How to buy houseplants (once and for all)

I’ve always loved the idea of a house filled with greenery. But whenever we’ve brought home a brave little plant, it has shriveled up and died within a couple weeks. Eeps! What gives?! Maybe it wasn’t meant to be, I thought.

Well, luckily, my friend and floral designer Amy Merrick promised me that houseplants are easy if you know two simple tricks…

Amy’s advice: “I live in Brooklyn, so filling my apartment with plants is my connection to nature. And my dad is a houseplant genius. Some of his plants are more than 40 years old! The two key tricks are: Choose plants that work with the light in your home, and water them the right amount. People often don’t realize that they’re overing-watering their plants, causing the plants to turn brown.”
8 easy houseplants that Amy swears by:

1. Air Plant
No soil required! They thrive in direct sunlight with a once a week misting. (Here’s where to buy them.)

2. Rabbit’s Foot Fern
A rabbit’s foot fern is one of the easiest ferns to keep inside. They need indirect light and twice weekly waterings.

3. Strawberry Begonia
Pretty plant — it also sends out the most darling little baby plants! Likes medium to bright light and the top of the soil should dry out slightly between waterings, so keep an eye on it.

4. Split Leaf Philodendron
This tried-and-true houseplant sometimes gets maligned as boring. I love the huge ones, though; if you cut off an extra leaf, it’ll keep in a vase for a month! They like indirect light and once a week waterings.

5. Prayer Plant
With really pretty patterned foliage, a prayer plant does well with indirect sunlight and twice a week watering.

6. Rex Begonia
They take a little more care and dedication, but they’re so gorgeous you have to try. They thrive in indirect light and the top of the soil should dry out slightly between waterings. (Repeated overwaterings is just as bad as underwaterings with these guys.)

7. Ponytail Palm
The Dr. Seuss of houseplants, Ponytail Palms are virtually indestructible. Happiest in a sunny spot with once a week watering.

8. Succulents
Low maintenance, if you have a very sunny spot inside. Water once a week and ignore.

Thank you SO much, Amy! I’m excited to create a green home! (I’m going to take this list to the flower shop.) What do you think, my darlings? Do you have houseplants? Any other tips from those who garden? xoxo
(Plant layout by Em from HipHipGinGin for Cup of Jo. Home photos by SFGirlbyBay, Bologet and Lonny.)

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  2. This is very nice. Buying a house is always a difficult and time taking task. I like your blogs about houses. Thanks First home buyer

  3. Hi, This is a great list of plants, and rex begonias are a pain, but beautiful. I’ve killed many. The water recommendations are a little much. A plant should NEVER be watered on a schedule, but rather when it needs it, which depends on the time of year, the amount of sun, and the type of plant itself. P.S. Charlie, that isn’t true about not having plants in your bedroom. I have tons and am breathing and living just fine.
    I enjoyed your post.

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  4. I really want to plant some succulents in glass jars for our apartment,but for now we just have a small bamboo plant that just soaks in water.Thanks for this infomation.

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  10. This was all very usual tips, I am looking to get a houseplant for my bedroom to had a little bit of colour and freshness, think I am going for a Split Leaf Philodendron

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  12. great post! just discovered your blog as well! having something nature related in your own home always makes everything look better….what other “natural” decor ideas do you have for your own home?

  13. Cami says...

    What about a purple passion??? It does not mind if you forget to water. It will droop but then perks up with water. And it is sooooo pretty. You can also take cuttings from someone or your own and root in water.

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  15. I love your post, it was very gorgeous as well as the photos. Plants are very good inside the house. You did an amazing piece. I will visit this post more often to see more wonderful blogs. Thank you.

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  16. Love this! Growing up my mom always had a ton of plants in the house (and still does). I, on the other hand, have always had a hard time keeping plants alive…until recently. I now have 3 beautiful plants that I’ve managed to keep alive for quite a while (one has been with me for over 2 years). It makes me so happy to see them growing and doing well :)

    And great pictures!