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5 Best Plants for First-time House Plant Owners

May 13, 2021 3 min read

best houseplantsAre you a first-time house plant owner with less than ideal growing conditions at home? Consider getting the following houseplants. All have straightforward watering requirements and tolerate shade. They don't need high humidity - usually one of the most challenging aspects of houseplant care. Neither do they need specialist fertilizers. These plants will fit into any living space and lifestyle. 

Need more easy houseplant suggestions for particular growing conditions? Or do you have your own recommendations for first-time indoor gardeners? Leave us a comment below. 

Jade plant (Crassula ovata)

Crassula ovata
Severin Candrian

A firm favorite for novice house plant owners. They are slow-growing, need little water, and do well away from bright sunlight. Water only when the soil is completely dry, then soak it completely so that water runs through the drainage holes at the bottom. Give it an all-purpose fertilizer every three months in the spring and summer. For the soil, use a succulent potting mix.

Parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans)

Parlour palm
vadim kaipov

A very low maintenance plant that brings tropical cheer to any living space. It tolerates low light and dry air. Unlike most houseplants, it is not toxic to dogs or cats. Water when the top few centimeters of the soil is dry (never let the soil dry out completely) and cut back the frequency and amount of watering in winter.

The palm will need a dilute dose of all-purpose fertilizer each month in the spring and summer.

The parlor palm roots do fine in a compact pot so will only need repotting every two to three years. It needs peat-free multipurpose compost with added perlite or horticultural grit to improve soil drainage.

Pearl Plant (Haworthia margaritifera)

Pearl plantLance Lozano

Unlike most succulents, haworthia margaritifera does well in either cool shade or bright light. Just avoid direct sunlight. If you keep it in a hot, dry, and sunny spot, you will need to water more often than in a cool setting. The rule is to water only when the soil is completely dry.

Haworthia margaritifera are slow growing and are never more than 4 inches tall.  

Repot every two to three years in succulent potting mix. If it grows offsets (baby plants), remove them or pot them in their own containers to prevent overcrowding.

Golden pothos/Devil’s ivy (Epipremnum aureum)

Golden pothos
Severin Candrian

A vigorous trailing plant that is very hard to kill, even with neglect. It does well in either water or soil. If you plant your golden pothos in water, you won’t even have to remember watering. Read about how to transfer your plants from soil to water here.

String of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

Pearl plantMeganEHansen

A very unusual looking plant with bauble-shaped leaves. Best for east facing windows, so they get a combination of soft morning light and then partial shade the rest of the day. Never expose to direct sunlight.

Keep the soil very slightly moist throughout spring and summer. In winter, cut back on watering and let the soil dry out a bit between watering.

This plant grows vigorously. Every season, you may need to snip a few inches off the ends so it doesn't end up looking straggly. You should also repot every year at the beginning of spring using succulent potting mixture with added perlite or horticultural grit. String of Pearls needs very well draining soil with lots of air pockets that can be provided for by the large particles of grit or perlite. 


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