Easy-Care House Plants


berkley sideboard | dining set | art | lamp | spider plant/pot

If you’ve read our decorating posts, you may have noticed that we frequently mention natural elements, like plants, and how much life they add to a room.  Some of you love the idea, and recently asked if I would do a post about easy-care house plants.

Of course, I’m always happy to accommodate, but since I’m slightly plant-challenged myself, I checked in with Christina from Lynde Greenhouse and Nursery, for ideas.  Here  are the 5 easy-care house plants she recommended, what she had to say about them, and some general tips for plant care.

SPIDER PLANT

The spider plant is super easy to have in your house.  They like mostly shade – can even handle the darkest corner of your home – but they can also tolerate some indirect sun.

As they grow, they’ll get little babies which you can either cut off or propagate.  If you choose to propagate, take them off as close to the base as you can, coat some root growth powder on them, and plant them in soil.  Eventually they’ll grow into a new plant.

easy-care house plants - spider plant

POTHOS

This is another super easy one.  They come in a few different varieties, including variegated, and can handle sun or shade.  They’re pretty hardy in that if you forget to water them for a month, they’ll still come back when you water.

They’ll trail as they grow, so don’t be afraid to cut the tendrils back.  Just cut them back at the next leaf so that you don’t have a bare stem sticking out – for aesthetic appeal.

easy care house plants - pathos

IVY

Any type of ivy is a really good houseplant. They’re very similar to the Pothos in that they can handle sun or complete shade, and will start to trail over time.  Trim if they get too unruly.

easy care house plants - ivy

SUCCULENTS

Succulents are pretty simple, and you can mix and match them when planting.  They’ll all pretty much handle the same watering schedule, but they can be a little fussy at times.

Give them plenty of sun and make sure you “snuggle” them when planting.  Their root system doesn’t like too big of a pot with too much soil.   For example, a 2 1/2″ succulent shouldn’t be in pot larger than 4″.

They may produce flowers if they really like the environment they’re in – especially if you give them the sun they want.

easy-care house plants - a variety of succulents

Most cactus and succulents like to go through periods of completely drying out the soil, being watered, and then completely drying out again.  So always check the soil before watering and DON’T over water.  

DRACAENA

This easy-care house plant is actually a type of grass, and can be used outdoors in annual combinations as well as indoors.  There are three varieties – magenta, red edge, and white and green variegated – red edge is pictured.

They prefer sun, a minimum of 3-4 hours a day, and can handle complete sun. They’ll get a nice woody stalk and continue to grow and branch out. Because they’re in more sun, check them more frequently – they may need watering every other day, but always check soil first to see.

easy care house plants - dracaena

POTTING PLANTS

Is there anything we should know about potting plants for the first time?  

Any time you’re transplanting a plant, rough up the roots a little bit before you plant them in the new pot. This gives the roots a signal to spread out a little bit – even though they’re still contained.

Make sure any pot you use has a drainage hole or holes in the bottom. If you do happen to have a pot that doesn’t have drainage, layer some medium size rocks in the bottom so there’s a place for the water to drain.

Any guidelines for pot size? 

A plant will probably be okay in a pot about the size that you purchased it in for about a year or so, and then you’ll need to upsize. Transplant every 2-3 years and always go a couple of inches up in size (unless you’re in an extreme situation where you pull the plant out and all you see is white – then it’s completely root bound and you’ll need a larger pot).

easy care house plants - roughing up the roots before planting

WATERING AND FERTILIZING

Does the term easy-care house plants really apply when it comes to watering?  What’s the secret?

There’s no exact watering schedule for house plants because it really depends on the plant, where it’s at in the house, and if it’s in the sun or the shade. So a general rule of thumb is to feel the soil and water accordingly.  That will get you into a pattern of understanding what your plant likes.  If the soil is a little bit damp, it’s still good. If it’s dry or you see the plant start to struggle, water it more often.  It won’t take long to figure out what it needs and get into a pattern.

Should I fertilize my house plants?

You generally don’t need to, but you can if you like.  Just know that because the plants are indoors you don’t want to do it as often as outdoor plants. Maybe once a month.

Always read the back of any fertilizer you choose to make sure you’re giving the right dose to the right plant. If you fertilize too often it will burn the plant and it will get crispy and brown.

Our water at Lynde Greenhouse has fertilizer mixed in it.  We sell jugs for an initial cost of $4.99 and then you can come in and fill it from our hose for a lifetime.

Thank you, Christina, for the easy-care house plant ideas and tips!  It will be fun to try them out!

{P.S. I really like the way Audra mixed real and faux plants in her small home.   Have you seen the tour yet?  If not, you’ll want to check it out HERE.}

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