House plants are a great way to bring nature inside. Living greenery can add a touch of warmth and relaxation to a room in a way that other decorative elements can’t quite match. I think we can all agree that we can use some additional stress relief this year. House plants are great for this.

There are many different kinds of house plants and several key factors to consider when choosing a houseplant. Some are considered low light, however, plants with brightly colored leaves often need bright light because the exposure to light keeps their colors vivid. Some house plants will produce flowers, and those may require more specific care to encourage flower production. Other house plants are nearly foolproof (I say nearly because I’ve killed some of the “foolproof” plants *sigh*). Most house plants have low water requirements, and this is because homes are temperature controlled environments with minimal exposure to wind and sun. 

One other factor to consider when choosing or caring for current house plants is keeping potentially toxic plants out of reach of pets and children. Having adopted two kittens this year, I know first hand that this can be a challenge. 

Here are some of my top picks for easy-to-care for houseplants: 

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

Light: Low 

Water: Very Low

Toxic to pets: Yes

Highlights: Easiest plant I’ve ever grown! Happy in pretty much any spot and with barely any water. ZZ plants are very forgiving. Note: if given plenty of light, they can grow quite large. 

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Light: Very Low

Water: Low

Toxic to pets: Yes

Highlights: Pothos (sometimes called “Devil’s Ivy”) is a vining house plant known for its attractive foliage and ease of care. Very low light and low water requirements makes this another good choice for those who forget to water. Pothos is a good hanging plant because of its vining nature. Hanging your pothos will also help keep it away from curious kids and critters. 

Nerve Plant (Fittonia spp.)

Light: Bright, indirect

Water: Moderate

Toxic to pets: No

Highlights: Such a beautiful plant that comes in several fun colors. The veins on the leaves can be white, pink, orange, or dark red. Water needs are moderate, and the plant will droop quite dramatically if it is thirsty. 

Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata

Light: Low

Water: Low

Toxic to pets: Yes

Highlights: Snake plant (a.k.a. Mother-in-law’s tongue) is a great starter houseplant. Hardy and easy to care for with upright, slightly succulent leaves. Some grow (like the one pictured above) grow in a rosette pattern.

Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya)

Light: Bright, indirect

Water: Moderate

Toxic to pets: No

Highlights: Such a pretty plant, but it can be very delicate! Not toxic to pets, but it does not hold up well to being nibbled, sat on, etc. Keep in bright, indirect light to ensure the leaves keep their beautiful polka-dot patterns. Take care not to let the plant dry out too much because the thin, papery leaves will wilt and crumble rather easily. 

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