If you’ve been around the Mix & Match blog for awhile, you know that I have a soft spot for indoor plants. Anybody with me on that? They’re my not-so-secret weapon when it comes to decorating. I’ve written several blog posts about houseplants, planters, and the benefits of having them in your home over the years, and I thought it might be a good idea to put them all in one place! I also wanted to pass along my shortlist of easy-care plants and a few sources where you can purchase them online if you don’t have a great nursery or greenhouse nearby.
Hopefully this little guide to indoor plants will be helpful if you’re looking for ways to incorporate them into your own house!
Decorating with plants
Let’s start with some basics. First of all, why plants? Well, I personally think they’re a super easy way to add life and a little bit of whimsy to a space. They bring in personality and that little bit of “unkemptness” that a room needs (in my humble opinion!). They have a similar effect that flowers have on a space, but they last way longer!
The key is to find the ones that will not only survive, but thrive in your particular room’s conditions. Matching the plant to the type of light you have, as well as your “skill” level is crucial. If you travel a lot, for example, a high-maintenance plant like a maidenhair fern or fiddle leaf fig may not be a good fit, but a pothos or philodendron might. If I had to guess, I’d say most of us are probably on the hunt for easy, low-maintenance plants, and I’ve got a few favorites that I’ll talk about in a minute.
Looking for a primer on what kinds of plants to use in general in your home and where? Be sure to head over to this post I wrote about decorating with plants way back in 2016. The information I included in there is a great starting point. Whether you’re looking for a statement plant or a small dash of greenery for a bookshelf, this short and simple guide will get you going.
If you need more inspiration, I’ve also got a Pinterest board devoted some great examples of decorating your home with plants and other resources!
My favorite easy-care houseplants
Once you’ve decided you’re ready to bring a plant (or five) into your home, the next question then is what plant do you want?
This can be a tricky one to answer because it depends so much on how much light your room gets, when and how long that light lasts for, and how much maintenance you want to keep up with. As someone who lives in a house with fairly low light and has what I’d call “moderate” plant mom skills, I’ve had to go on a journey over the past several years to figure out what works best. I’ve killed a few along the way, but the following is a list of plants that I’ve found to be pretty easy to care for:
Pothos: You see these leggy plants everywhere, and for good reason. They can survive with just a little watering when they start to droop and do quite well in low light. They also come in a lot of varieties so you can change up the look with several different kinds in your home that have different styles of leaves. Pearls and jade, neon, and silver satin are three of my favorites.
Philodendron: Many of the varieties look similar to pothos, but they have more distinctively heart-shaped leaves. They also do well in low light. Green, silver, and lemon-lime are pretty ones. Another variety of philodendron is the lovely Monstera - it’s taller and looks totally different than the others, but it’s a great one if you need a larger plant. I don’t have personal experience with this guy, but from what I hear, if you have the right light (medium to low, indirect light), it’s low-maintenance.
Snake plant: Also called “mother-in-law’s tongue,” this plant can do well even in corners with little light and adds a really cool sculptural element. It requires little water and is a slow grower, so you won’t need to repot it for a long time.
ZZ plant: This is one of my very favorites! It has the most beautiful, waxy-looking leaves that grow out of thick shoots. I’ve had one for a few years now and it seems to sprout several new shoots (all at the same time) about once a year. It also tolerates low light well. Simply water when the soil is dry and you’re good to go. The key to this one is not to over-water it!
Prayer plant (Maranta): The leaves on these are absolutely beautiful. I’ve found this one to be slightly trickier than the others in my house, but I think that’s mostly user error. It was doing really well in my office, and then I moved it to another room and it got fussy. Leaves started to yellow and/or dry out at the ends, and it became leggy. I’m slowly nursing it back to health, but I think the key is regular watering and bright, indirect light.
Where to buy indoor plants
Ideally, you’d find your plants locally at a nursery or greenhouse. That way, you can see and feel the plant, and select the exact one you want. (P.S. if you live in Philadelphia, one of my very favorite places is Vault + Vine - they have the best selection, and it’s also an adorable gift and coffee shop!) Even big box stores like Home Depot, IKEA, and your local grocery store can have a good variety.
If you don’t have a good local spot, you can buy plants online! The Sill* is one of my favorites - you can purchase just a plant or one with a planter, and they have a fantastic variety. I’ve also had really good luck with Amazon (amazingly!), and even wrote up a whole guide about it. Plants also make a great gift - buying one online makes it really easy!
Give your plant a home with a pot or planter
The final piece to becoming a plant parent is to give it a home. Planters and pots are the finishing touch for your houseplant, and there are a ton of good ones out there.
To give you a head start, be sure to take a look at my roundup of 12 modern planters and how to choose the right one for your plant. If modern and minimal is the look you’re going for, take a spin through one of my favorite small shops: Convivial Production. I’m now the proud owner of three planters from this lovely company that’s based out in Kansas City and I absolutely adore them. You can also read my interview with founder Chentell Shannon if you’d like to hear more about this company and their distinctive style.
Another place I’d look right now is Target. They’re killing it with their planter and pot game - particularly with their house brands like Project 62 and Threshold. Take a look here.
That wraps up my little indoor plant chat today! Now tell me, are you a proud houseplant owner? Wanna be? What are your favorite ones?
*This post contains affiliate links, which means Mix & Match Design Company earns a small commission from your purchase at no cost to you.