Staying connected to nature feels increasingly important as we continue to spend more time at home. Fortunately, we can welcome the natural world inside through the nourishing and restorative power of houseplants. Whether you’re looking to create your own urban jungle or simply include a few plants to elevate your décor, we’ve highlighted some of our favorite plants that aren’t of cannabis origin but are the next best picks. And remember each plant is unique and may require different care than the standard recommendations. Once you get in your plant parent groove and are in synch with your plant’s needs, you’ll devise your own plan to help them to grow and thrive.
Monstera are known for the unique holes and ridges that form on more mature leaves. As climbing plants, monsteras will grow tall if you choose to use stakes or moss poles to help vertically guide their growth. These plants do well in medium to bright indirect light but can also tolerate some lower light settings. Monsteras prefer soil that is consistently lightly moist but are sensitive to overwatering. A first sign of overwatering will be yellow leaves. And you’ll know when to give this plant a drink when the top 2 inches of the soil are dry to touch. Also, remember to occasionally rotate the monstera to help ensure even growth.
Pothos are fast growing trailing plants that can be planted in pots or grown in hanging baskets. There are a variety of different types of pothos but in general these plants do well in bright indirect light or low light. Well-drained soil helps pothos to grow as well. Plan to fully water this plant and then give it time to completely dry out. A great thing about pothos is their ability to easily propagate. Just cut off a leaf including the nearby node and place in water. Propagating your houseplants is a great way to share the plant love.
Sansevieria or snake plant is super low-maintenance and resilience. They like indirect but steady light but can do well in other lighting as well, from lower light to some direct sun settings. These plants are sensitive to root rot so overwatering can be a common mistake. To ensure your plant’s livelihood, make sure to allow the soil time to completely dry out between waterings.
Fiddle Leaf Fig continues to be a trendy plant that is fairly hardy and prefers lots of indirect light with some direct sun. These figs do best in soil that is consistently moist but not overwatered, as root rot can occur. Fiddle leafs are venerable to pests so getting in a routine of checking leaves for changes is important to keeping this plant healthy. Also, if your plant is losing leaves, it is likely a sign of not enough moisture. It’s recommended to regularly mist the plant to increase humidity.
Pilea plants thrive in bright light near a window. These plants are low-maintenance but if you see leaves starting to droop, this can be a sign that it needs water. Pileas generally do well with water once a week giving the plant time to dry out between waterings. The pilea is also easy to propagate, with the ability to create many new pups when separated from the mother plant.
Aloe loves the sun so find them a spot with bright sunlight. This desert plant does well when it is watered fully but infrequently so allow the plant 2 weeks or so between waterings. For best results, try planting the aloe in a terra-cotta pot with well-drained dirt. A cacti mix works well.
ZZ plants are very hardy and seemingly indestructible houseplants. They live best in low indirect light but can tolerate bright indirect light. Allow the soil of your ZZ plant to fully dry out between waterings. You’ll see that these plants do better when they are left alone so if you forget a round or two of watering the ZZ still be growing and look great.
Asparagus Ferns are fun fluffy looking plants with impressive speed of growth. This fern does well in lower light settings but can acclimate to brighter light. Just be sure to keep away from bright, direct sun. Asparagus ferns thrive on humidity so regularly mist this plant and consistently water. If the leaves become droopy with a brown coloring, it’s probably a sign that more water is needed. Also, a yellow tint on the fronds indicates too much light. This fern can even flower under the right conditions.
Brittany Gowan is a plant expert and founder of Pause with Plants. Centered around enhancing personal well-being and encouraging empathy and collaboration, Pause with Plants creates dynamic workshops, engaging coaching programs, and innovative brand experiences that help people to manage stress and find joy in the present moment by tapping into the universal calm of nature.