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Picking the Perfect Indoor Plant

Indoor plants add a lot to a home. They improve the look, the air quality, and the overall appeal of a living area. You can reduce stress and increase calm and happiness by adding new life to your current decor.

But you can’t just add any plants and hope for the best. You have to choose the right ones that suit your tastes and lifestyle to ensure you get the most out of the experience. And while picking the perfect plant takes a little planning, you can make the decision easier by following these simple tips.

Know Your Home

In a way, you’re not picking a plant for your home as much as the plant is picking the best conditions to grow, and your home might or might not qualify. The more you consider the environment the plant will inhabit, the better your decision will be. If you’re looking for something that will stay on the floor, choose something taller. For a table plant, shorter is better. And consider that the plant will get bigger over time, so the way it looks when you first set it down might be quite different after it’s had a chance to grow. Choosing a houseplant somewhat smaller than your ideal size will allow it to grow into the area and avoid having something that will eventually be too big for your tastes.

Other home considerations include lighting, temperature, and space, both in the home overall and in the specific space you plan to keep them. Palms love bright spaces with lots of wiggle room, for example. Take a good inventory of the areas you’re considering for your plants and match the right types with your living situation. And if you have pets, some indoor plants are more pet-friendly than others. Take in as many factors as possible to make the right plant choices for your home.

Kate's Areca Palm
An Areca Palm in the Big Apple

Know Yourself

Part of the living environment for your new plant includes the people who will be enjoying them and caring for them. An honest analysis of your needs and habits will also lead you toward making good plant decisions.

Are you the kind of person who can spend a good amount of time monitoring and caring for an indoor plant, adjusting temperatures and lighting, and making sure the soil has the correct moisture levels? If so, a Fiddle Leaf Fig might be an excellent choice for your home.

Or are you the kind of person who wants to buy an indoor plant, find a good spot for it, and give little thought to its care? A snake plant might be a better choice in that case. They adapt to a variety of light and temperature conditions and don’t require much watering.

In a way, the plant chooses the person, based on personality and living conditions. The right plant is out there waiting for you. You just have to figure out which plant that is.

Mind the Little Things

Even low-maintenance plants can’t be completely ignored. Even a minimum of care can go a long way to ensuring a long, healthy life for your plant.

While some are heartier than others, plants don’t benefit from being moved around constantly. It’s not just a room accent, like a vase or mirror. It’s a living thing, so try not to change its immediate environment on a regular basis.

But keep in mind that some movement — rotating your plant — is actually a good thing. Plants near a window will grow faster and actually gravitate toward the light. That phenomenon could create uneven growth and a look you won’t find ideal. To combat that possibility, rotate your plant at 90-degree angles once a week so all sides will get the proper light exposure. You don’t want to move your plant all-around your house but moving it within its space can promote healthy growth.

Also, keep in mind that the space itself can change. A window that offers great light in one season might become a lower-light space in another. If your window faces south, for example, you can expect more light in the winter (when the sun is lower). You might not notice it too much, but your plants will. And you’ll notice their changes, which means it’s worth your while to make sure your houseplants get the light they need (and avoid what they don’t need) year-round.

Another change can occur when your house gets too cold. One long vacation when you let the inside temperature dip below 50 degrees (since you’re not home) will wreak havoc on your favorite tropical houseplants. Make sure the inside temperature isn’t damaging to your living decorations, especially when you won’t be there to make adjustments.

Pruning can also encourage new growth, improve a plant’s look and extend its life. And just keeping an area dust-free will keep leaves clean and open to receive sunlight and create oxygen. A quick once-over can let you know how your plant is doing, and minor adjustments can go a long way toward keeping it happy and healthy.

Finally, a regular check of the soil will gauge whether the watering schedule is working or not. Over-watering can be more damaging than the opposite, so check to make sure the amount of watering you’re doing is right for your plant. If it doesn’t need the water, skip that one and determine a better schedule.

You could use the old finger-in-soil method to provide a guesstimate of how the watering system is working. But if you want to be precise (and keep your plants looking their best) consider using a Soil Sleuth. A good soil probe turns guesswork into confident watering, letting you know exactly how much water your plant needs.

One way to ensure you’re getting the watering right is our exclusive PlantAssure Sub Irrigation system. The sub-irrigation process creates a reservoir of water by raising the grow pot above the liner with a special PVC ring. The houseplant absorbs water from the reservoir naturally, letting weeks or even a month go by between waterings.

A pruned, dust-free, properly-watered plant will improve its living space with a vibrant, healthy presence. And all it takes is a little mindful care. And for more detailed watering tips, check out our watering guide.

Snake Plants
Snake Plants in Phoenix Planters

Need More Help?

If you need more assistance, we’re right here. For decades, PLANTZ has helped people with indoor plant selection and maintenance, with everything from planters to nutrition to the above-mentioned irrigation. We can help you find the perfect plant and have it delivered right to your door. Simply contact us with any questions.