When I got my first set of plants which consisted of a rubber plant, an aloe vera, a succulent, and some herbs, I researched every single individual plant and wrote down their care instructions. I just wrote down the basics like how much water they needed and what type of sunlight they preferred. It didn’t take long for me to forget about the little cheat sheet because I started to just pay attention to how the plants responded. I still kept those tips in mind, but the best way to get your green thumb is by observing how your plants react.
I am a beginner plant parent, so I figured I would give other beginner plant parents an idea of which plants to get if they are just now learning about your green thumb. These 5 plants have been pretty easy to maintain and are very fun to watch grow.
Croton Plant aka Codiaeum variegatum
This beautiful, colorful plant is the Croton plant, and it is very dramatic but loveable. Considering that this plant comes from a tropical climate, it loves humidity. You will notice right away if you forget to water it because the leaves will deflate and flatten out. As soon as it quenches its thirst, the leaves will perk back up. Even though crotons love moisture, be sure not to overwater them so be sure to check when the soil is dry. I’ve noticed that my plant gets pretty dry after 3 days, and I keep it in bright, indirect sunlight.
The leaves can get a bit dusty if you have them in an environment that gets dry easily, so be sure to carefully wipe them. These beautiful darlings grow quite fast when properly taken care of.
Rubber Plant aka Ficus elastica
The rubber plant is one that I’ve consistently heard of as an easy plant to take care of and a perfect one for beginners. After having my rubber plant for almost a year, I am very proud of its growth. I really need to report it since it has grown so much. I ordered a pot from Anthropologie so it will have a new wardrobe to grow into. The leaves of a rubber tree collect a lot of dust like the Croton plant, so it’s also a good idea to wipe the leaves down every now and then. They usually like to be watered about once a week.
Rubber plants don’t require water as often as croton plants from what I noticed. Like most plants, you should wait till the soil dries out before watering again. I try to keep my plant near a window for easy access to indirect, bright light but not close because it’s very easy for the leaves to get a little too much heat love. I do have a slight problem with some of my leaves falling off every now and then so I need to figure out what’s going on there. One indicating factor that this plant gives besides leaves falling off, is the bottom leaves will start to droop if they have a problem, so be sure to tend to them quickly so they can pop back up.
Aloe Vera aka Aloe barbadensis miller
Aloe vera is every beauty guru’s favorite plant. I want to make something out of the gel, like hair gel but not hair gel at the same time. Not only are they good to use for beauty, hair, and household needs, but aloe vera plants are also no trouble to take care of. Like the first two mentioned plants, aloe vera does well in indirect sunlight. I’ve noticed that when it gets a little too much sunlight, the stems start to burn. I admit I had to cut a few stems off my plant because of this. These don’t have to be watered as often since you want to make sure the soil is completely dry before giving it a drink but don’t forget about it. Aloe gets thirsty too.
I need to add some sandy mixture into my potting soil, as that is what these plants prefer. Your plants will tell you what they need, you just got to listen. Besides, I love versatile plants so I have to make sure they are doing good.
Pothos aka Epipremnum aureum
Pothos is the number one beginner-friendly houseplant. These plants are widely recommended because they are so chill and just go with the flow. They can thrive in a variety of environments. Mines usually hang out in indirect but bright sunlight with their fellow plant friends. I usually keep it a little more off to the side than the others. On the other hand, just like with all other plants, pothos has its dislikes too. It doesn’t like direct bright light so keep that in mind.
Another amazing quality of the pothos plant is that it can grow in soil or water. The one I have is growing in soil and I water it when I notice that the soil is dry. The top layer usually dries out in four to five days. One thing that I find really interesting is how it grows. They can grow pretty long, providing a nice hanging feature, but mines are growing horizontally out which is interesting. I can 100% say that a pothos is a perfect starting plant for when you are trying to figure out how to work your green thumb.
Corn Plant aka Dracaenae fragrans
The corn plant is the biggest plant I have. I figured out after repotting it that there were two plants in the one-pot I purchased so you can imagine how difficult it was to get them out. The roots had grown through the plastic pot, so be sure to have a big enough pot for your plants to grow in because they can grow fast. Another great thing about this plant is that it cleans the air. Rubber plants and pothos also clean the air.
You may be noticing a theme here with these plants. The corn plant also likes bright, indirect light, but it thrives in low light as well. Direct sunlight will burn the leaves. I have a few burned leaves that I need to trim. I’ve moved mines further away from the window, but it still has access to the sunlight. These plants also like to be watered when the top layer of soil is dry.
Looking For A Challenge?
Now this plant right here, I don’t have it anymore. I was tricked by its pretty and unique-looking leaves. I’ll admit that it’s kind of my fault since I didn’t really look into whether it was a high-maintenance plant or not. It may not be, but it sure was when I had it. I know I said the Croton plants can be dramatic, but the calathea is a full-blown drama queen. You have to find the right balance of water and sunlight to keep these plants happy. If we are being honest, they are kind of indecisive.
According to The Sill, Calathea plants like medium to bright indirect sunlight but they can also do well in low light. They like to be watered every 1-2 weeks, and they do well in humidity. My plant didn’t like any of this but if you are up for the challenge, I say go for a Calathea.
What kind of plants do you have? Have you found that some are easier to take care of than others? Share in the comments with fellow plant lovers!