Houseplants

The Basics:

Most house plants like bright indirect light. And in most cases a few hours of direct light is okay, especially morning light. Most of these plants are found in tropical jungles. Under canopies of trees where it's warm and humid. Some even grow on trees. It may seem like creating a tropical rainforest environment in your house is impossible. Although the answer to that is pretty much yes. These plants don't need those exact conditions to thrive. Create humidity by spraying the plant a few times a week or by placing the pot on a tray with water and pebbles in it. 

Water with room temperature water. Houseplants prefer rain or distilled water. Water that contains too many salts or minerals can damage the plants. 

The Killers:

Over-watering, not enough light, underwatering.

Anthurium

Light Requirements: Bright indirect light is best. They can handle lower light but growth will slow and there will be less flowering.

Size: Can get up to 20 inches. 

Water: Water when soil is dry to the touch.

To make it thrive: Don't fertilize too much. Once every 3-4 months with a balanced all purpose fertilizer diluted down to one-fourth of normal rate. 

Favored habitat: It likes humidity and temperatures between 60 - 85 degrees. Don't let it get under 40 degrees.

Toxicity: Toxic to humans and animals.

Areca Palm

Light Requirements: Bright indirect light is best. Too much light or direct sun will burn the plant.

Size: 6-8 feet tall.

Water: Water when soil is dry to the touch.

To make it thrive: Fertilize once a month during Spring/Summer with a balanced all purpose liquid fertilizer at half the rate of normal use.

Favored habitat: It likes humidity and temperatures between 65 - 75 degrees. Don't let it get under 50 degrees.

Toxicity: Non-toxic

Dypsis lutescens

Syngonium podophyllum

Arrowhead Plant

Light Requirements: An arrrowhead plant with green leaves likes low to medium indirect light. ​One with white, pink or burgundy leaves wants medium to bright indirect light.

Size: Can climb to 4ft or more. It is a climbing or trailing plant but can be kept compact through pruning in Spring.

Water: Water when soil is dry to touch.

To make it thrive: Fertilize every 2 weeks with a half diluted balanced liquid fertilizer in Spring/Summer.

Favored habitat: It likes humidity, leaf tips may turn brown if air is too dry. Keep temperatures between 60 - 75 degrees. 

Toxicity: Toxic to pets and humans

Bomeliad

Light Requirements: Bright light but do not allow long hours of direct sun.

Size: They have small root systems so they only need repotted every 4 or 5 years.

Water: A good watering every 2 weeks in Spring/Summer. Never let the soil become soggy or sit in water. The cups (the center of the plant) can be filled half full of water. Flush that water out every month or 2 to rid of any bacteria build up.

To make it thrive: Do not over fertilize! Once a year in Spring with a half diluted balanced liquid fertilizer.

Favored habitat: Likes humidity. Temperatures 60-85 degrees, no colder than 40 degrees.

Toxicity: Non-toxic.

Chlorophytum orchidastrum

Light Requirements: Low, medium indirect light. Avoid bright light and keep away from direct sunlight.

Size: Up to 2 ft tall with leaves growing up to 1 ft long.

Water: Water regularly so soil stays moist but do not saturate, it doesn't like wet feet so make sure drainage is good. 

Feeding: Fertilize every month Spring/Summer with half strength balanced liquid fertilizer.

 

Temperature/Humidity: Ideal between 60 - 80 degrees. Loves humidity.

Toxicity: Non-toxic.

Club Moss

Selaginella kraussiana

Light Requirements: Medium to bright indirect light. No direct light.

Size: Spreads but doesn't grow upright. Can prune up to half of the plant in Spring to keep desired shape.

Water: Water regularly so soil stays moist but do not saturate, it doesn't like wet feet so make sure drainage is good. 

Feeding: Fertilize every month Spring/Summer with half strength balanced liquid fertilizer.

 

Temperature/Humidity: Keep in temps between 65-75 degrees. Does not like to be too cold or too hot. Likes extra humidity, if your home is dry, mist the plant every morning or set the plant on a tray with water in pebbles. 

Toxicity: Non-toxic.

Coffea arabica

Coffee Plant

Light Requirements: Dappled light is best or put in a bright room, just no direct sun. 

Size: Can get up to 6ft tall in a big pot. Or keep it small by pruning it back every Spring - this will also promote dense, bushy growth.

Water: Water regularly so soil stays moist but do not saturate, it doesn't like wet feet so make sure drainage is good.

To make it thrive: Fertilize every 2 weeks with a diluted balanced liquid fertilizer in Spring/Summer.

Favored habitat: It likes humidity and temperatures between 65 - 75 degrees. Can handle lower temps in the Fall/Winter but will not survive a freeze.

Toxicity: Toxic to pets

Dragon Tree

Dracaena Marginata

Light Requirements: Medium indirect light. They can survive in lower light situations, but growth will slow and leaves will be smaller. Too much hot direct sun will burn the leaves.

Size: Reaches: Up to 6ft tall.

Water: Water less regularly than normal houseplants. Only water when the soil more than half way down in the pot is dry. 

To make it thrive: Fertilize once a month with a diluted balanced liquid fertilizer in Spring/Summer.

Favored habitat: Not as picky about high humidity but still appreciates it. Keep temperatures between 70 - 80 degrees. Can handle lower temps in the Fall/Winter but be careful letting it get under 50 degrees. 

Toxicity: Slightly toxic to dogs and cats.

Snake Plant or Mother in Law Tongue

Sansevieria

Light Requirements: They thrive in medium to bright indirect light, no direct light. Can handle low light too!

Size: 6 inches to 3.5 feet tall depending on variety.

Water: Do not over water! Let soil dry out before watering. Water ever 2-3 weeks.

To make it thrive: Fertilize once every 2 months in Spring and Summer.

Favored habitat: They prefer temperatures between 65 - 75 degrees. Can handle lower temps in the Fall/Winter but be careful about letting it get under 50 degrees. ​

 

Toxicity: Toxic if ingested!

 

While most plants stop producing oxygen at night, sansevierias keep creating it! While they are constantly creating oxygen they are also purifying the air! They filter benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and xylene from the air. They are super easy to grow and tough as nails!

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