It’s no secret, I am a big fan of houseplants. They add so much life to a room! And, if you get to know your little plant friend, aren’t that hard to take care of. Recently I shared an article that 100% supports my plant addiction!! It said that NASA researchers have done studies on the best and most efficient ways to clean the air in space stations, and they recommend 18 plants for an 1800 square foot home or apartment. Plants can absorb toxins through their leaves and serve as a natural way to filter the air in your home! (article source). Does that convince you to buy some plants? Or make you feel better about buying another one?? It does for me!
I am going to take you on a plant tour and give some tips that I have learned along the way….all through trial and error!
Baby Tears– This gorgeous plant is really easy to take care of! It’s still in the grow pot it came in from Home Depot, I just put it in a hanging macrame. Tip- when the vines start to get too long, swoop them over the top to the other side. You can see the right side is starting to grow again and the top is full! The top was getting really bare, like a bald head but long hair on the sides!
Philodendron– another easy plant to take care of! They like to get indirect light….too direct will burn the leaves (I have had that happen). Make sure to not underwater or overwater. I lean towards more water than less. I regularly mist the leaves too!
Paper Plant– that is the larger plant in the basket with the big beautiful leaves. It tells you when it needs more water, the leaves start to droop. I water once a week but I make sure the soil really absorbs the water. Lipstick Plant– is the one with the hanging leaves on the top right shelf. It does really well with not a ton of light, very indirect light. And can survive without a lot of water. Silver Leaf Philodendron– on the top shelf in this bust. They do like a lot of light and a lot of water…so don’t forget!
Split Leaf Philodendron- one of my favorites, really easy to care for. It does well with indirect light. I have it in a large basket, with a plastic liner in the bottom. On the middle shelf I have a Hindu Rope Plant, one of my only plants I have bought on Etsy! It is doing well, and likes indirect light. I will say, I wish I hadn’t planted it. Rather, left it in the grow pot, they like better drainage.
Hoya- there are a lot of different types of Hoyas, how you care for them is basically the same. I am actually surprised this one has lived for so long, about two years! She gets really indirect light, just from the door window. And it doesn’t get that much drainage, since it is potted in this planter without a hole. I did pot rocks in the bottom before I planted. She gets about a half a cup, maybe a little more, each week of water. (The large hook I found at Terrain, but on clearance and painted it white. Macrame found here).
Philodendron Selloum- that large Philodendron just got a home here on the piano. It doesn’t like too much water in the winter, err on the side of less. I actually just read that they can flower! Buutttttt you will have to keep one alive for 15 years to see it! It takes about 15-20 years for a mature philodendron selloum to flower; and it rarely flowers indoors. I might have to see this somewhere tropical!
Kangaroo Fern- You can see the leaves on this fern droop when it needs water. I do water once a week and it gets good light from several windows in our living room. It is still in the grow pot it came in, just put inside the planter. I remember seeing these all over in Hawaii, while we were hiking. (find pot here).
Umbrella Tree– really easy to keep alive! I found this one at Home Depot for only $39! I put a pot underneath it to make it look a lot taller. It gets very indirect light and I water it once a week, about a cup. There is a plastic liner in the bottom of the basket. (find the basket here).
Assorted Plants- this was a birthday gift! It has a Maidenhair Fern, that loves a lot of water. I water the soil daily and mist the leaves often too. I had a fern before that didn’t do good. This time, I made sure to educate myself. I want to be a good plant mama!
Sansevieria Lancia– really easy to keep alive. Doesn’t require a ton of water or a ton of sun. It was expensive tho (since it is so mature), I found it at Terrain. I was willing to pay more for something to fit the space, it needed to be tall and narrow. It’s perfect!
Queen of the Night– LOVE the look of this plant. I want it to get really long vines and use it for a hanging plant one day. I found it at Shop Terrain. It is a type of cactus, they don’t like to sit in water and actually like indirect light. (find planter here).
Prickly Pear Cactus- one of my favorites! But be careful and don’t touch it….you will get a lot of little slivers (keep away from little kids). This cactus likes well draining soil and also prefers less water. I found this cutie in the planter at Terrain.
Hoya Wax Plant- I really want this plant to grow longer leaves! I know they prefer less water, similar to a succulent. It is planted inside the pot, so it doesn’t drain too well, I need to err on the side of less water. It get’s indirect light up on this shelf.
Mistletoe Cactus– this gorgeous planter with moss and mistletoe cactus was a gift that I LOVE!!! I made sure to read about it after I received it. ALWAYS do a quick google search on how to care for your plants! I read with mistletoe cactus to water frequently in spring and summer, but suspend water in winter.
Fiddle Leaf Fig- my figs do best by a window! I have had this one for a couple years, originally got it at IKEA. Figs like a lot of water- deep water. I pour a couple cups of water on the soil then let the water sit for like 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, if there is still water in the planter (the fig itself is in the original grow pot), I dump out the water. Also, if the fig is by a window I don’t put anything on the leaves besides dusting with a wet rag or the leaves could burn.
Snake Plant- another one that is REALLY easy to take care of. Err on less water. I water this one about every two weeks. It gets indirect light from both bedrooms.
Bathroom and Closet-
Swedish Ivy- look at the difference from the top and bottom. It has grown a lot in 6 months! I swapped it hanging from the shower to a hook in the ceiling. It now gets even light that way. They don’t like to be overwatered. I allow the top to feel dry before I water it, which is about once a week. (Found it at Home Depot)
Spider Plant– one of the easiest plants to care for! I found this one at Home Depot. The spider plant can grow in a lot of different conditions. The only thing that I noticed is the ends get brown. I read that brown ends are normal and are often the result of fluoride found in water. So every couple months I flush out the soil with a bunch of water. Or you can water with distilled water. (Again this hanging plant is still in the grow pot I bought it in).
Fiddle Leaf Fig– Happy in our bathroom! It has gotten new leaves, I water it with about a cup of water every other week. Or when I notice the soil is dry. I bought this cutie in the planter here.
String of Bananas- I will tell you a secret: this String of Bananas is WAY easier to take care of vs a String of Pearls. String of Bananas like a lot of sunlight, the very reason this plant is growing like crazy! I water about every week or two, it drys out here by the heat vent too. Probably one of my favorite plants!
Silver Philodendron- I don’t have a lot of plants in our bedroom, just because it is low light and not a lot of places to put them. I have this silver leaf philodendron that gets light from the window for a couple hours in the am. I think these are so pretty!
These two are repeats from other rooms! As you can tell I like Snake Plants and Philodendrons…..or they are just fully stocked at Home Depot:) Both are really easy to take care of. I actually would like a Snake Plant in every bedroom because it converts a lot of carbon dioxide to oxygen at night, making it ideal to have several in your bedroom!
Snake Plant– Here I have three snake plants in one large basket! Saves a lot of money to do this! All the snake plants are from Home Depot. They are really easy to take care of and do better with less water than too much water. They also don’t need a lot sun. (find large baskets here).
Another snake plant! This one I found at a local nursery. I liked how tall and thick it was. It is also really easy to care for! Typically, a plant dies in this spot because it gets indirect light, I have killed a couple fiddle leaf figs here. But this snake plant really likes it’s home!
Kangaroo Plant- I have had this plant for a couple years. And I have moved it around a few times. I’ve noticed it grows best wherever the sun shines. They like direct sun. See how it is leaning to the window? I do try to slightly rotate it, and from the looks of it, I don’t remember to do it often!
Fiddle Leaf Fig- very happy here in the girls room! Especially in front of this window! I actually planted this fig in a large pot, before I knew figs like to be in a smaller planter. Luckily it has done fine, but I make sure it gets a lot of water, enough that the water comes out the bottom. (I have a plastic tray inside this basket).
Swiss Cheese Plant- this plant grows quickly! It has done well on this dresser, with indirect light. I water about once a week and make sure I see water comes out the bottom onto the tray.
Krimson Queen- this is a type of Hoya. Honestly, I was worried about putting this here and thought I would have to move it. Nope. It is happy hanging in the girls room! It gets indirect light and it likes less water. I water it about every one to two weeks, about a cup of water at a time. It does drain really well, the terra-cotta pot dries out quicker too.
Jade Plant- sign of good luck! You don’t want a Jade Plant to dry out, so I water it weekly, since it has good drainage. Still in the grow planter it came in, just sat inside a new pot.
Pilea- I do want more of these plants! Pilea loves to be in front of a window where it can get a lot of bright indirect light! They also like to be deeply watered. My Pilea is planted in this pot, so I deep water it once a week or so, depending on if they soil feels dry. (you can find Pilea’s on Etsy here).
Philodendron– yes, that plant stays in the shower. And does really good! It gets extra water drippings when the shower turns off and likes it! (I use these macrame hangers).
Keep Reading for more FAQ on Houseplants-
I have only repotted a hand-full of my houseplants. I typically leave them in their container inside another pot or basket. If I put in a basket, I put a tray liner under the plant or inside a large garbage sack so the water doesn’t ruin the basket. I make sure to water in low amounts so the roots don’t sit in water. The size is important here. Typically, when we move our plants to a larger pot with more soil, we will be inclined to water more often. A small plant + an oversized planter + lots of soil + overwatering = killing with kindness. If you see one, or a combination of these signs, you’ll know it’s time to repot:
- Roots are growing through the drainage hole at the bottom of the planter
- Roots are pushing the plant up, out of the planter
- Plant is top heavy, and falls over easily
Plants make their own food using light. Fertilizer is more like a vitamin you would take every so often to boost your health. Minerals from soil are released every time you water so your plant can absorb all that goodness. Excess minerals from fertilizer will not be used by your plant and can even damage it. Recently potted plants and low-light plants will not require fertilizer. Spring and summer is the best time to fertilize plants because that’s when they do the most growing. Plants that grow faster, like begonias, should be fertilized more often than plants that grow slowly, like a cactus, or are dormant, i.e., all plants in winter. I do have THIS no chemical fertilizer that I have used on a couple plants. Read all about Fertilizing plants HERE.
In the past I have only added a couple drops of Citrus Fresh Essential Oil to my watering can to help with keeping bugs away and detoxing soil. I recently got this Plant Food Fertilizer and look forward to using it also!
Houseplants not doing well?
- Brown Leaves– When houseplants get brown on their leaves, it’s generally an indication of poor watering habits. The best way to water a houseplant is to thoroughly flush it until water runs freely out the drainage holes. Shallow watering can cause brown tips on the leaves.
- Yellow Leaves– The most common reason that plants’ leaves turn yellow is because of moisture stress, which can be from either over watering or under watering. If you have a plant that has yellow leaves, check the soil in the pot to see if the soil is dry.
- Gnats– Add a thin layer of pebbles (pretty!) or gravel or GrowStone Gnat Nix to the top of the potting soil in your indoor plant containers. Clean your catch trays. Reducing excess moisture is a key to getting rid of gnats in houseplants. To get rid of bugs I spray the soil with 10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil, 10 drops Citrus Fresh Essential Oil and 1 cap Thieves Concentrate in 16 oz of water.
- Common Reasons Houseplants Die–
- Not Enough Light.
- Watering the wrong way.
- Too much fertilizer.
- The air is too dry.
- You think it’s dead but it’s not.
Shop Houseplant Favorites-
- Plant Watering System– I don’t have this, but it is cute and practical! Maybe you have a plant that is hard to reach or that you can’t seem to get right on the watering. Might be worth trying this!
- Grecian Bust Pot– this is one of my favorite pots! I think everyone needs a bust:)
- Plant Food Fertilizer– I just got this and very excited to start using it!
- Pacifico Pot– we have this and love the different unique textures
- Large Hook– wanting to hang a plant? This is a fun way to do it with a macrame hanger (similar to our entry)
- Rattan Hanging Basket– we have this exact one in our upstairs bathroom
- Brass Watering Can– similar to the watering can we have…bonus it doubles as decor!
- Macrame Plant Hangers– we have these all over our home, fun way to get more plants in your home
- Lemon Planter– you know I love a cheery lemon, get ready for Spring!
- Stoneware Plant Pot– reminds me of the pretty planter on our kitchen shelves
- Horace Planter– such a pretty planter (if you keep your plant inside something else)
- Ceramic Bird Watering Can– what a cute watering can!
- Bergs Dotted Pot + Saucer– these are gorgeous, and have a couple in our home
Can you share the hooks you use to hang a plant from a ceiling? Thanks!
[email protected] says
yes! We use these hooks when they go in sheetrock- h
Thank you for these plant tips! Where is your essential oil rack in your hallway from? Thanks!
[email protected] says
Thanks! It is Essentially Curated- https://www.essentiallycurated.com
HGrace Fuller says
Hi Grace – I’m Grace. Your post hit on several things. I had just finished reading a letter from one of my friends who has just gone through what you did, clearing out and moving, plus my 90-year-old stepmother just downsized out of her lakeside home to a retirement village. We also downsized four years ago from Virginia into a cottage in Florida that’s one-quarter the size. It’s work that paid off for me because I now live closer to family – and I’m warmer!
I have a comment about that shower with no door. In our last house in Virginia we remodeled turning tub space into shower space for my tall husband. We used similar tiles and colors to yours. We put glass on half of the side to keep more light in the small bathroom, but did not put the door on because it was expensive. I liked the idea of just stepping in and out, but in the winter time it was cold, being exposed like that. If doing over, I would put in a door. We solved cleaning the glass we did have with a tip from our tile guy,: don’t use hard bars of soap. That leaves soap scum, so we just used liquid soaps. The second thing we did was have a shower squeegee so that after every shower we simply wiped water off the glass from the inside. No spots. About every six months I would do a thorough cleaning job on the glass.
Your new Utah home looks gorgeous. We had to cancel our 2020 Utah vacation due to the virus. But, it’s still on our to-go list. — Grace