Starting your plant parent journey and need some recommendations? We are here to help!
It can be tough to jump into taking care of plants at home as plant care is not an instinctual trait. There are many things that we may do out of common sense when it comes to caring for our plants that end up doing more harm than good. While becoming a plant parent may come more naturally to some, with a little bit of research, you too can have thriving plants of your own at home.
For first time plant parents we have 3 perfect plants that are durable, easy to grow and low maintenance when it comes to the care they require. Starting here will make your journey much easier, gratifying and help you gain confidence as you continue to grow your collection of plants. Alongside a few helpful tips and tricks, you will be able to have the jungle of your dreams...
1) Pothos Plants
The pothos plant will weather any storm you put it through. Also referred to as golden pothos, money plant, ivy arum and devil’s ivy, you will most likely see the pothos anywhere you go as it can withstand just about any environment. While there are different types of pothos plants that have a slightly different look and colour, the method of care across all the variations is consistent.
With a beautiful trailing, vine-like, heart-shaped leaves, this plant can grow quite long and trail or climb by their roots and adhere to surfaces. This makes the pothos plant great for display on hanging baskets, plant stands or bookshelves.
Pothos plants can survive in many different environments from low light areas to places with lots of light. However, It is best to keep them out of direct sunlight. The most ideal environment for this plant to thrive in a place that has either bright indirect sunlight or medium indirect sunlight.
The humidity level and temperature can be at any level - a good guide to follow is that if you are comfortable in the environment then your pothos plant will be comfortable as well!
In terms of soil vs. water, the pothos can be grown in either type. If your preference was to have the pothos sit in a vase full of water or be in your favourite pot with soil, then it would grow just fine in either environmental state. It is important to note that whatever you start growing your pothos in you should continue doing so as if you change the root environment, the health of the plant may start to decline. For propagating, try to keep the environment of the cuttings the same as the mother plant. For instance, if the mother plant was grown in soil then you should try to put the cutting in soil as this will tremendously help with new growth.
No - While it is not a fatal plant, the pothos is poisonous to dogs, cats and children if ingested. Try to keep this plant out of reach from the little ones!
- Make sure to prune the vines to your liking as they can get quite long
- Try to avoid having the plant reside in an area that has cold drafts
- They do like to be dry in between waters, therefore the top 1-2 inches of the soil should be dry before you go to water the plant again
- If the leaves are dropping then it is a sign that the plant needs to be watered
2) Snake Plant
If you are unsure as to where you want your plant to live in your home, then the snake plant is the perfect option for you! Also known as sansevieria, this plant can also survive in just about any environment you put it in. They can be neglected for weeks at a time; yet, with their stiff leaves and architectural shape, they will still look fresh and beautiful! In fact it's better to let these plants just dry out in between waterings to avoid over watering.
The snake plant’s leaves can grow anywhere from six inches to eight feet tall, depending on the variety which makes for a striking silhouette and great to decorate any space in your home. Just like the pothos plant, The snake plant has different variations and has slightly different looks to their leaves therefore do some research beforehand to see which type you prefer!
In terms of light conditions for this plant, the snake plant is not picky! Either low or high levels of light will provide the plant with a proper growing environment.
Since the snake plant likes to dry out in between waterings, try to choose a pot that has drainage holes in the bottom. Another option would be to place your snake plant in a terracotta pot as they allow for the soil to dry out more easily than plastic pots. If the soil becomes soggy and wet, the plant can form root rot and will deteriorate its health levels.
Once again, the humidity level and temperature can be at any level - a good guide to follow is that if you are comfortable in the environment then the snake plant will be comfortable as well!
This plant is very easy to propagate therefore once you purchase one snake plant, you don’t have to buy another one of the same kind! Carefully cut off one of the leaves near the soil and replant the cutting in soil or in a water based tube or vase.
No - According to the ASPCA, the snake plant is in fact toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion of the plant can result in sickness.
- When you are shopping for snake plants, select one that has dark green leaves. When the leaves of these plants are too pale it indicate that the plants health may already be in jeopardy
- To know when it's time to water your snake plant, don’t rely solely on the surface of the soil. Use your finger or a stick to feel 1-2 inches below the surface, if there is any moisture still then wait on watering until that area is completely dry.
- As the leaves of the snake plant can get quite long, they can collect dust. Make sure to dust them off with a damp cloth every once in a while
3) ZZ Plant
The ZZ plant is a great option for first time plant owners as well! Even with months of neglect and low light environments, this plant will still look amazing. The leaves are wide and have an attractive dark green coloured that are used quite frequently in office and home settings. The leaves also have a smooth waxy feel that reflects sunlight to brighten up your surrounding spaces.
This plant will thrive best in areas that contain bright indirect light. With that being said, the zz plant can survive quite well in a windowless office or bathroom where they will only receive a small amount of fluorescent light. As this plant usually grows slowly to a height and width of approximately two to three feet, it doesn’t outgrow their pots quickly.
In terms of humidity levels and temperature, the zz plant is quite forgiving and doesn't need any extra care. If you are comfortable in the environment then your zz plant will be too!
To propagate, there are two main ways you can do this. Through division of the zz plant, you can separate the rhizome stems when you go to replant, planting the divided part in a different pot. This is the easiest way to go about propagating. Alternatively, you can collect cuttings from the zz plant that have at least 2 leaves and a portion of the stem and place these in a pot that has a well drained soil mix in it. Propagation through cuttings will take longer to see results compared to division, however it will still properly propagate the zz plant!
No - The zz plant will be mildly poisonous if ingested by animals or small children.
- They will do better if you just leave them be!
- Use soil that provides for lots of drainage as they like to be very dry in between waterings
- As the zz plant has naturally shiny leaves, they can overtime accumulate noticeable amounts of dust. Take a damp cloth to gently brush the dust a debris to restore the plants shine
- The zz plant can live in periods of drought. As a survival technique, the plant will start to drop its leaves to be able to conserve the moisture it has remaining in its roots. If this happens, don’t worry - this is a sign that you will need to water the plant immediately