When we moved to Arizona and suddenly didn’t have plans to move in 6-12 months, I started getting into houseplants.
I love my backyard garden but I have to admit that my houseplants are just about my favorite thing ever. They’re so low maintenance, add some life and greenery to my house, and I never have to worry about birds or deer trying to eat them.
Every time I show one of my houseplants on Instagram or mention them in passing, I get a ton of questions about where I get them, how I take care of them, and what kinds I have.
So consider this all post more than you ever wanted to know about my houseplants.
This is my current houseplant situation:
- A fiddle leaf fig in my dining room (plus a mini fiddle leaf fig plant that I propagated from my big fiddle leaf fig)
- A birds nest fern on my entry table
- A snake plant on my bedside table
- A succulent on Bart’s bedside table
- Five succulents in my office window (one of them propagated from one of the other four succulents)
- A succulent on my desk
- A pothos plant on my mantle, in my kitchen window, and in Tally’s room
- A Philodendron Selloum on my hearth
I basically have three rules for my indoor plants and I’ve had nearly 100% success with them (I haven’t killed one in at least three years).
how to care for houseplants
- Water them once a week. My plants all get watered on Monday. I have about 15 plants on the main floor of my house and it takes me probably less than 5 minutes to water them all. I have a plastic pitcher that we bought 6 years ago for probably $2 at Target or Walmart and it’s winning no Instagram beauty contests, but it does the job so I have no complaints. I usually give each plant a squirt or two of liquid fertilizer every other week (I use this for my regular houseplants and this one for my succulents).
- Make sure they get enough sunlight. Our house gets a LOT of natural light. I don’t have any plants in the basement because it’s just not quite bright enough for most houseplants in most of the rooms. Also. . . I don’t like going up and down stairs to water. Some plants can thrive with less light and the tag or Google will usually tell you, but most indoor plants really want a lot of indirect light. So you don’t want them getting blasted by direct sunlight, but a nice bright room out of the direct beams of the sun is perfect!
- Make sure your indoor plants get good drainage. This will kill your plants faster than just about anything – plants don’t like wet feet! I always get a pot that either has holes in the bottom with a saucer or tray (like these ones) or if the plant comes pre-potted in an ugly plastic pot with drainage holes, I’ll get a pot with NO holes that I like, fill the bottom with an inch or two of small gravel and put the plastic pot inside it. I try not to overwater my plants so the bottom doesn’t fill up with too much water. Usually, the excess water in the gravel will evaporate but if it starts to build up, I’ll drain it out every month or so.
What houseplant should I start with?
In my opinion, the easiest, most gratifying houseplant on earth is a Pothos plant. I had one in Arizona that just went bananas and I currently have three that are all just thriving. I basically feel like you don’t have to do a thing except water them occasionally and they just grow like there is no tomorrow. If there is any plant to make you feel like you have a green thumb, it’s this plant.
Where to buy houseplants
Most of my plants are from Home Depot or Lowe’s. I love that they have a twelve month guarantee so if your plant dies within a year for ANY reason, they’ll give you a full refund. Their selection is always changing, so sometimes they have fantastic plants and sometimes it’s just the same old boring things.
Walmart also has surprisingly good plant deals and I try to keep an eye out whenever I go to a big Walmart. I bought my fiddle leaf fig (which was about 5 feet tall!) at Walmart last fall for $30 and a year later it’s going strong and has grown about 18 inches, plus I’ve propagated some of the clippings for new mini fiddle leaf figs.
IKEA is also a good place to grab some live plants. My snake plant on my bedside table is from IKEA last year and all three of my Pothos plants were ones I picked up there.
I’ve ordered all of my succulents through a subscription and they’ve grown so much in the past 9 months sitting in my office window. It’s so fun for these teeny baby succulents to show up in your mailbox and then really take off.
And of course, if you can, a local nursery is the best place to buy plants. My personal favorite is Sun River Gardens – they have a huge variety of plants and pots (plus a million other cool things) for good prices and I could easily buy up the whole store every time I go.
Any other questions about houseplants? Happy to share my limited knowledge!
If you liked this post about my houseplants, you might like these posts too:
- Everything about how we started our backyard garden
- The 12 Best House Updates We Made
- How to paint a room
- Our DIY open shelving
Photos by Heather Mildenstein