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There’s a sense of comfort and aesthetic appeal to growing your houseplants. Outside plants have a different vibe compared to houseplants as they are more dependent on us. Houseplants don’t have the natural environment that outdoor plants have, and everything must be bought or made for houseplants. To me, that’s the beauty in having houseplants—hanging plants, potted plants, succulents, etc. The options are endless when it comes to decorating your house or apartment with houseplants. They’re your babies. Here are the top 10 best houseplants to grow.
10. Spider Plant
Following how much maintenance is required to grow, spider plants are one of the easiest to grow, especially for new plant dads/moms. Suppose your green thumb is not too hot, no need to worry. Also known as the Chlorophytum comosum, spider plants are a simple look with green, slender leaves that protrude everywhere. They are a potted plant, and although they don’t require much maintenance, they still need to be looked after. Spider plants are adaptable and suffer from little issues except for the occasional brown tips on their spider-like leaves. The plant must be kept in indirect sunlight with well-drained soil to help with avoiding root rot. Allow spider plants to dry out between watering sessions to prevent potential root rot and yellowing of the leaves, a common sign of over-watering. These beautiful greens are at their best when kept at colder temperatures. Keeping spider plants between 55 and 65 degrees is best. When watering becomes difficult, and the roots are highly visible, it’s time to re-pot them. Spider plants are a great first plant for those that may be new to plant maintenance.
9. English Ivy
Depending on who you ask, they may love or hate English ivy. They require a bit more attention than spider plants as they are known to be a bit aggressive in their growing stages. In the wild, English ivy is territorial, much like kudzu. English ivy will take over large amounts of land if one is not careful. However, as a houseplant, English ivy is beautiful and adds a beautiful green to your home. These plants are traditionally found in Northern Europe and Western Asia in fertile soil, which means they require good, rich soil to dwell. As I mentioned previously, they are a ground cover plant, so having their pot or hanging basket is best. English ivy can grow up to 15 feet in length and will require re-potting when the plant becomes too big for its home. English ivy needs a moist, humid environment to thrive with regular misting from their owners. Unlike spider plants, English ivy requires wet soil almost always, so make sure to be on the lookout for this plant. Indirect sunlight is best.
8. Peace Lily
A beautiful houseplant with a surprising benefit to its owners, peace lilies are a welcomed part of any plant dad/mom. Peace lilies consist of green leaves with white “flowers,” although some believe these are a specific type of leaf. These plants require little sunlight but will have brighter color if they are put into direct sunlight. Be careful not to over-water these babies as they will begin to rot from the root up. Peace lilies are good with little watering, maybe every two days or so, something the owner will have to experiment. An easy tip is to assess the soil they are in, and if the soil is dry, then it’s time to water them. These delicacies are believed to clean the air they are living in believe it or not. If you want to add a bit of color to your home, peace lilies might be your best bet.
7. Chinese Evergreens
These Asia and New Guinea native plants are a perfect way to spruce up any room in your house. Their large leaves come in different hues of color like silver, dark green and red. These plants are slow-growing and require little sunlight, which makes them an easy task to handle for any plant parent. Re-potting is necessary only every two to three years. If you wish when re-potting, you can separate root shoots to grow more Chinese evergreens. However, please beware of the red fruit that the Aglaonemas crispum as they are toxic and are dangerous for those with children or pets.
6. African Violets
So these are an exciting type of houseplant as they appear to look like a typical outside plant. They’re a beautiful addition to your plant family, and they come in a variety of colors like purple, pink, white or a combination. To me, these plants remind me of something you would give to your mom on Mother’s Day or birthday. Although they don’t require much sunlight, these plants do need to be cared for more than other houseplants. Don’t place African Violets near vents or drafts of cold air. Make sure not to over-water these plants just enough for the soil to be thoroughly moistened. I recommend African Violets for intermediate level or medium-level plant owners.
5. Cat Grass
Dactylis glomerata, the sweet grass of Europe, although not too colorful, offers a little treat for feline friends. This lush plant grows in dry meadows and is drought resistant, so watering will not be an issue for plant owners. Cat grass can sometimes grow small flowers that appear like weeds. For domestic cat owners, cat grass is a perfect treat for them as the plant has natural sugar within. You may find your cat munching on the plant.
Cacti or succulents are a typical houseplant you’ll find anywhere you go that sells plants. They’re beautiful with their greens and colors dependent on which plant you get. Hens-and-Chicks differentiates itself from most succulents since it has flat leaves without the spikes. The ends of their leaves will have a reddish tip, which technically could be a spike, but they’re harmless. These cacti require little watering. These beauties thrive in bright light.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera may be my favorite plant in the succulent family. Aloe Vera is well known around the world for its healing and curing of sunburns, cuts and bug bites. Some may have Aloe Vera for its health benefits, but I can’t get over its beauty. The plant is originally from the Arabian Peninsula, but you can find these beauties almost anywhere that sells indoor plants. This plant has glossy green fronds with tiny spikes (if that’s what you want to call it) on the frond’s sides. If you were to slice one open, you’d find the aloe we all know. Plant these babies just like you would a cactus in dry soil and minimal sunlight with little watering. Don’t forget the drainage holes.
2. Venus Flytrap
A beautiful carnivorous plant of the Carolinas, Venus flytraps are a beauty to behold. These unique plants are your best bet for challenging yourself with greenery. The inside section of the Venus flytrap opens up with small hairs detecting small insects and arachnids. When the prey is within their “mouths,” the plant closes up slowly, digesting its food. The trick is sweet nectar the plant secretes to lure potential prey. The digesting may take a day or two, but when they’re ready to feed again, they’ll open back up. The insides are a bright, beautiful red with small microscopic hairs.
The Venus flytrap needs to be in direct sunlight to survive, along with a steady supply of insects. Although the plants are typically grown in warm climates, Venus flytraps will still thrive in a bedroom or office area. Between November and February, the Venus flytrap will go into dormancy, which is normal, so no worries. Interestingly enough, these plants are watered from the bottom up. Make sure your Venus flytrap is growing in healthy soil with one centimeter of water. This plant can prove challenging, so careful research should be done beforehand. The reward is worth it, though.
1. (Indoor) Bonsai
The gorgeous bonsai plants are stunning, and I have yet to get one myself. These small versions of trees are a native art form of Japan and require some maintenance depending on which species you grow. Bonsai can be grown both inside and outside. The indoor species require little sunlight and water. When your bonsai begins to get tall, it’s time to trim. Bonsai come in different shapes and sizes so pick whichever one works best for you. The potting and re-potting process can be confusing, so I recommend researching this beforehand.
Conner is passionate about writing entertainment stories. He writes reviews and features over compelling and fun content for Byte, Ball State's student-run online entertainment publication. His creativity stems from his headphones; he is wearing all the time. Conner was an intern at Hope for Women Magazine. Conner freelances for The Journal Gazette from time to time. He writes for Ball State's Ball Bearings Magazine. Conner has blogged for Society19 and has even written for The Ball State Daily News. As of recently, he is helping revive Ball State's alumni magazine.