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How to Choose an Indoor Plant

You don’t need a green thumb to have houseplants that flourish; you just need to know which ones will thrive in your home.


  • Step 1: Consider your schedule Consider your schedule. If you are out of town a lot, choose plants that can go a couple of weeks without watering, like jade or rubber plants, mini-geraniums, golden pathos, or any kind of philodendron.
  • Step 2: Think about lighting Think about where you want to put plants, and then pick ones that will thrive in the light those rooms provide. Your local nursery can tell you whether a plant needs high, medium or low light.
  • TIP: Windows facing east, west, southeast, and southwest provide a lot of light; north-facing windows provide low light; and south-facing windows provide medium light in summer and a lot of light in winter.
  • Step 3: Evaluate your space Evaluate your space. If it’s limited, look for plants that can live in small pots, like Chinese evergreens, African violets, ageratums, and lantanas.
  • Step 4: Combat pollution If you live in a congested city, consider plants that remove pollutants from the air, like English ivy, peace lilies, spider plants, and aloe vera.
  • Step 5: Take humidity into consideration Take humidity into consideration. If you live in a dry climate, avoid houseplants that require high air-moisture levels unless you plan to put them in a room that’s often humid, like the bathroom.
  • TIP: Tropical plants like Pink Sunburst cannas, caladiums, and lantanas need humidity; succulents and cacti are desert plants that thrive in dry air.
  • Step 6: Go with hardy plants Increase your chances of bringing home plants that will thrive by choosing varieties known to be hardy, like ZZ palms, wave petunias, dragon trees, ivy, and crotons. If you manage to kill those, switch to silk plants!
  • FACT: The African violet is the most popular flowering houseplant in America.

You Will Need

  • Informed purchases
  • Hardy varieties

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