Proud or not, I’d describe myself as a trend follower. As soon as mid-century home décor items found their way onto the pages of leading brands and influencers, I found myself slowly gravitating toward modern furniture, vivid colors, and clean lines. When macramé hangings became a thing, I blindly followed without ever thinking to myself if stringy art was actually something I was into. There’s one thing though, that as trends come and go, is always a mainstay in my home –– greenery. Whether it’s a drab day in winter when I can no longer remember how the sun feels beaming upon my skin, or in the middle of summer with the light rays hitting the leaves just right, I’d go so as far to say that there are few things that can perk up a room more successfully than a good old fashioned house plant. I’ve never owned a pet, but I’m a proud plant mom, through and through.
Unfortunately for me though, loving the way plants spruce up my living quarters and the ability to keep them alive are, quite certainly, two very different things. Suffice to say, I’ve killed many unsuspecting succulents in my day. After some recent tips from my more greenery-inclined friends, slowly but surely, I’m growing into my role as a plant mom and am working to transform my living room into a jungle, piece by piece. The other day I dropped my phone behind the couch and in order to retrieve it, had to hack through a nearby plant that was so full I kind of felt like I was in a Jumanji scene right there in the middle of my 10th Friends binge watching session of the week. Win.
If you’re skilled at plant loving but not plant nurturing, here are some easy-to-please houseplants that you can totally handle. Yes, even you.
- Snake Plant
Don’t let the name scare, you –– this plant is notoriously low maintenance. In fact, it’s even nicknamed mother-in-law’s tongue in a snarky reference to its sharp, pointed leaves and tendency to stick around for the long haul. These plant babies can tolerate low light and low amounts of water –– in fact the worst thing you can do to these plants is over water (their most common cause of death is root rot). An added bonus is that while you’e busy not killing these plants, they will be silently improving your air quality –– sneakily turning CO2 into oxygen.
- The Fiddle Leaf Fig
If you saw me in a previous life and told me that houseplants could be trendy, I would have probably given you the side-eye while slowly ending our conversation. Today, though, I must admit that facts are facts – and the Fiddle Leaf Fig is oh so trendy. If you’ve seen a plant looking particularly lush and green on Instagram, it’s likely the FLF. Spotted a faux plant looking cool in Target? Probs a FLF. Dated someone on Tinder that’s a designer? Spoiler alert: in some corner of their house, there will be a FLF.
The “it” factor is well-deserved though. Fiddle Leaf Figs are first and foremost easy on the eyes. They look good in almost any situation, and even better then their uncanny ability to flaunt their full-sized leaves is their ability to survive. The plant adapts easily to most indoor environments, preferring to stay within a temperature range of 65-75 degrees. It does need exposure to some light, but doesn’t require a ton of water (soil should dry out between waterings). Plus, you’ll be posing with it so often for Instagram, that watering it won’t really be that much of an added chore.
Goodbye, sunburn and heartache from all the plants gone too soon –– aloe is here to save the day. As a succulent, aloe prefers to have some solid exposure to natural light. As long as it’s catching its fair share of rays, though, this plant is pretty easygoing. It needs water only every 2-4 weeks, and resource after resource insists that no, really –– less is more. Perhaps the coolest part about having aloe sprouting in your home is the fact that it can do more than simply look pretty –– you can harvest your aloe and use it for burns, hair masks, moisturizer, and more.
Long the plants that have been given the hard job of sprucing up drab offices, the Pothos is often a plant choice for those just starting to test their houseplant tending skills, or an open challenge to people who are notorious at killing their little green friends. They require very little attention, and are even up to handling low-light situations.
- Air plants
The first time I saw air plants I was fascinated. Plants that are so chill they don’t even need soil to thrive? I’ll take ten. These plants do need a fair amount of indirect light, but they can still stay healthy surviving on artificial light ––and they don’t really need much attention from a watering standpoint, either. Just a dunk in tap water every two weeks or so will usually do the trick (though some people opt to just mist them).