Through the years, I’ve hosted a variety of houseplants, all with different needs. I’ve drowned some, underwatered a few, baked some with too much light, and neglected others with not enough sunny goodness. I’ve given them too big of a home (in a pot) and had some outgrow their planters, breaking them with their insistent roots. I’ve dealt with mold, fungus gnats (THE WORST), and spider mites. I’ve both failed at propagating and successfully created new plant babies. Finally, I think I’ve created the perfect family of plants with those that are the most chill.
While I’m still not an expert, I finally learned I like my plants like I like men: low-key and no-fuss. Here’s a peek at my plant family and some tips I’ve learned along the way.
Pothos: These are some of the easiest houseplants to care for, which is why you see them everywhere. Since they’re a low light plant, they can thrive in just about any room. Mine haven’t gotten to vine status yet thanks to the Fungus Gnat Invasion of 2016 (I had to replace almost all my plants), but I look forward to the day I can trail them down my bookcases. Pothos has medium water needs and will tell you it needs moisture when it looks limp.
Philodendron: This is very similar to the pothos with its trailing stems and heart-shaped leaves, although it is a bit more delicate. However, it’s still a hardy plant and can withstand all types of sunlight as long as it’s not direct. This fellow also requires medium moisture.
Ponytail/Elephant Palm: Initially, I bought one of these when I had super short hair and was missing my curls (true story). I loved how wild its curly leaves were and felt like I could live out my hair longing through it. It turned out to be a pretty chill plant in that it requires very little water but does best in bright, indirect light so make sure you can offer that. (This one isn’t too long because I chopped off the brown tips. I won’t be doing that again since it looks like the time I gave myself a haircut at 6 years old.)
Jade: This is my favorite because it is so low maintenance. If I’m ever unsure if it needs water, I just feel its leaves. If the leaves are tender and spongey, it needs water. If the leaves are full and plump, it’s perfect. This guy also does best in bright light, so I have mine near south-facing windows.
Snake Plant: This dude’s another one that loves to be neglected. The most important key to nurturing this plant is that it needs much less water than you think. The snake plant can grow in any light but will do better in rooms with more sunlight.
ZZ Plant: I love plants with a tropical vibe, so when I first discovered these at IKEA, I scooped them up. After I learned how easy they were to care for, I fell harder and made them my new best friends. ZZ’s are also succulents, which means minimum water and more sunlight, if possible. However, this plant can manage in lower light conditions.
I’m experimenting with a few more houseplants, but am not sure yet just how chill they are. These featured here will always be my true loves for infusing my space with natural energy but requiring the least amount of work. That leaves time for more important things like bingeing on my fave interior design blogs or planning which room I’ll be making over next.
Do you decorate with houseplants? Which plants do you consider the most chill? Which are your favorites?