So you’re thinking of becoming a parent—a plant parent that is. Congratulations! Studying your environment and assessing your care-giving style will set your plant up to be a thriving success. Caring for a plant can be a fulfilling job: After all, a vibrant houseplant or two can enhance your space, and, thus, your home life.
Whether you’re an absentee plant parent or a hands-on green thumb, here are 10 plants to suit your lifestyle.
For the Traveling Parent
Out of town a lot? Grab a plant that’ll be happy to see you when you get home but doesn’t need a lot (or frankly, any) attention while you’re away. This fuzzy, green algae moss ball is perfectly happy just sitting in a bowl of water and being left alone. Change the water every few weeks if possible and keep it out of direct light. Otherwise, live and let live, little buddy.
If You’re More of a Helicopter Parent
Have you got a lot of time to ensure your plant baby is okay? Consider adopting the notoriously tricky fiddle-leaf fig. The tall, dramatic-looking plant is known for temper tantrums in the light and water department. It prefers very warm, bright, and humid conditions but can survive with abundant east-facing light and careful watering.
If You Have Other Babies
Perhaps you have other babies—as in fur babies (or actual children). You’ll need a plant that plays nicely with others, especially if your pet decides the plant is looking particularly tasty. Despite its name, the Rattlesnake Calathea is animal-safe. It also requires pretty minimal care if you can’t devote all your attention to your greenery.
For the First-Time Parent
If you’re feeling anxious about being a plant parent, grab greenery that is easy to care for and loves to grow. In the right environment, this plant can potentially reach lengths of three feet or longer, and the leaves grow in a bright, joyful shade of green.
Small Space–Living Parent
Are you tight on space but still want some greenery? Grab a panda plant, which is miniature in size but big on interesting features. Its fuzzy appearance gives the succulent its name but also keeps it safe in the wild, disguising it from predators, preventing sun exposure, and giving it its trademarked dark-brown stripes.
If You’re a Budgeting Parent
If you have money on your mind, grab a money tree. The tree comes from tropical locales originally, but today it can thrive in a variety of living situations, from humid to dry and indirect to direct light. As the name hints, the plant is associated with good luck and it’s believed that having one in your home can bring wealth. Even if that’s a fallacy, the plant itself is a conversation-starter.
If You Like to Be Kept in the Dark
Have a dark room in your home? All hope is not lost in the plant department. This philodendron looks lush, but it’s not fussy. It can withstand being ignored and less-than-ideal conditions, like low light, poor soil, and inconsistent watering. If you have a poorly lit room, this baby will do just fine.
If You Need Help Cleaning Up
Been meaning to buy a room purifier but haven’t gotten around to it yet? Get yourself a plant that both looks beautiful and cleans the air. This parlor plant is known specifically for cleaning formaldehyde in the air and it gives a room lush, tropical palm vibes.
If You’re Really Not Sure About This Whole Parenting Thing
Really questioning your green thumb? Grab this faux cactus. Fake plants are so realistic-looking now, as proven by this CB2 version, and would fool anyone, even the most enthusiastic plant fiend. This five-foot stunner is as much a piece of sculpture as it is a plant and it can, quite literally, last a lifetime.
If You’re a Really Sweet Parent
Why go to the farmers market and buy lemons when you can grow your own? These lemon trees are grown in Florida and offer major wow factor for any average room. Not only does the tree look great, but the lemons are deliciously sweet and less sour than their citrus sisters.