I don’t know about you, but bringing home a new houseplant is always exciting.
I walk down the aisles at the local nursery imagining how amazing that fiddle leaf fig would look in my living room — and wouldn’t that pothos look fantastic hanging in the kitchen?
Often, I have to stop myself, though. Not because I don’t have the space for new plant friends, but because they might not survive.
Look, I have a green thumb. The problem is my house!
Before picking up your next houseplant, check out these important things to consider. A little research can save you the disappointment of losing a plant friend in the future.
Before heading to the plant nursery, think about where you’re going to put your new green friend. Do you get plenty of morning sun from an east-facing window, or are you hoping to brighten up a low-light bathroom?
Let the amount of sunlight available dictate which plants you bring into your home. Otherwise, your new plants aren’t going to thrive — or even survive.
You may have never really thought about the humidity inside your home, but it can be pretty important for plants. For instance, tropical plants like monstera love humidity, but succulents thrive in dry air.
If you have your heart set on a plant that doesn’t match your home’s humidity levels, you’re looking at having to invest in a humidifier or dehumidifier.
Even if you’re an experienced houseplant parent, it can sometimes be easy to forget just how important kids and pets factor into your plant choices.
There are plenty of popular plants that are harmful to pets. It’s best not to bring them into your home at all, even if you’re convinced Fido or Fluffy would never nibble on your plants. Play it safe by checking the ASPCA’s database of toxic plants before bringing home new greenery.
If you have small children at home, it’s less about toxicity and more about location. Is that large parlor palm sitting on the floor going to tempt your toddler to dig through the dirt? Are you afraid that your kindergartener might swipe your new snake plant off the table? Your choices might be limited, considering available plant placement.
Some plants are super easy, while others require a lot of care and attention. Consider how much time you have to nurture your new green friend.
If you’re barely able to tackle your to-do list, do yourself a favor and choose an easy houseplant that won’t mind a little neglect. In that case, check out this list of hard-to-kill houseplants.