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Tips For Choosing Low Maintenance Houseplants

Updated on January 20, 2020
Monica Pocelujko profile image

has a B.A. in English and 7 years of experience as a freelance writer working on the Internet.

Whether it's a fern hanging in a basket in the middle of the room, an African violet on your living room windowsill or an impatien perched on the sunny corner of a bookcase, keeping houseplants is a wonderful and low maintenance way to brighten up your home and add a touch of color to even the drabbest rooms. They also help to purify the air and in general boost the overall well being of their human caretakers. Like the plants found in your garden, houseplants have different needs with some being very particular about temperature and environment and others almost being self-sustaining.

The fact is, that if you want your houseplants to thrive but don't have the time or energy to put a lot of effort into their care, low maintenance plants are ideal, but there's more involved in purchasing them than just selecting plants which are attractive to the eye. First, you need to determine if the conditions in your home are suitable for the type of plants you want.

For example, does your house receive large amounts of sunlight throughout the day, or are there periods of time when it is mostly in the shade? You need to consider which plants will be able to make the maximum use of the light that is available, and also what temperature and humidity levels they can tolerate. Is your house drafty? Some plants can withstand an occasional breeze, while others will promptly wilt. It's also important to know a plant's rate of growth. Fast growing plants will require trimming and re-potting more often than the slower-growing ones, which means either more or less work for you depending on the plants you choose.

There is a wide variety of low maintenance houseplants to choose from. Here are some that are good for beginners:

African violets: The flowers of these sturdy plants may appear delicate, but they are in fact ideal houseplants that are easy to care for. Available in a variety of types and colors such as dark purple, lavender, and even pink, they do quite well in indirect sunlight or under artificial light, but should not be placed in direct sunlight. Also, they'll indicate by their appearance whether or not they're getting enough light. If they require more light, their leaves will be darker in color and thinner than those which are getting better light.

Ferns: Boston and Maidenhair are two of the most common types of fern. Known to be among the world's oldest living plants, ferns are popular as houseplants because of their lush foliage and ability to adapt and grow in areas of shade and low lighting.

Impatiens: These are excellent plants for growing indoors. They come in three sizes -- dwarf (8--10 inches), medium (10--12 inches), and tall (reaching 1--2 feet). The blooms come in an array of colors from red, orange, salmon, etc., to two-colored. They like the morning sun best.

Cast Iron Plant: So-called because it grows even under the most impossible of conditions. Likes to have low lights. Grows in a clump. The leaves are sword-shaped, pointed and about 4" wide and 2' long. It may flower indoors.

Aloe Vera: Not only does it have medicinal healing properties, but it stays green and lush with minimal care. If you forget to water it, that's okay. It's a succulent and can take it. It requires moderate to bright sunlight.

The above houseplants are very low maintenance, in fact, they practically grow themselves. Start with just a few and if you're successful in growing them you can add more as time goes on.

© 2020 Monica Pocelujko


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