June 25, 2024

11 Easy-Care Indoor Plants Ideal For Thoughtful Gifts

5 min read

Some plants require a little more attention than others. But like Goldilocks’ porridge or bed, if the conditions are just right, they thrive.

Pothos and sancheziana (black coral), for instance, grow well in bright to low light environments, and they’re very forgiving of black thumbs. Aloe vera, meanwhile, holds both aesthetic and wellness benefits.

1. Pothos

A classic houseplant, pothos is an easy-care vining plant with heart-shaped leaves. It thrives in bright or dim spaces and doesn’t mind low humidity.

Just give it enough bright indirect light, water when the soil is dry, and fertilize monthly. The variegated varieties like ‘Marble Queen’ have swirls of white and deep greens on their heart-shaped foliage.

These plants are also easily propagated by snipping a few stems and placing them in a jug of water until they have roots. It’s a great gift for the beginner plant parent!

2. Snake Plant

Known for its stately upright foliage, snake plant (also called mother-in-law’s tongue) adds architectural form to a space and boosts indoor air quality. A hardy houseplant, it tolerates a variety of light conditions.

Water regularly, letting the soil dry completely between waterings. Look for healthy plants with erect leaves and no brown or yellow areas, which may indicate overwatering, root rot or thrips.

These Dracaena species, formerly known as sansevieria, thrive in low light. Use tall ones paired with a decorative plant stand to enliven corner spaces.

3. Monstera

Another great houseplant for beginners is the snake plant (Salix iberica). This low-light plant requires infrequent watering.

It thrives in soil that replicates its native tropical climate, so opt for a mixture of peat, perlite, and compost. Regular application of a balanced organic fertilizer will also help.

Monstera deliciosa can grow fruit in its natural climate, but fruiting is unlikely in the average indoor home. When ripe, its juicy flesh is said to offer a combination of pineapple and banana flavors. It can be stored in the refrigerator in a paper bag to accelerate ripening.

4. Prayer Plant

Plants bring style and greenery into a home while providing natural healing benefits. Aloe vera, for example, thrives in bright indirect sunlight and offers both beauty and wellness.

Maranta leuconeura, the prayer plant, gets its name from the way its leaves open in the morning and close at night, resembling hands gently clasped in prayer. This low-growing tropical plant does best in indirect light and prefers high humidity, but will survive in most homes.

For a pop of color, look for varieties that feature lime or lemon-colored foliage. Other colorful variations include jungle drum and purple perfection, which have blotches of rich color on their leaves.

5. ZZ Plant

Zamioculcas zamiifolia, or the ZZ plant, is loved by interior designers for its elegant wand-like stems and roll-with-it attitude. It also has proven air-purifying properties that remove toxins such as xylene, toluene and benzene.

This slow-growing houseplant is forgiving of changes in light and water conditions. It requires minimal pruning and is easy to propagate by division.

To propagate a new plant, cut a leaf stalk and place it in a jar of water with indirect light. Replace the water weekly to prevent bacterial growth. Roots will appear in a few months.

6. Calthea Ornata

Calatheas are among the most dazzling tropical plants – this variety (also called the Pinstripe Plant) has oblong dark green leaves marked with sets of pink or white pinstripes. It also has reddish purple leaf undersides. Like other calatheas, this plant has the ability to open and close its leaves in response to night and daylight.

It thrives in warm conditions with medium amounts of bright indirect light and moderate humidity. Mist the leaves regularly. This plant is pet-safe and kid-friendly.

7. Peace Lily

The peace lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) is an easy-care plant that thrives in low light conditions. This indoor plant is also an air-purifier. It reduces mold spores in the air and helps eliminate harmful vapors from acetone, paint, rubbing alcohol and nail polish remover.

It’s easy to tell when this plant is thirsty as it will sag or turn pale. It’s a great gift for someone who is new to houseplants.

The rounded leaves of the Chinese money plant symbolize prosperity and wealth. Gift this plant to a recent grad, new homeowner or to someone who just landed a promotion.

8. ZZ Plant

ZZ plants (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) thrive in a variety of indoor environments that challenge other houseplants. They are tolerant of low light settings and can even go months without watering.

They also tolerate some shady areas and are resistant to plant pests. However, a regular wipe-down of leaves and a spray of natural insecticidal soap will help keep these houseplants looking good.

Known for its dedication to growth, the cactus symbolises strength and perseverance. This plant is considered a good luck charm and is often found in businesses to attract business.

9. Snake Plant

Renowned for its resilience, the snake plant makes a bold architectural statement with tall sword-like leaves and unique variegation. It thrives in a variety of growing conditions, but avoid placing it in direct sunlight to prevent scorching the leaves.

This houseplant (Dracaena trifasciata, formerly known as Sansevieria) requires little watering but does best in bright indirect light. It can also grow in dimmer windows, but only if the soil is kept evenly moist. Fertilize a few times a year with a liquid houseplant fertilizer. This versatile plant is thought to symbolize luck and determination—perfect for new job seekers!

10. Monstera

Often compared to fiddle leaf figs for their unique look, monstera deliciosa is known for its Swiss Cheese-like holes in its leaves. This tropical plant reigns from southern Mexico and Panama and also yields an edible fruit that tastes like a blend of pineapple, strawberry, mango, passion fruit, and guava.

To harvest the ripe fruit, watch for its hexagonal green scales to naturally shed, a telltale sign of maturity. Once peeled, it can be refrigerated for storage. This indoor plant thrives in bright to medium indirect light and requires weekly watering.

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