Like many millennials — and people of different ages who found themselves looking for substitutes for traveling while in quarantine — I’ve found peace and solace in gardening and taking care of indoor plants. I’ve long wanted to have plants but we move too often so it was often banked as something we’d do when we settle somewhere more permanently. I’m not sure if we’ll move again next year, but we finally have plants at home!
The house we’re renting has ample space and light for an indoor jungle, and I’m already planning how to fill every nook and cranny with greens. But not until I’m sure I can keep them all alive. We’ve already had a couple of casualties, so I’m taking a tiny step back and focusing on learning more about caring for them before I take new ones in.
If you’re a newbie to caring for plants like me, here are five of the easiest to take care of based on personal experience.
Out of all the indoor plants we currently have, the pothos makes me the happiest because it’s incredibly easy to take care of — and propagate. It thrives in bright indirect sunlight and even low lighting conditions. It also only needs to be watered when dry (or every three days, if you live somewhere really hot). It purifies the air too. I’ve tried snipping a part of mine and growing it in water and it has, in fact, grown. There’s a leaf waiting to open up! If you’re starting out, this one will make you feel like you have a green thumb.
You’ve probably already seen a snake plant or sansevieria before. It looks like, well, snakes but also swords. This tough plant, which is also called mother-in-law’s tongue (perhaps because it can be toxic when ingested; maybe for a different discussion), is also a good gateway to gardening. You hardly need to take care of it — and it looks really good whether indoor or outdoor. It can thrive in indirect but bright light but it can also grow in full sun or low light. Water when it’s dry, and you’re done; you have a nice-looking plant that also purifies air. Studies have shown that the spider plant can remove benzene and formaldehyde from the air.
With leaves that look like open palms, the Philodendron Selloum is a plant that invites attention. Because of how it looks, it’s also often called “wealth catcher” in our language. It increases a room’s oxygen levels, not mention it’s also incredibly pleasant to the eyes. The perfect indoor plant? I think so too.
However, while it’s said to be generally non-fussy, I find that this one needs a bit more attention than a pothos or a snake plant. But perhaps it’s because our place has lots of light and this doesn’t do well with direct light. We’ve been experimenting on where to position it permanently. But in terms of care, it’s still pretty easy to handle. It prefers moist soil but be careful not to overwater it. Think of it needing a big drink just every once in a while.
Caring for this plant is the same as caring for Selloum. It also likes bright indirect light and needs watering every two weeks. While we’ve found that tap water works fine, some say that distilled works better. I’m not sure I’m ready for that investment though, so what we’re gonna try to do is leave tap water in an open container for 24 hours because it’s said to help in letting chlorine and fluoride dissipate. We’ll see!
The spider plant is on the list of “pretty chill indoor plants to care for”. It needs the same care as the pothos — with a bit of misting here and there because they love humidity. I’d be careful with bugs though. Take time to really look at the soil and the leaves because while this is a hardy plant, a bug is a bug and it can cause heavy damage.
What indoor plants do you have? Are you a noob like me too? Wanna start your own plant journey? Serene Spaces Co has these and more!
Jorj is an editor by profession, a b/vlogger on weekends, and a wife to Yop and mom to Cadence always. She's powered by curiosity and is in the process of becoming her best self.