One of the most common questions that we’re asked here at Garden Streets is: what are the best indoor plants for beginners?
The short answer is: it depends. There is no list of plants that are going to work best for all people who are new to gardening, no matter their environment. But with a little education and a little evaluation of your space, there are often certain types of plants that fit better in some spaces better than others.
In this blog, we’re going to focus on the two biggest factors to consider with your plants: light and water. We’ll wrap up with a few examples of some indoor plants for beginners and explain why they are popular choices.
Before getting into the plants themselves, let’s go over some of the basics of plant ownership.
First of all: light is extremely important! In fact, we organize our online shop by levels of light because it’s such an important — and recognizable — factor.
Sunlight is how plants are able to generate their own energy source to survive. So, you might think that placing all your plants right in a sunny window is the best move. Not necessarily.
Each type of plant is particular with the amount and type of sunlight that it gets. Some plants thrive in constant high & bright light levels while others would struggle to survive in that same spot.
Take note of which direction the sun is in relation to the plant. For example, an easterly window will get most of the light in the morning with it slowly decreasing throughout the day.
Also pay attention to where you place the plant. For example, placing a plant one foot from the window gives it significantly more light than five feet or even two feet away.
Before choosing a plant, we recommend choosing the spot where the plant will be positioned, as this will help you narrow down what plant types will be able to thrive in that light level.
We’ve found that the #1 reason that houseplants die is from overwatering.
Our advice is to water sparingly but deeply.
Watering deeply ensures that the water reaches as much of the plant’s root system as possible. The amount of water that you give a plant depends more on the pot than it does on the plant itself: larger pots mean larger root systems, which means more water. Smaller pots mean smaller root systems, which means less water.
The frequency of watering is a function of the plant you choose.
As you start watering your plant, also keep an eye out for any leaf tips that are turning brown. This could be a sign that there is too much fluoride in your water for your plant. Rain water and filtered water works best in these cases.
Do your research on the plant you pick out for the ideal watering frequency.
want more plant care help?
check out our general plant care guide for more information.
indoor plants for beginners
Like we mentioned earlier, it’s a good idea for beginners to choose their plants based on the light levels in the spot where your new plant will live. This helps you narrow down your options and makes it easier to choose options that will thrive easily in your space.
DEVIL’S IVY (POTHOS)
Devil’s Ivy, also called Pothos, is a great beginner plant for a range of light levels, usually preferring low, medium, or bright light levels without sitting in direct sunlight. It only needs a half cup of water every 7-10 days, making it pretty durable and easy to care for.
This plant also looks lush and verdure with beautiful wide green leaves. We call this one “The Survivalist” because of its low-maintenance needs, ease of propagation, and its versatility in many environments.
Check out our blog post on pothos to learn more.
SNAKE PLANT (SANSEVIERIA)
The Snake Plant (Sansevieria) is a hardy succulent that does well in either low or medium light levels. This plant does not do well in high or bright light.
With tough and strong leaves that hold water, this plant can also thrive with infrequent watering of about a half cup every two weeks. This is an awesome office desk plant; it won’t grow too big and it can be situated on a desk away from sunlight.
Be careful, though: this plant can be mildly poisonous to dogs and cats.
JADE PLANT (CRASSULA OVATA)
Last, but certainly not least, is Crassula ovata aka the Jade Plant. Not only are these plants easy to grow, but they’re also thought to be a symbol of good health & luck! What’s interesting about the Jade Plant is that it’s actually a small tree, not a bush like it appears to be.
These plants do well in both bright and very bright light. They only need to be watered once every 10-14 days thanks to their thick and rounded leaves that store water and nutrients.
Like Devil’s Ivy, Jade is also easy to propagate and is one of the lowest maintenance plants in our online store.
which plant will you choose?
While there are plenty of plants to choose from, we hope this gives you a place to start with some of our favorite indoor plants for beginners.
We also have a number of other options available for purchase with descriptions that give you guidance on light levels, watering frequency, and the ease of care level for each plant we sell. We also send out personalized reminders via text to help you grow your new plants successfully.