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Low Maintenance Plants for Beginners: A Guide to Easy Plant Care

It's no secret that I like plants - my pages include pictures of plants that I keep and I often make comparisons between personal growth and plant growth.


Is it too cliché?


So many people respond with, "I kill plants" or "I just don't have a green thumb". I get that.

But if you do have interest in having something green around your space, there are a few things to consider to be successful.


Some plants require minimal effort to thrive and I will get into a few below but all plants require some bit of maintenance. Here are a few tips and tricks on basic plant care that will help you (with any plant).


Water


You can water plants with water straight from the tap. You can; it likely will never hurt them. But consider that unless your water is filtered, your plant may also be getting any chemicals or additives that we use to treat our water. Use filtered water, if you can. Or fill a pitcher of tap water and let it sit overnight - many of the minerals and impurities (specifically chlorine) can dissipate during that time.


Little water? A lot of water? How do you know?


Get a moisture meter - you can test soil with your finger but unless you are experienced with plants, it may be hard to know when the soil needs watered. Here's the very simple one that I use all the time. When the meter reads 3 or below, your plant is in need of a drink.


It's best to not just stick with a weekly watering schedule. Depending on the season, indoor plants may need more or less water and just checking weekly may not cut it.


I check my plants every few days. Most plants die from being watered too much. Just saying.


Light


Lighting does matter but these easy plants do well in most light scenarios.


So many online posts say that plants like bathrooms (because of the extra humidity that is often there) but none of my bathrooms have adequate lighting so you won't see any pictures of them in my bathrooms.


An east/west facing window (for good morning or afternoon sun) or south facing window (for more all day direct/indirect sun) can be ideal but plants can still get a good amount of light from a north facing window. Don't let your specific light situation deter you from trying a houseplant.


If worse comes to worst, you can find simple grow lights that can help supplement. I've used this one that can be clipped on to something near the plant but there are many indoor light setups to accommodate what you need. Consider looking around if you decide that artificial lighting is needed.


Soil


I say, don't worry about this yet.


Don't sweat soil mixes or specialty mix ins. Some plant varieties like different substrates or have different preferences to be healthy. For instance, if you love cactus plants, you will definitely need a different soil mixture than a tropical plant.


Just get to know and manage a few easy plants first using a basic houseplant mix. This one is good and they even have a variation for succulents (if you decide to try those next).


Once you have a comfort level with a pre-mixed soil, then branch out according to what kind of plant you'd like to keep.


Pots


As you first get started, it is smart to make sure that your houseplants are in pots with drainage holes. The plant will naturally drain out what it cannot hold, which then reduces the chance of overwatering.


If you find a pot that you love without drainage holes, those can be easily added with a drill.


Many people have preferences around the pot material (terra cotta, plastic, ceramic, etc). My thought is that you will learn with any of these pots so choose something that you like to look at.


As you learn about the care of a specific plant and have a familiarity with its watering needs, you can consider other options. Again, don't sweat it.


So what plants should I consider first?


Start with low maintenance plants. I have a list below of a few low maintenance houseplants (and visually pleasing) to have in your space. But it also comes down to what you like as well.


After all, plants can add such a beautiful life to your office or home. You should enjoy looking at them as you care for them.


Consider some of these stunners:


Pothos


Pothos is easily one of the most hardy and forgiving houseplants. But also, pothos comes in so many variations. Lots of office buildings and restaurants choose pothos to fill areas and make the space more green.


If a plant can grow with minimal attention in a hotel lobby, you can have some luck with it as well, when you know what what it needs.


They can be trimmed to a specific size or you can let them grow to fill a space.


Pothos can thrive in lower light and indirect lighting. It's forgiving. Use your moisture meter to measure it's watering needs but my plants like attention weekly.

Here are a couple of varieties that I own and love.


Neon Pothos - It's a gorgeous lime green that can seem so bright. It's a vining plant. It grows slower with lower light and faster with more sunlight.

Snow Queen Pothos - The leaves have much variation and it's just beautiful to look at. Some leaves on my plant are half solid green and half variegated. It's just lovely.


I grew this one from a small cutting and am encouraging it to be large and full.


Same watering and lighting needs apply to this variety.



Global Green Pothos - The care on this variety is the same as the other pothos plants but look at this beauty! Those leaves! Both pictures show small plants but they too will vine, given time.


Snake plant


Most everyone recognizes this plant and it also comes in many variations. Sometimes referred to as 'mother in law's tongue'.


They might be the most forgiving houseplant....seriously. They do well in all lighting and add good green vibes to any space. Water as needed but mine easily go 1 1/2 weeks between thorough waterings.


I have several of these (in the pictures below) in a couple of varieties and sizes.


I have included the third picture (on the right) to show you how hardy these plants really are. See how wonky the smaller plant is? It has been hit multiple times by a ball or a toy or bumped into by busy boys. I usually prop it back up and it hangs in there. This plant will get some attention soon to fully address the leaning but it's still living and growing!


I think these snake plants are just beautiful. It's so fun to see a new leaf come out on these too.



Jade plant


Jade plants are not vining plants like pothos but instead branch out more like a tree as they grow. It's actually a succulent which means that it holds water in its leaves.


The picture below is my little 2 year old plant that I will be repotting this spring. Please ignore the dusty leaves...and yes, occasionally, all your plant leaves should be wiped clean to best help them absorb light. I usually do it during a watering session.


People keep Jade plants for YEARS and they can be totally adorable as they grow.



While I love each of these plants, I believe that you should get something that is visually appealing to you.


I have settled on my very favorite plant and have several of them around my house (to my husband's delight 😊). This is Monstera Deliciosa and you have likely seen it around because it has been a popular houseplant that people bring home and then don't realize that they can be beautiful giants! I mean, they can get huge. But I have the space and I now know how to keep them supported so that they can thrive.


I'm just throwing this out there because of how visually stunning I think they are and that while there has been a learning curve for me, you can learn to help plants that you love thrive in your space too!



If you are looking to add some life to your space, consider one of these low maintenance plants to begin learning.

I hope you have found some of this material helpful and certainly reach out if I can help you along the way.


WARNING: finding a plant that you love and keeping it healthy can be totally addicting. 💚 Good luck, friends!




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