I can’t say exactly when it happened, but I’ve become a plant hoarder. Maybe because I’ve had increasing luck (or skill) keeping various species alive. Perhaps because there are so many fun, beautiful, and different options out there. Whatever the reason, I’m certainly not sorry. Plants add color and life-like nothing else can. In honor of the impending spring, as well as my hoarding tendencies, I thought it’d be fun to round-up my favorite house plants. Let’s start with the fern group, since that’s what I happen to have the most of.
By far the most fickle of my collection is the infamous Maidenhair Fern, an adiantum raddianum, to be exact. I’m particularly proud to say I’ve kept this specific one alive for over two years. My secret? Don’t be afraid of over watering. Ferns notoriously need more frequent watering, so I water this one a little every few days or so. Giving it a mist at the same time never hurts. This fella lives in our southern exposure living room where it gets plenty of bright, indirect light.
Also in our living room is this ‘Kimberly Queen’ Australian Sword Fern. Unlike the Maidenhair, it can tolerate a little more neglect, but I still water at the same time to save myself the hassle.
This Sprengeri Asparagus Fern has lived in our dining room for the past year, after picking it up from the outdoor annual section. What started off as a small starter has begun to fill out and get those great droopy fronds. I have a bar cart full of plants near our dining room door, so this one gets more light, some direct and it seems happy.
Bathrooms are a great place to keep ferns because of the higher humidity levels. Luckily, our master bathroom has a south-facing window, letting in ample light for this guy. Paired with the shower humidity, I water this one about once a week and it always looks fresh and healthy.
Some ferns can handle slightly darker conditions, like this Kangaroo Paw. The foliage on this is so beautiful and grows out fuzzy little ‘legs’. As with the others, watering once or twice a week has kept this alive and thriving, with a ton of new growth.
And the smallest in my grouping is this Selaginella Snow Top that I picked up around Christmas. It loves water, especially in our low humidity home, so I keep it perched on the north facing kitchen window sill for easy watering every other day.
Other tips for keeping ferns alive:
- Don’t remove the plant from the plastic store pots. Instead, place inside a hole less planter. If you’re an habitual plant killer caused by under watering, it’ll help show more exact watering needs. Water, then check every day to see if there’s standing water left behind, and you can check the roots for dampness. Try to keep track of the consumption and you’ll know how often to water. If there’s standing water, it’s easy to dump out to prevent over watering.
- Keeping finicky plants near a water source makes it much harder to forget.
- Don’t place in direct sun. Instead, choose a spot in the center of a bright room or closer to a window in a north facing space.
Okay, moving from the more difficult to the easy care plants, succulents and cacti. Well draining soil is this categories BFF. This long-haired Muppet is a Rhipsalis Baccifera. It can tolerate low light, but prefers moderate light. I happened upon this in the hanging plant section at Lowe’s, but prefer it in a taller footed planter.
In terms of texture, this Princess Pine succulent packs a punch. Living in a smaller pot has forced it to branch out, spilling over the edges.
The boys asked for a plant in their room, but it’s so easy to forget about it so I chose a super low maintenance Climbing Aloe. The east window lets in plenty of light and the occasional watering is easy enough to handle.
Sitting on the cart in the dining room, next to the asparagus fern is a Christmas Cactus. It too is so easy to care for, just a watering per week and that’s all.
In my opinion, the easiest house plant of all is the Snake plant. Luckily, they’re just as easy to find at home improvement stores. Honestly, I think I water this one maybe every two weeks and let it soak up as much sun as possible next to our north facing door. That’s it, nothing special.
As for larger growing plants, of course there’s the Fiddle Leaf Fig. I found this one at Wal-Mart several weeks ago, but I’ve kept my other alive for nearly three years. I can’t say I know all the tricks, but watering weekly and keeping in a bright room seem to help.
A Big Leaf Philodendron resides in a corner of our living room, near a window. What started off as a smallish plant has become a crazy, splayed out creature of greatness.
Around the holidays, Norfolk Island Pines are abundant. This one is small, but has doubled in size since I got it two years ago. I water thoroughly once a week.
Now for the random group, starting with this Hoya I picked up on clearance because it was looking quite sad. After bringing it home, I cut off all the dead, droopy leaves. It’s perking up, but I’d love any tips on keeping it healthy and happy.
For colorful foliage, a Croton can’t be beat. Mine is on the small side, but has been a cinch to keep alive and growing. New leaves sprout out the top and gradually change color with age.
I think the fastest growing plant in our home is this Peperomia. When I bought it, it had three leaves on each stem.
Pothos are another easy to find, easy to care for greenery. I have three, two living in the brighter living room and entry and another on our mantle. They’re not picky with lighting requirements, ranging from bright to low.
Now that I’ve shared mine, care to share your favorite houseplants? There are so many options, and I’ve realized I prefer greenery over flowers simply because I assume the plant is dying after the flowers fade away.