FYI: Indoor House Plants

January 22, 2014

I have been asked a couple (read tons) of times what my fave indoor plants to use are. This is tricky because I love greenery in a room but have a big fat black thumb and have been responsible for sending a good number of plants to an early grave.

Look, its really not that difficult to brutally murder a houseplant. More often than not, I hear of peeps committing houseplant homicide, and rarely can a client (or me) make them last for any length of time. Its tough to remember what I need to do to take care of myself let alone remember what my damn houseplant plant requires. How much water, how much light, what temperature they prefer, what kind of music they like, how they take there tea in the afternoon……Ugh,  Its just to much responsibility and its a little ridiculous.

Luckily, I have killed enough in my day to figure out what species are super difficult to care for and which plants will survive even the murderiest of murderers. If I can make them survive, ANYONE can.

Here is my top 6 list of houseplants I use on the reg….


No:1- Rubber Tree

I love the way the dark leaves look on this plant. Technically these can grown into trees, but if you keep them trimmed they will stay small and bushy. Apparently they get larger with age, so this sucker will grow into a nice size relatively quick.

Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light; 60-80 degrees. Allow the soil surface to dry between waterings

Size: To 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide

FYI: The milky white sap may cause irritation to people with sensitive skin.

No:2- Zee Zee plant

OK, no joke I have had like 3 of these that have survived major neglect and a move and are not even fazed. They are a good-looking plant, and get massive if you cut back the leaves, but they take their time and grow slow. If you want a perfect little bookshelf plant that you can forget about and totally ignore, this is what I suggest. I double dog dare you to try to kill it…Basically its the terminator of house plants.

Growing Conditions: Low to bright light; 60-75 degrees. Allow the soil to dry between waterings

Size: 2-3 feet tall and wide

FYI: This plant is poisonous if eaten or chewed on by children or pets so keep put of their reach.

No: 3- Split Leaf Philodendron

I love the sculptural but organic quality of this plant. It looks like it’s a big deal, but its such an easy little dude to maintain. I have one in a basket on the floor in my dark ass dining room. He chills just fine, and I have yet to murder him.

Growing Conditions: Medium to bright, but out of direct sun.  Bright, filtered light is best.  Plants in lower light tend to produce smaller leaves without splits or holes. Allow the soil to dry between waterings.

Size: 4-6 feet tall and wide

No:4- Guiana Chestnut “Money Tree”

I bought a money tree when we first remodeled the kitchen in our last house. That was three years ago and this dude is still going strong. They are apparently a sign of good fortune and prosperity soooo I am pretty sure the plant is the reason I have a Martha Stewart sized empire and a solid gold toilet…. I am just sayin’.  Yes they may be impossibly hard to slay,and No I do not have a Downton Abbey or a Butler, but still, I like to think the tree will eventually live up to its reputation and provide me with such wealth. Treat yo’ self to a money tree and maybe it will make it rain for you and yours.

Growing Conditions: Indirect light or low light. If the plant begins to yellow or wither, it needs more light. Water every seven to 10 days

Size: 4-6 feet tall and wide

No:5- Snake Plant

This plant tolerates neglect extremely well. If your only success with house plants has been with the plastic variety, give the “snake plant” a try. These sculptural friends can kick it in low light but prefer the brighter conditions. Chill on the watering because they can get root rot (which will kill most plants FYI)

Growing Conditions: Low to bright light; 60-85 degrees. Allow the soil surface to dry between waterings

Size: To 4 feet tall and wide

No:6 – Succulents

Succulents are where its at for 2 reasons: they are gorge and super hard to kill.  You can ignore them for a month plus and they will look the same as the day you brought them home. They look awesome as a centerpiece, or they are supes cutes as a bookshelf plant. PLUS its No Big Deal if you leave on a vacation and forget to ask a friend to water your plants. They were around when the dinos roamed the earth, and last time I checked…dinos didn’t have friends, or take vacations.  What am I talking about?

Growing Conditions: Succulents prefer bright light. Allow the soil surface to dry between waterings. Don’t overwater cause you’ll get gnats and root rot.

Size: Depends on the plant species, but typically the indoor variety are pretty small.

Happy Hump Day Lovers.

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  2. thanks for including so much info without writing an essay. It’s so hard to find the size that these plants get to. you rock.

  3. Found this post via Pinterest!
    My mom had (has?) a split leaf philo, and it certainly survived some, re, erratic care. As kids my sister and I got the job of keeping the houseplants watered. Sometimes that meant not watering, other times that meant watering rather frequently. My only caveat to the philo would be that its roots can get a bit crazy – perhaps it was because my mom’s had been around so long as was perhaps root bound, during one better-than-average span of watering a couple of roots (which usually just spiraled around the upper inside of the pot) shot out and grew to the floor – at least 12″, probably more – and adhered themselves to the hardwood floor. Left a mark when we took notice and finally pulled them back into the pot!
    If you can find one, I also suggest trying a Ti plant (native to Hawaii, seen them growing in outdoor gardens there), my mom has one she got as a gift and I holds up well to the erratic care.
    Also most dracaenas are fairly easy care, we managed to get a larger one ~9ft tall to bloom one year (bad idea, attracted ants!), and the red-margin types are rather pretty.

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