My favorite houseplants

March 20, 2012

Are you one of the C2K members who enjoys houseplants? Houseplant posts are pretty popular, I’m happy to say!

green and white box with text that reads: "Did you know? Did you know that plants relieve stress? A study published in the American Society for Horticultural Science concluded that even a small plant placed within easy viewing provided office workers with stress-reducing benefits. Learn how to care for your stress-relievers at:"

I thought it might be fun this week to make some houseplant recommendations. You know, similar to book or film recommendations, but for plant lovers. We’ve covered the care of some of these plants in blog posts, and we’ll explore others in upcoming posts. (Be sure to let me know if there’s a plant you want to know more about, and I’ll put it on the list!) 

I’m not recommending these plants because they’re easy to take care of, necessarily. Or because they do well without good light, though some of them do. These are simply the plants that most delight me!

string of pearls plant growing out of a ceramic milk pitcher

String of pearls — This plant cascades adorable little peas over the sides of the container (and my kitchen shelf). I love this plant because it’s delicate and fun. I didn’t have good luck with my first string of pearls, but I did some homework and bought another, and she’s doing just great! (You can read the C2K post and skip the rest of the homework if you want to learn to care for one!)

a zz houseplant branch and leaves against a white background

ZZ — Talk about low maintenance! I once rescued a ZZ plant from an apartment where it had been completely abandoned for several months. Incredibly, it was no worse for its neglect and isolation. That’s not to say it wouldn’t have thrived on a bit more attention. Once I brought it home and repotted and watered it, it sprouted a bevy of new leaves. A few months later, it was so big I had to repot it. It’s a striking plant, too, upright and glossy.

polka dot plant leaves of various colors

Polka dot plant — Pink dotted leaves? I’m sold. Honestly, this hasn’t been the easiest plant for me, though others seem to have no problem with it. Mine sits in a curtained south window but still reaches for the sun, determined to be leggy. I’m on a mission to make it bushier and more attractive. Because, despite its temperament, I love it. 

closeup of a birds nest fern houseplant

Bird’s Nest Fern — I like the name of this plant as well as its exuberance. It grows wild in the tropics, and you can just imagine it. My favorite thing about it, though, is watching the new leaves sprout up and unfurl. I rescued mine from a discard pile at a plant shop, and she’s rewarded me well!

purple violet plant in a small white planter

African violets — There are three beautiful African violets blooming on my desk right now, a purple, a pink, and a violet. They sit nestled next to each other and, well, bring me joy every day. I especially appreciate the beautiful, cheerful blooms mid-winter.

aerial view of a nerve plant on a green background

Nerve plant — This is a delicate plant that’s a bit of a drama queen. It does like plenty of humidity (it would be great in a terrarium) and easily sunburns. But it’s a sweet plant, too. The dark green leaves have silvery white veins (well, mine does, but you can also find varieties with red or pink veins). Don’t let it fool you into thinking it’s dead if the leaves collapse over the edge of the pot. Give it a good drink and it’ll perk right back up!

Well, choosing was harder than I thought! Really, I love all my houseplants, and I don’t mean to shun my pothos or air plants, the jade plant, asparagus fern, peace lily, aloe vera, dracaenas, calathea, rubber plant, Christmas cactus, orchid, schefflera, goldfish plant, dieffenbachia, monstera, ficus, or sansevieria. Really, I’ve never met a houseplant I didn’t like!

What are your favorite houseplants? Please share your recommendations!

Headshot photo of Karen Mary with her signature in blue ink to the right

P.S. Stop by the blog every Tuesday for the latest posts — next week we’ll learn all about washing clothes and fabrics by hand (and whether the hand wash cycle on your washing machine is actually gentle enough for hand-washables)! In the meantime, here are some posts you might want to visit this week:

Sansevieria care — How to take care of your snake plant (new post!)

What’s wrong with my houseplant?

How to repot a plant

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