By: Grace Mitchell
If your thumb is entirely devoid of green, you can keep beautiful houseplants in your home that are easy to take care of and, even better, will survive some neglect. Here is a list of our five go-to plants to make any dwelling greener:
It’s easy to see the many uses of aloe when you walk the aisles of a drug store. There are aloe gels for various ailments, but it is just as effective to take the aloe gel from the plant. If you get a minor burn, break off a leaf from the base and rub the gel on your skin. Be sure to consult a medical professional before trying this. Saving the leaf and extra gel is simple — simply place the leaf in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Care: Aloe is another plant in the succulent family, so all it really needs is a room with bright light and some water every two weeks or so.
The jade plant is sometimes referred to as the “Friendship Tree,” “Lucky Plant” or “Money Tree.” Sounds like it may be a great plant to have around, right? Jade has small pink and white flowers. And since it is in the succulent family, it needs very little water.
Care: Plan on watering once a week in the summer, and once every two weeks in the winter. If exposed to a lot of sunlight (generally, jade needs to be in a bright room), the tips of the jade plant can turn red, which causes a colorful effect.
3. Snake Plant
Commonly known as “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue,” the snake plant may be the most popular plant on the list. Its long, dense leaves add height to any space and come in a variety of beautiful shades of green.
Care: Put the snake plant in a well-lit area and water when the soil is dry to the touch. Water along the edges of the pot and avoid watering directly in the middle of the plant.
Meaning “tree lover,” philodendron plants are vines that often climb trees in their native, tropical habitat. There are many lovely varieties so you can easily choose a type that suits your style.
Care: They don’t require much water and actually prefer to get dry between waterings.
Tip: Since these vines spread so well, it’s easy to train them up a pole or trellis in your home!
5. ZZ Plant
The ZZ plant is tropical, perennial and originally comes from the eastern part of Asia. The leaves of the ZZ plant resemble the Zamia plant and are sturdy and glossy.
Care: Perhaps the easiest plant on this entire list to care for is the ZZ plant. This low- light tropical plant is happy in virtually any condition. Although it prefers at least some light, you can keep it in a fairly dark room. The ZZ plant does not like to be watered very often, and you should make sure the soil is dry before watering.
Not only are houseplants pretty to look at, studies have shown they can help reduce allergies, purify the air in your home and give any space a calming effect. With these five easy-to-maintain houseplants, you can get all of these benefits with minimal work and hassle. You may find your thumb is greener than you thought.
Grace Mitchell writes the interior design/DIY blog, A Storied Style. She is experimenting with her own green thumb and has been happily growing her own succulent garden in her entryway the last three years. Even with four children ages five and under and a home renovation, the plants have all still managed to live.