Guide to basic care of Houseplants for Beginners


If you already have houseplants in the home, you’ll know that they really do add something special to a room especially with all the use of garden supplies. With so many different types and species to choose from you can easily build an impressive collection of plants to enjoy in your home – perfect for those who live in apartments with no outdoor space.

You can read this detailed plant care guide but what we want to do is run through the basics of why growing houseplants is popular, how to care for them and we’ll also look at a few of the most popular and easy to grow plants. Let’s get started with this: why should you grow houseplants?

Why Grow Houseplants?

There are a few answers to this question, so we’ll start with the obvious: houseplants look good. They are a living thing indoors and add to the appeal of your décor. Furthermore, it is known that some types of houseplants help purify the air. While going outdoors, you might end up finding gem stones in your backyard. Every schoolchild is taught that plants take on CO2 and emit oxygen, so they are natural air filters!

The most popular US houseplants which we’ll talk about shortly are also easy to grow. However, perhaps the most interesting fact is that science has proven that having plants in the home and tending for them is – like gardening outdoors – good for our mental health. Plants are therapeutic, watching them grow and tending to them is something that gives us pleasure and makes us feel better in ourselves.

The final point is that houseplants need not be expensive. Buy small and grow carefully, and you can soon have a large indoor plant that will look impressive as well as helping you stay healthy. How do you care for a houseplant?

Are Houseplants High Maintenance?

Each species of houseplant will have a different maintenance and environment requirements, and when you buy your plants, these will be explained in a leaflet or label that comes with the plant. However, as we’re talking about the most popular plants here – which can be considered basic for new growers – the routine is quite general, and goes like this:

Unless instructions state otherwise, houseplants should be grown in a spot that does not endure direct sunlight for too long, is not of too high or too low a temperature (indeed a constant temperature is usually best) and that gets a good amount of natural light during the day. They should not be exposed to cold breezes and should be planted in a pot that leaves the roots with plenty of space to grow.

Depending on the plant watering should be kept regular but not too often as if too wet the roots will rot. Which plants should you start with? Let’s have a look.

What Type of Plants Should I Grow?

If you already have plants and are looking to add to your collection the chances are you have some of the following, so here are a few examples of the most popular and easy to grow houseplants:

  • The Fiddle Leaf Fig is instantly recognisable with its dark green attractive large leaves and grows best on a south or east facing window and requires little attention.
  • The ubiquitous Spider Plant is an air purifying variety that is perhaps simplest of all to grow and yet very attractive.
  • The beautiful Peace Lily with its white flowers is the perfect choice for rooms with low light where it will thrive if regularly watered.

That’s just a few for you to take inspiration from so why not check out your local plant store and see what you like among their collection? They’ll be happy to give you all the advice you need.

Asher Pollan
Asher Pollan, with a Master’s in Botany from the University of Chicago, has been a plant enthusiast and educator for 16 years at a university. He joined our editorial team as a freelancer, sharing his knowledge of plant physiology, indoor gardening, and botanical science. His background includes roles in public gardens, as a horticultural therapist, and researcher, and taught the skills of everyday gardening to people in weekend workshops. He enjoys botanical illustration and participates in plant conservation initiatives.

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