Plants bring us better air quality, beauty, and a sense of purpose in our daily routines. Maybe you’ve considered growing plants of your own, but are convinced that you’ll have to spend hours tilling the soil, fertilizing, and pruning. That’s not always the case! Whether you want to add some green to your living room’s décor or have an itch to start your own garden, here are the best plants for green-thumb beginners.
Spider plants are one of the most popular choices for house plants, and it’s easy to see why! They are hardy plants, not picky when it comes to temperature, sunlight, or water, and are most often seen in hanging baskets. A mature plant will quickly grow to be 2-2 ½ feet wide, but never fear! Spider plants are easily split and repotted into separate baskets or planters.
Snake Plant / Mother-in-Law’s Tongue
Mother-in-Law’s Tongue and Snake Plants are two varieties of sansevieria that look just slightly different but are equally simple to care for. Snake plants have long, green leaves with lighter green bands, and Mother-in-Law’s Tongue has yellow bands on its leaves.
Both varieties prefer lots of sunlight but won’t complain if there’s a bit of shade. Don’t worry if you forget to water them for a day or two; they actually thrive on a drier soil! By that same token, they should not be over-watered, so check the ground with your finger to see if there is still moisture left before watering again.
Cacti & Succulents
Succulents have gained recent popularity – partially because they’re adorable little plants but mostly because they are so tolerant! Most succulents are desert plants, so they require very little water to thrive in their environment. Many succulents will either have spines or smooth, fleshy leaves. Popular choices of succulents include aloe and agave plants, both of which have many benefits!
Cacti are also desert plants, but unlike succulents, they all have some degree of spines. Different cacti varieties have an array of leaf structures, like the classic columns, paddles, and barrels.
Cacti and succulents honestly thrive in neglectful conditions. They grow slowly and can be left in the harsh sun. They don’t need much water and will do best in well-drained pots to keep moisture from building up in the soil. If you need a plant that can withstand days of being ignored, succulents and cacti may be the best choice for you!
Maybe you’d like a houseplant with a little more bloom, but not nearly as much maintenance as other flowers. The Moth Orchid is the best of both worlds! They’re low-maintenance, and the blooming flowers will last up to four months once they blossom.
Rather than being potted in soil, Moth Orchids prefer sphagnum moss, fir bark, or clay pellets. This is the orchid’s sensitivity to over-watering – use the finger test before you water it again! Moth Orchids do best in indirect sunlight, so just be mindful of any windows near its pot. Suppose there is a problem with the orchid (whether too much sun or water). In that case, you will see symptoms immediately in the form of wilting leaves, droopy petals, or a change in the leaves’ color.
Marigolds are an excellent first step for gardening, but you’ll probably love it so much that you’ll keep it around! This annual garden flower can tolerate a vast range of conditions, so long as it receives a decent amount of sunlight. They don’t require fertilizer to thrive and will do well in both dry and moist soils. Aim to water your marigolds once a week with a substantial amount of water, or twice a week with a moderate amount of water. As a bonus, marigolds keep mosquitoes and other pests away from the rest of your garden – and you!
While your Marigolds are hard at work repelling destructive bugs, Sunflowers will be attracting the right ones. These gorgeous blooms attract bees, which, in turn, benefits the rest of your garden plants with added pollination. There are over 70 varieties of Sunflowers, so you will never be bored with the colors available and can easily find the type that works best for your garden.
Sunflowers are very tolerant of heat and sunlight – they thrive on it. However, they do need hefty doses of water. Once a sunflower is fully grown, you can get away with watering it one time per week. Still, you will need to water it heavily with gallons upon gallons of water.
Morning Glories are especially useful if you have a bare patch in your garden or side yard that needs a facelift. They make an excellent ground cover and can even grow up the sides of a fence or trellis for added charm!
Morning glories prefer decent sunlight with a little bit of shade. They do well in moist soil that is well-drained but can withstand plenty of challenging conditions. They will get all the water they need from rain and morning dew, but if you’re going through a dry spell or a heatwave, check the soil every 2-3 days. You may need to water them once or twice per week if there hasn’t been much rain.
This low-maintenance flower is a perennial that is also an excellent choice for filling a lot of space in your garden. If you’re not careful, it can fill your garden a little too much! Be sure to divide the plant once it is fully grown and space the separate pieces 2-3 feet apart.
Before planting new Shasta Daisies, it’s best to prep the soil with fertilizer. While this is a bit more legwork, it’s work that will pay off in dividends in the beginning. Once they’re full-grown, Shasta Daisies like to have lots of sunlight and very little water. They’re also very drought-friendly and can withstand quite a few days of no rain. If you do water your Shasta Daisies, be very careful not to over-water them – they rot very quickly if the soil gets too moist.