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3 Great House Plants for Beginners

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3 Great House Plants for Beginners

 

Adding a few house plants to the abode is a great way to brighten up the great indoors. Keeping plants inside is also a low-hassle way of improving the air quality in the home due to the significant amount of oxygen that plants naturally throw off. Beginner gardeners or individuals with little experience in caring for house plants can ease into the world of indoor plant care by starting out with a few plants that are easy to care for and a bit forgiving if their owner forgets to water them once in a while. The following list describes three great house plants for beginners.

window plants

Peace Lily

 

The peace lily brings classic beauty in plant form, which explains why it is one of the most popular house plants in America. Although this species’ nickname suggests that it is a member of the lily family, it’s actually a spathiphyllum. This evergreen plant can be planted in zones 11 and 12 and can grow anywhere from 20 to 50 inches tall depending on the cultivar. The peace lily sports broad green leaves that have a silky textured surface. Most peace lily plants produce leaves ranging from one to nine inches broad and as much as 20 inches in length. The dark green foundation of leaves is the perfect background for the lily-like flowers: a soft, creamy-white petal cups the large, spiky spadix. Flower sizes can vary between three and eleven inches long, although the larger end of this scale is produced by “giant” peace lily varieties.

 

The peace lily is fairly easy to care for. It prefers an environment that can offer filtered light. A room that receives a few hours of sunlight through a sheer curtain would suffice nicely. The peace lily also only needs to be watered about once each week in most home environments. The only exception to this is in the winter when household heaters might dry out the plant’s soil more quickly, resulting in the need to lightly water the plant two times each week. Smaller peace lily cultivars are perfect for accenting a bare shelf space or the corner of a computer desk. Larger varieties make a wonderful floor piece, especially when nestled into a boring corner, next to a fireplace, or sat on a stairway landing.

 

Rubber Tree

 

The rubber tree is another very popular house plant. Ficus elastica, as it is known to hardcore gardeners, is a hardy plant that’s highly adaptable to indoor settings. It can grow as tall as 50 feet, although it won’t do so in the home. This tree has smooth, light brown branches that can be pruned to create a smooth and upright stature or left to grow how they will. The leaves of the rubber tree are really fun! They are thick, oval-shaped leaves with such a flexible consistency that they garnered this plant the “rubber tree.” The leaves are medium green in color and grow to be anywhere from 4 to 14 inches long and 2 to 5 inches wide. Typically this tree will produce larger plants during its youth but as it grows older the leaf size will tone down to a modest size.

 

The rubber tree loves sunlight so a nice, open spot with access to sunlight would be best for this plant. It is very tolerant of drought except for during the growth season. During the growth season the soil should be kept moist but not muddy. If the plant is overwatered then it will quickly begin a process called “leaf dropping,” in which leaves turn brown and fall off of the plant. During the dormant season the plant only needs to be watered about once per month. If the leaves begin to turn brown and/or fall off then it’s time to increase the frequency of the watering cycle.

 

Heart-Leaf Philodendron

 

Heart-leaf philodendron is a beagrowutiful leafy vine plant that offers subtle greenery and versatility. This vine plant can grow to be as much as 40 feet long but the vines can easily be snipped back to a more manageable length. The heart-leaf philodendron has bright green leaves in a characteristic heart shape. The texture of the leaves is dependent upon the specific cultivar with some exhibiting a high gloss finish and solid leaf color and others displaying a velvety texture with dark green or reddish-purple hues. It is not unheard of for the heart-leaf philodendron to seemingly “lose” such a characteristic. For instance, a plant that produces thick, glossy leaves in its youth might eventually lose its luster and take on a matte finish. Leaf thickness can vary between cultivars with some being very thick and rubbery. This plant is one that can flourish in almost any room of the house. It will continue to grow nearly all year, especially if watered regularly. The growth process can be slowed by going longer between watering.

 

The heart-leaf philodendron prefers shady places and may exhibit bronzing or browning of the leaves if it is exposed to too much sunlight. To remedy the problem one might move the plant into a shadier room or place it on top of a book shelf or other piece of furniture that receives less sunlight. Plus, the vines look excellent when trailing down the side of a tall piece of furniture!

 

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