Are you looking for the perfect plant to fit your lifestyle? Look no further because we will help you find your houseplant soulmate! With a bit of advice, anyone can become a plant person. Get ready to take a fun quiz and find out which greenie would be your perfect companion.
3 Core Questions for Picking the Perfect Houseplant
How much Time Can I Spend?
Some plants are okay with "better late than never." You can leave them alone for some time, and they won't mind much. Other plants, however, are "now or never." The more you ignore them, the weaker they will become, and eventually... Oops. The herb garden in your kitchen's windowsill just turned into a herbarium. That's why the first question is how much spare time you have for your greenies.
Option A: I Don't Have Much Time for My Plants.
We get it; you're busy. Do you have a time-consuming hobby? Are you working hard to get the coin? Money may not grow on trees... But you can get a Money plant (Crassula ovata) or many other kinds of succulents and enjoy the benefits of these low-maintenance greenies! Other sturdy and drought-resistant plants are cacti (e.g., Schlumbergera bridgesii), Dracaenas (e.g., Dracaena trifasciata), and Zamioculcas spp.
Option B: I Have Spare Time to Care for My Plants Consistently.
If you can provide your green pet with regular care, you can go for high-maintenance, more delicate plants. Many of them have a tropical vibe, so if that's your aesthetic, you'll really enjoy yourself! Pay special attention to the Fiddle-leaf fig, Prayer plant, Swiss cheese plant, Pothos, and Philodendron. You can also try your hand (let's hope your hand has a green thumb!) at growing flowers, such as roses, or various trailing plants.
What Kind of Lighting Will My Plant Receive?
Light is essential for every greenie, and, much like people, plants have different requirements and preferences. Some will be happy in full sun, while others enjoy the darker side. So, it's time to determine which empty windowsill lacks that sweet fresh greenery!
Option A. A Room without Windows.
Going with a hard mode, are you? Perhaps, your basement or office needs a little green to sparkle it up. Luckily, growing plants with no direct sunlight is challenging but totally possible. If you install a full-spectrum indoor light, you can provide your greenies with sufficient energy for healthy growth. Even common office fluorescent lamps could be a good option for low-light tolerant plants such as Lucky bamboo, Chinese evergreen, Prayer plant, and Peace Lily.
Option B. A Room with Windows.
Different plants prefer different lighting conditions in terms of intensity and amount, so you should always research your newly acquired greenie's preferences. Some plants thrive in direct sunlight, while others get burnt very quickly. So, first things first, you should go to your window and use a compass to determine the direction it faces.
North-facing windows receive very little light, which would be perfect for low-light tolerant plants. Some of the best plant candidates are Anthurium spp., Aspidistra spp., and Polypodiopsida spp.
These windows provide the brightest light, so they would only be a good option for thermophilic (sun/heat-loving plants). Many succulents (e.g., Aloe vera) and herbs (e.g., Sweet basil) can thrive in full sun on the southern windowsill.
The windows on the eastern side are suitable for plants that enjoy a sun bath in the morning and some shade during the rest of the day. Some orchids will be happy with this placement, such as the ever-popular Moth orchid. Ferns (Boston fern) and palms (Areca palm) would also thrive on the eastern side.
The west-facing windows provide milder lighting than the southern ones; however, they expose plants to intense afternoon sun. Your candidates could be Bird of Paradise, Croton, Zebra plant, Parlor palm, Ti plant, and Jade plant.
Do you Have Pets?
If you have pets, think about how your green pets will feel around them. Your fluffy friend can get curious about your plant and try to bite it, which sounds innocent initially but can lead to very unpleasant health complications! For instance, everyone's all-time favorite Sago palm can severely poison your pet. Make sure to check the Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants List on the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) website. Better safe than sorry!
Option A. Yes, I Have Pets!
Congratulations! Here are some pet-safe plants to pay attention to:
Spider plant, Calathea, Boston fern, Burro's tail, Wax plant, Ponytail palm, Hibiscus, Air plants, Rattlesnake plant, Bromeliad, Echeveria, Spider plant, Bamboo palm, Majesty palm, Neon Prayer plant.
Option B. No, I Don't Have Pets.
Even if you don't have to keep a close eye on the pet's health, you should also consider your safety. Some plants can be toxic for you, too! Always find some time to read the plant care requirements and safety guidelines. For example, all parts of the ZZ plant are toxic, so it's best to wear gloves when handling it.
The hectic rhythm of modern life can distract us from the plant care routine. However, there is a perfect plant out there for everyone, no matter how much time they have. After giving answers to these core questions, you will better understand how to pick your green soulmate.