Life

4 House Plants that Anybody Can Keep Alive

I’m an absolutely horrible gardener – I’ll be the first to admit that. Thank goodness we live in a day and age of farmers markets – otherwise I’d never be able to feed myself off of what I can successfully grow!

Luckily the one area I have found myself to be successful in is in keeping alive simple green houseplants. Houseplants can help to purify the air in your home and can add to your home style and decor. Today I’m sharing some of my favorite plants that fill my office and living room and a few pointers I use to keep them happy and healthy!

Croton petra

Croton Petra prefer full to mid-sun, not shade. They don’t like direct sunlight though. I have mine in a Northern facing window and they’re doing quite well. An average indoor room temperature of 60-75 degrees F is preferable for Croton Petra. A theme that you’ll see with these plants, allow Croton Petra to dry out in between watering! I sometimes go 10-14 days between watering.

Monstera deliciosa

Monstera plants are really easy-going and have great height! They do well in low light and in bright light but grow to their fullest potential in a sunny spot. Water when soil is dry at a depth of 1-2″. Misting the plant once a week can be done, but isn’t required. You can clean off large leaves with a damp cloth if they collect dust. Don’t water Monstera plants from the bottom of the pot as it can cause root rot. 65-85 degree F temperatures are ideal for this plant.

Dracaena

Dracaena plants like filtered sunlight (like through a sheer curtain) or partial shade. I made the mistake of putting my Dracaena in too much sunlight this summer and the tips of its leaves were scorched! Mist the leaves occasionally and never water from the bottom as it can cause root rot. These plants are okay with minor neglect – they really don’t need too much watering – the soil should never be soggy! If your water has high levels of flouride in it, it can impact these plants and you should use purified water. 65-75 degree F temperatures are best for this plant.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera have become some of my favorite household plants because they have such great shape and they’re so forgiving! Aloe vera plants are succulents and as such, do not need to be watered often. You can leave them for up to three weeks at a time without watering, but when you do water, water it thoroughly. Bright, indirect sunlight or artificial light are best for these plants. Too much direct sunlight can burn the plant and cause it to yellow. Aloe plants can be top heavy, so you want a sturdy planter that is as wide as it is tall. 55-80 degree F temperatures are ideal for these plants.

Other Tips for Keeping Easy Houseplants Alive

Image by Jan Haerer from Pixabay
  • Use Neem oil to get rid of small insects. I transition my plants (for now at least) between my patio in summer and just inside my patio door in fall/winter/spring. I use Neem oil to spray down the leaves of my plants to ensure that no bugs come inside with them!
  • Use the knuckle test in watering your plants. If the surface of the soil is dry, stick your pointer finger down into the soil. If it is still dry at your first knuckle, then water according to your plants’ type of watering preferences (some like just a bit, some prefer a heavy watering). Many people kill houseplants by over-watering them.
  • When your plants need space to grow, repot them in a larger plant. You can tell that a plant is potbound if you can see the plants roots coming through the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot. Sometimes you can tell if a plant is pot bound if it dries out much more quickly than it used to, but is otherwise in healthy shape.
  • Some other plants that I don’t personally have, but hope to get in our new home are Pothos, Peace Lily and Snake Plants! Maybe I’ll have to do a follow up post to see if those are equally successful for a low maintenance plant lady like myself.

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