Be aware of toxicity.   Many common houseplants — including some listed below — are in fact somewhat toxic. As a result, we recommend researching toxicity before buying a houseplant and always keeping them out of reach for young children and pets.
  2. Don’t be afraid to move it around.   After you choose a spot for your new plant, you may notice some adverse effects, such as a yellowing or dropping of leaves. In that case, your plant may not be getting enough light, and you should try placing it in a brighter spot.
  3. Let dry before re-watering.   Sometimes the issue is not lighting, but over-watering. When its soil is too damp, a houseplant’s roots may rot, which can also cause a yellowing and wilting of the leaves. To avoid this, you should allow the soil to dry completely before re-watering. This amount of time differs on your watering method: a sprinkling may dry within a day, but a deeper soak can take a week or longer before drying out.
  4. Lastly, buy local!   We in the Bay Area are fortunate to have many gardening shops and other houseplant sellers in our neighborhoods. A new one we recommend is Petite Monstera, which just opened up in North Beach, San Francisco. Check them out on Facebook and on Instagram!   

Above all, you should remember that houseplants can be very particular! While the advice below is accurate in most cases, always trust your senses and experiment to create the best environment for your plant to flourish.

Here are six low-maintenance houseplants we recommend:

1.   Pothos Plants

  • Arguably the easiest of all houseplants to grow, Pothos Plants (Epipremnum aureum) come in many varieties of leaf color and pattern.
  • How much light do they need?   Indirect bright light.
  • How often should I water them?   Roughly every 7-14 days.

2.   ZZ Plants

  • ZZ Plants (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) are now a favorite on social media, but originated in drought-prone regions of Africa. Because of their newfound popularity, these low-water plants have become a mainstay of homes and offices worldwide.
  • How much light do they need?   Low or indirect bright light.
  • How often should I water them?   Weekly.

3.   Snake Plants

  • Snake Plants (Sansevieria trifasciata, also known as Dracaena trifasciata) characteristically have sharp leaves, which led to the playful nickname “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue”.
  • How much light do they need?   They can grow in low or indirect bright light, but for best results, keep in bright light at least part of the day.
  • How often should I water them?   Roughly every 7-14 days.

4.   Spider Plants

  • Spider Plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are named for their many offshoots, so rest assured about attracting any six-legged critters. (Fun Fact: a 1980s NASA study showed these plants are particularly effective in removing formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and other toxins from the air.)
  • How much light do they need?   Low or indirect bright light.
  • How often should I water them?   Up to several times a week, based on absorption and drainage.

5.   Philodendrons

  • With their heart-shaped leaves, Philodendrons (Philodendron hederaceum) are in fact native to the Americas. Like Spider Plants, they are effective at removing toxins from the air.
  • How much light do they need?   Indirect bright light.
  • How often should I water them?   Weekly.

6.   Succulents

  • Succulents are a broad category, coming in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors. One thing they have in common is their fleshy, engorged leaves, which help them retain moisture. (This means less watering for you!)
  • How much light do they need?   Some direct light (roughly 3 hours per day, preferably in the morning), but otherwise low or indirect bright light.
  • How often should I water them?   Weekly.

We hope this is a helpful overview! Let us know if we can help with your home improvement in any way:

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