Here’s 6 Beautiful Beginner Plants to Adopt in Quarantine
Has quarantine got you locked in your house and feeling like your home office looks more like a prison than a productivity palace? Now you’re thinking of spicing up your space with some houseplants, but you don’t know where to start.
Here’s a list of easy, low-maintenance houseplants that can do well in most homes to get you started on your plant-hoarding journey. These beauties are going to help you develop a green thumb and a new confidence in your plant parenting abilities. Plus, we won’t be suggesting any dull office building staples here. Grab a snake plant if you want, but we’re going for photogenic jungle vibes here, my friends!
If you’re wondering how to get a hold of these plants while everything is in lock-down, there are plenty of local growers and sellers all over the place that are patiently waiting for you. Instagram can be a great place to start looking for sellers near you. Most of these folks will also deliver right to your doorstep, so you don’t have to worry about going on an excursion into the social-distancing miasma out there. Not only that, but supporting local businesses is where it’s at.
Pothos plants are known for their sprawling vines and beautiful heart-shaped leaves. Its aerial roots reach out and tangle themselves in with other plants and surfaces, giving you those #JungleVibes that all of us are looking for. After just a couple of months, this plant is sure to stretch itself into the far corners of your room. The amount of growth you get from just one plant is incredible.
If you want to grow multiple plants or give cuttings to friends, this plant should definitely be at the top of your list. Pothos is a great plant to practice your propagation skills on. If you snip successfully growing vines below an aerial root (that brown root shooting out of the vine) or growing node (the dark bumpy growth on the vine), just plop it in water. In a matter of weeks, you’ll have another Pothos plant ready to pot up and grow anew. This plant really is the gift that keeps on giving.
No matter where you put it in your room, it will grow. As long as it’s not getting burned right in a window, it’ll take pretty much any conditions that you can give it. Pothos plants naturally grow in tropical jungles in the understory, meaning it can take a few spills of bright direct light, but it does the best in “bright indirect to low indirect” lighting. That basically means keeping it a few feet back from a window is a recipe for success.
These plants are compact, rippled, and come in tons of varieties. In fact, there are currently over 1500 unique species of Peperomia known to be growing in nature today. Black Peperomias, Watermelon Peperomias, and shiny Silver Ripple Peperomias. The list goes on and on, giving you a ton of chances to pick up one of these unique little plant babies.
Most of the popular peperomia types that you’ll find on plant seller websites (or in nurseries) are quite small and fit perfectly on your desk, livening up your space. They also grow nicely while still remaining compact and manageable, not needing too many trims. At some point, you’ll need to re-pot these guys once their roots start pushing out of the bottom of their pot, but until then, the upkeep is pretty much non-existent. Plus if you care for them well enough, they’ll even shoot up inflorescences, which are this plant’s version of flowers. They’re tentacle-like and smell… different? You can cut them off if they’re not your thing, but they’re a sign your plant loves what you’re doing for it.
Even though these desktop cuties can look a little intimidating, the care is actually pretty easy. All you have to do to water it is pour water into the dish under its pot and watch the roots drink it up. This method is known as “bottom watering” and is perfect for plants with foliage that doesn’t love getting wet too often. Again, these plants typically don’t love direct bright light, since they tend to hide under other larger plants when growing in nature.
You’ve seen these beauties all over Instagram and now it’s time to get one of your very own. These sexy split leaves have been the definition of “jungle vibes” for some time now. They might look intimidating to you, but you’d be surprised by how easy these plants are to care for. They’ll do pretty well in most light conditions, but prefer bright indirect if that’s possible for you. A nice amount of humidity is also nice, but not necessary. A misting every once in a while can be a nice treat, but that’s not necessary either.
I’ve been seeing two to three leaves sprouting from my Monstera every few weeks, each bigger than the last. It’s been really exciting to see that growth and to see that my extra love and attention paying off. The only real drawback to Monsteras is the fact that they’re in such high demand due to their Instagram fame, leading to some pretty hefty prices.
Honestly, the price tag for a Monstera can be pretty out of control. Even though you might be tempted to buy a fairly mature plant that’s already grown for you, go for a smaller plant! You might not see the iconic fenestrations (those are the splits in the leaves) just yet, but trust me the difference in price is completely insane, especially since the plant grows at such a fast pace. It’ll only take a few months to go from a little sprout, to a majestic beast.
4. Boston Fern
Most ferns are pretty particular about the types of light they like, but the Boston Fern can handle most types of light pretty handily. The types of light available to you in your home office probably won’t be harsh enough to do much damage. Most likely you’ll have low to moderate indirect light, which is perfect for encouraging new fronds to sprout.
If you’re afraid of over-watering your plants, don’t worry. The Boston Fern drinks water like it’s a fish. Well… not quite, but pretty close. My fern tends to need water twice as much as the other plants growing in my room, but it’s pretty easy to tell when you need to give it a watering. The leaves of the fern will start to lose their color slightly, becoming almost translucent. And if you under-water, the leaves turn brown and crisp up a bit. You don’t usually get these kinds of signs from other plants.
Even though this fern can shed quite a lot, don’t let that scare you. The occasional brown leave or two (or ten) is pretty normal, especially if you live in a less humid climate. But even with some browning here and there, this plant takes a lot to kill. Unless you’re watering it once a day or putting it in harsh, direct sunlight all day long, the Boston Fern is not likely to give you any problems. The ideal conditions for this one are pretty attainable for most of us, but in most conditions, you’ll still see a happy plant and nice, bushy growth.
5. String of Pearls
If you have a window in your space, this is the plant you want to hang in it. Even though this hanging beauty requires some pretty bright light to live its very best life, you don’t need too much to make sure it survives. The String of Pearls is arguably the easiest plant to care for in a long string of other similar plants like the String of Dolphins, the String of Bananas, and so on.
When this plant does soak in enough light, it’ll grow pretty quickly, so hopefully, you have some tall ceilings to keep up! But if not, there’s no need to be afraid. These hanging masterpieces propagate fairly easily if you take the time to learn about their little eccentricities.
The String of Pearls produces very fragrant flowers that give off a lovely, sweet aroma. It makes your space smell absolutely amazing… but it also attracts some critters. This plant is the one most susceptible to pests out of this entire list, but that may be it’s the only drawback. Really, they’re not that tough to get rid of, but you might want to do some research into all of that if you plan on growing this plant in your space.
6. Amazon Sword Plant
Photo by David on Aquatic ArtsThese dancing aquatic plants are usually found in aquariums, but some people keep them in tall glass jars on their desks. The Amazon Sword Plant, or any aquatic plant, is incredibly easy to take care for. If you’re worried that you’ll over-water your new collection of plants, this one is sure to survive. It lives fully submerged in the stuff, after all!
Not many plant collections include aquatic plants, so you’re not likely to see this one on your Instagram feed that often. But the mesmerizing sway of these leaves is something to behold. Not a lot of other plants feel as alive as these, meaning you’ll not only get a gorgeous green desk, adornment, but you’ll also get some movement out of your new plant baby.
If you’re looking for the easiest possible care to get you started, look no further. There’s no guesswork involved. Change out the water every week or so (filtered is best, but not necessary) and keep it away from direct sun and you’re all set!
That’s the list! Hopefully, this inspired you to go hunting online for some of your local houseplant sellers. Plants are often linked to a boost in mental health, so do yourself a favor and find some new greenery to inhabit your space. Caring for a plant or two might help to get yourself through this anxiety-ridden time.
Written By: Fred Gebhardt