Easy-to-Grow Houseplants for Beginners
Easy-to grow-houseplants are more popular than ever. Even people who have never grown plants are adding houseplants to their indoor spaces. These new houseplant growers would never call themselves “gardeners,” yet they are going crazy over indoor plants.
Why are easy-to-grow houseplants trending? Lisa Eldred Steinkopf, whose website at TheHouseplantGuru.com is a great source of information and inspiration about indoor plants, says houseplants nourish the body and the soul.
“So many studies have been done that show the benefits houseplants have in the home and the workplace,” said Steinkopf. “Plants clean the air, they make people feel happier and actually lower their blood pressure. In office environments, plants also reduce the occurrence of sick days. What more could we ask for?”
Expert Advice on Easy-to-Grow Houseplants
Lisa Eldred Steinkopf (Twitter handle: @TheHouseplantGuru) says that anyone can successfully grow houseplants. “Growing a plant successfully is simply paying attention to the needs of your plant and meeting those needs,” said Steinkopf. The two biggest factors are knowing how much light and how much water a plant needs to be healthy.
“Pay attention to the light that is available in specific rooms,” said Steinkopf. “Don’t put a plant that needs bright light or even partial sunlight in a dark room. Sometimes it’s as simple as that.”
But which specific types of easy-to-grow houseplants are best for beginners? Byron Martin and Laurelynn Martin are third-generation owners of Logee’s, a top grower and seller of tropical and indoor plants. They offered their top picks for easy-to-grow houseplants that are also beautiful and unusual. Here are their recommendations for three easy-to-grow houseplants that offer great foliage. Also included are three easy-to-grow houseplants that bloom with beautiful flowers.
Easy-to-Grow Houseplants for Foliage
“When selecting easy-to-grow houseplants, beginners will typically find the most success with foliage plants,” said Byron Martin of Logee’s. “The newest hybrids go far beyond plain green leaves, so it’s easy to get a lot of beauty and interest by selecting the right plants.”
The three plants below should work well for virtually everyone.
A fusion of green and white leaves
A great easy-to-grow houseplant for beginners is White Fusion Peacock Plant. This tropical plant is a beautiful accent in any home, apartment or office. White Fusion enjoys bright, indirect light. It can also handle partial sun.
This Calathea hybrid has attractive leaves with alternate streaks of light and dark green. The undersides of the leaves are purple, which adds even color dimension to an already impressive plant. In addition to its great foliage, White Fusion Peacock Plant is one of the best air-cleaning plants for indoor spaces. Use it to brighten up any partially sunlit window. A plant in a 4-inch pot sells for $24.95 from www.logees.com.
New begonia is named after Martha Stewart
Not everyone gets a plant named in their honor, but Martha Stewart isn’t just anyone. The maven of home and garden is a frequent visitor at Logee’s Greenhouses in Danielson, Connecticut. During one of her visits, Martha personally selected the begonia that would become her namesake.
This new begonia hybrid is a robust plant that grows well in normal indoor conditions, and it appreciates a bright eastern or western window. The elegant Begonia ‘Martha Stewart’ has deeply spiraled leaves in soft tones of tan, chartreuse and bronze, with small chocolate markings on the leaf edges. During the long days of summer, the older leaves turn a deep shade of orange-bronze. A halo of small pink flowers rises above the foliage during the winter months when color is such a welcome treat. ‘Martha Stewart’ is a compact grower that reaches 6-8 inches tall, and it fits nicely on a tabletop. Plants are available from www.logees.com.
The striking foliage of Alocasia ‘Frydek’
Alocasia ‘Frydek’ makes an outstanding potted plant for the home, apartment or office. The mature leaves are large and velvety green with tones of black. The striking white veins in the leaves make this variety a standout among easy-to-grow houseplants. The juvenile leaves appear as bright lime-green and the pale leaf stems have a purplish jagged banding which adds even more intrigue to this eye-catching species.
In the Logee’s greenhouses, Alocasia ‘Frydek’ has shown itself to be a strong grower. These plants are native to tropical areas, so they grow best in temperatures above 65 degrees. Alocasia ‘Frydek’ will grow in partial sun or shade. Let the soil dry out just a little in between waterings.
Easy-to-Grow Houseplants for Flowers
“One of the questions I get asked the most is, ‘What flowering plants make great easy-to-grow houseplants for beginners?’” said Byron Martin. “That’s because growing flowering plants indoors is more popular than ever. People want to be close to blooming plants even inside their homes.”
Here are three of his favorite flowering houseplants.
A most ‘Joyful’ new Desert Rose
Adeniums are spectacular houseplants that are native to warm arid and semi-arid regions of Asia. Known by the common name Desert Rose, these plants have been carefully hybridized over the years. The result is a wide variety of named hybrids that flower in bright colors ranging from pink to red with white highlights.
‘Joyful’ is a new Desert Rose (Adenium obesum hybrid) from India with stunning pink flowers highlighted with creamy-white petal edges and white around the throat. It’s a beautiful sight when in full bloom since the colorful flowers offset the narrow green leaves. Adeniums thrive when environmental conditions are warm and sunny. Logee’s sells ‘Joyful’ as a ready-to-bloom, one-year-old specimen for $19.95.
Purple and white flowers on Cape Primrose ‘Remembering John’
Cape Primroses (Streptocarpus hybrids) are delightful flowering plants that stay small. Because of their petite size (just 6 -12 inches tall), Cape Primroses fit nicely on windowsills and tabletops. They like bright light and can handle some partial sun.
The blossoms on Cape Primrose ‘Remembering John’ are delightful mix of purple, dark blue and white. There’s deep purple veining in the throat of each blossom and the undersides are white. Like most Cape Primroses, ‘Remembering John’ is easy-to-grow and perfect for beginners who have never grown a flowering houseplant before. ‘Remembering John’ will flower well on a partially sunlit window or even under fluorescent lighting. Streptocarpus hybrids like to be pot bound, so this plant can remain in a 4-inch pot for years. Plants sell for $11.95 from Logees.com.
Brighten up a room with yellow flowers
Clivias are popular easy-to-grow houseplants for good reason. They are tough and resilient members of the amaryllis family, and they flower profusely. Fire Lily ‘Good Hope’ is a new strain of Clivia miniata that has the wide leaves of the European orange-flowered hybrids, but this plant features clear yellow blooms.
‘Good Hope’ is highly sought after by clivia growers. This hybrid blooms in clusters of sunshine-yellow flowers that last from February to May. To ensure flowering, give your plant cool, dry conditions during the late fall and early winter “resting period.” Fire Lily ‘Good Hope’ will perform best in partial sunlight.
All the plants featured in this story are available at Logees.com.
Be sure to read 7 Essential Houseplant Care Tips, which makes it easy to keep your houseplants alive and well!
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