We’ve talked about how beginners can start an outdoor garden, but what about the ones who want an indoor garden? Raising houseplants is often easier and more manageable for a majority of Americans than starting an entire outdoor garden. That’s why we’ve put together this beginner’s guide to raising houseplants so that anyone can enjoy the plants and flowers in their home.
Best houseplants for beginners
Not all plants are the same, and some require more maintenance than others. As a beginner, you’re going to want something hardy and forgiving, as chances are, you’ll forget to water it, or you might water it too much. Below is a list of a few houseplants that are great for beginners:
- Lucky bamboo
- Snake plants
- Spider plants
Remember your pets
If you have any pets, then you’ll want to ensure that you don’t bring any potentially toxic plants into your home. This is especially the case with cats that can jump up on counters or wiggle their way into small spaces. Thankfully, you can find a few pet-friendly flowers by reading our previous blog post here.
Give them the appropriate amount of light
You have your plant picked out, but there are a few factors you have to consider before you start growing plants in your home. The first of those factors is light, specifically how much your home gets and where. Many beginners mistakenly believe that plants need as much light as possible. While this is the case for some plants, it’s not the case for all plants. That’s why many garden centers will label how much light a particular plant will need using the following categories:
- Direct sunlight – This is a plant that needs the most amount of sunlight, with no curtains or shades blocking it. Place it in a southern-facing window for maximum light.
- Bright indirect or filtered sunlight – This is similar to direct sunlight, except that you use a curtain or shade to filter the incoming sunlight
- Medium light – These plants are middle of the road. They don’t want too much sunlight nor too little. Place them in a west or southeast window.
- Low light – A low light plant doesn’t require much sunlight, so place it in darker areas such as a bathroom or office and never place it in direct sunlight.
As well as the appropriate amount of water
Light is extremely important, but so too is water. If you don’t give your plant enough water, they’ll dry out; if you give them too much water, they’ll drown. It will take some trial and error to figure out the best amount of water during the first few weeks, but garden centers will also have tips on the label to help you get started.
As we said, this will take trial and error, but you can get a good idea of how much they’ll need by doing a little research. Many websites may tell you how frequently you need to water a particular type of plant. You can also figure it out by understanding where your plant originates. For instance, succulents come from the desert, meaning they need much less water than most.
You should also ensure that you’re using the right watering technique. Many beginners often just water the soil’s surface, sprinkling on a few drops whenever a part seems dry. However, the way the soil looks on top isn’t a very good indicator of how much water your plant actually needs. That’s why, when you’re watering, you need to keep watering until you see water coming out from the bottom. This is a sign that the soil is soaked through.
Find the right plant for your lifestyle
This can’t be overstated—you may think a plant is pretty, but if you can’t properly take care of it, there’s no point in keeping it in the house. For example, if you travel a lot, or if you’re the forgetful type, you shouldn’t get a plant that requires frequent watering. Additionally, if your home or apartment doesn’t receive much direct sunlight, then you shouldn’t get a plant that requires a lot of light. Find a plant that is right for you, not someone else.