August is here, and school is right around the corner! As you’re getting ready for school, consider getting a houseplant to brighten up your space. Taking care of houseplants has shown to reduce stress, as well as having something green and growing makes any space feel homier and help liven up the dullest of dorms. We’ve taken the time to pick out some of our favorite, easy care, light-flexible plants that are sure to brighten up your space!
The Big Three Trio
The Big Three – Pothos (Epipremnum arum), ZZ (Zamia zamiifolia), and Snake Plants (Dracaena trifasciata, formerly Sansevieria trifasciata)
These three plants are all perfect for the busy student. They all thrive in bright-indirect light, but tolerate low-light and fluorescent light really well. During the growing season, water pothos thoroughly about once a week but ZZ’s and snake plants once every seven to fourteen days. In the winter, these three will go dormant and their growth will slow and they’ll only need water once every two weeks to a month.
Trendy Houseplants – Monstera deliciosa and “Monstera Ginny” (Rhaphidophora tetrasperma)
These beautiful houseplants are known for the holes they get in their leaves called fenestrations! These holes and cuts develop naturally over time and give off a very tropical feel. The Rhaphidophora prefers more of a bright indirect light, but the Monstera deliciosa can tolerate bright-low indirect light. The more light you have, the more fenestrations you’ll see! For both of these, let them dry out in between waterings. During their growing season, about once a week, and during the winter, about every two weeks.
Cousin’s of the Pothos – Philodendrons
There are several varieties of philodendrons on the market! Similar to their cousins, the Pothos, they require little attention, and most can tolerate similar lighting and water conditions. I’ve personally found that most trailing varieties will maintain patterns, even in low light conditions (unlike pothos), but that most upright varieties want more bright indirect light to keep any patterns or coloring.
Tall Statement Plant – Dracaena
Dracaenas come in several colors, shapes, and sizes, but are favored for their easy care and height! These plants prefer medium to bright indirect light, but can tolerate lower light conditions. Let them dry out most of the way in between waterings, but not all the way; water about once every 10-14 days, and in the winter about once every 3-4 weeks.
Bird’s Nest Fern
A Classic – The Birds’ Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus)
If ferns are something you’re interested in, this is one of the easiest ferns to start with. Birds’ nest ferns are happy in low light. They can dry out about half-way in between waterings during the growing season; check it once every one to two weeks. In the winter, water less frequently but make sure it doesn’t sit too dry for too long. Make sure you don’t water in the center of the plant, but around the base.
A Personal Favorite I Wish I Had in College – Dieffenbachia!
These plants are absolutely gorgeous, they can be fast growers, they can get tall with time, and there are so many cool, different varieties! They do like bright indirect light, and they are toxic, so be careful. During the growing season, thoroughly water Dieffenbachia about once a week, and during the winter reduce watering to about once every two weeks.
Easy, Trendy, and the Options are Endless – Air Plants! (Tillandsia)
These plants are perfect for the busy student! You don’t have to worry about soil or watering frequency. All you do to care for air plants is keep them in bright indirect light and dunk them in a bowl of water for thirty minutes once a week! In the winter they might want an extra soak (with the heater on, they’ll dry out quicker), so keep an eye out for brown tips.
If You Have a Bright Window – Succulents and Cacti!
Talk about easy! As long as you’ve got lots of light, succulents and cacti can be happily ignored (to an extent). Let them dry all the way out before watering them, make sure they’re in a container with a drainage hole, and for some of the finikier succulents (ahem, string of pearls) try bottom watering! Just get a plastic tray, fill it with water, and set your pot in it for 30 minutes. Easy peasy.
We hope that this guide will help you in finding the perfect houseplant for your space. We do our best to keep our house plants regularly in stock, so stop by anytime and we at Cantrell Gardens will be happy to help you find what you’re looking for! Remember to check back once a month for more helpful blogs, and give us a call with any questions or concerns!