A house just isn’t a home without a houseplant. Aside from the multitude of benefits to be gained — air purifier, oxygen booster, mood booster — houseplants add an element of style to your decor that can’t be mimicked with furniture. There is something about the delicate demeanor of a lacy leaf overarching from its container, or the way a tropical plant immediately takes you to the islands. My houseplants help me stay in touch with the natural world – even in the depths of an Alberta deep-freeze.
That being said, it can be overwhelming to walk into a packed garden centre and select the perfect plant for you and your home. I’ve highlighted my top ten favorite houseplant families to get you started.
Most houseplants you see today have been around for years. It’s only recently that some particular varieties have caught the eye of the masses, and for good reason. These trendy plants add a lot of eclectic character to your decor scheme.
While the name is hard to pronounce, Aglaonemas are super easy to care for. As a plus, Aglaonemas clean the air for you, flushing out the toxins and oxygenating your surroundings. Low light, medium light or bright, indirect light – almost anywhere you’d like to place them, they’ll flourish. Oh, and you can call them Chinese Evergreens if you prefer. That’s their stage name.
Talk about a plant that’ll sit in the corner, not say a peep, tolerate the most intolerable conditions and still love you like the dog does when you come home from work. ZZ is the perfect plant to kickstart your urban jungle. Its upright branching habit opens to display sleek, glossy dark-green leaves.
The family of bromeliads is vast! The variety of tropical foliage and flower combos are sometimes overwhelming, but their maintenance is most certainly not. Extra bonus: The blooms last a long time. Really long. With bright, indirect light shining down on them, they’ll find their happy place in your house.
Probably one of the most sought-after plants on the market today, varieties of pilea are considered the pass-along-plant or Chinese Money plant which might have spurred their celebrity status. The round leaves that arch their way outward from the base give an impression of a silver dollar being gently placed in your hand. Pileas prefer brighter light to thrive and send a wealth of good omens your way.
Grandma’s favourites are now our favourites. They say green thumbs skip a generation and that may be so, but for the most part, these treasured plants are being passed down as heirlooms.
Ironically, pothos have been a hot-topic plant for their inability to die. Their genealogy spans for decades as each plant was lovingly propagated from your grandma’s grandma’s day. I think its recent surge in popularity has come along with the pothos’ new reputation as a trailing plant versus the upright, pole-hugging plant of yesterday.
A name is just a name, right? In this case, it says EVERYTHING about this plant. The overarching growth habit of the Spider Plant resembles a spider – right down to its lil baby starter plants that spring off the mother plant! Typically found in variegation form, the Spider Plant prefers low to medium light and minimal watering. And it does NOT attract spiders!
Another one for the ages, the Rubber Plant is actually part of the Ficus family (think Fiddle-Leaf fig) but it’s more like the black sheep of the family. Its ultra-dark green, almost black, waxy leaves make a bold statement in any room. It’s less finicky than other fig varieties as its thick leaves are more tolerant of temperature fluctuations. Yet, bright, indirect light is best for the Rubber Plant to rise to the ceiling of your space.
Sansevieria or Snake Plant
While the Spider Plant’s name is understandable, “Snake Plant” is tough to correlate to the plant’s habits. Same thought could be applied to its other name: Mother-in-Law’s Tongue. Regardless of its name, you can rest assured the plant doesn’t come with any imposing needs or a penchant for attracting reptiles. The Sansevieria’s strict, upright habit is striking – especially in varieties with contrasting, coloured edges. And it’s another “sit still, look pretty” type of plant that requires little maintenance, care, or light. Sansevieria is just happy to be here, wherever “here” may be.
Most often known for being a remembrance piece following a family tragedy, the Peace Lily’s reputation is cluttered with mixed feelings. Truth be told, its peaceful and easy-going personality is everything one would desire from a plant. The Peace Lily never expects much, lets you know when she needs water, and tolerates some of the darkest spaces within a home.
While these are just a few of the options available these days, these houseplants would be a perfect fit for plant parents of any skill level – from “˜experienced houseplant masters’ to “˜serial plant killers’. Go on, fill your home with them. Trust me; you can never have too many.