ELEVEN EASY HOUSEPLANTS TO ADD TO YOUR HOUSE DECOR
Easy houseplants have to be extracted from at least 80-100 possible houseplants. I am not saying that these ten houseplants are the only easy houseplants but they are not only easy to care for but are also the among the most popular. There are exotic houseplants but these can be hard to find and have to be grown under certain environmental conditions which makes it hard for the average homeowner to devote sufficient time to their healthy growth. So with that in mind I will provide information here on 10 houseplants I ascertain as the best for growing with minimal care and worry. It will,in some cases, provide you with what to look out for in regard to diseases and pests and other important factors.
AFRICAN VIOLETS This is among one of the easy houseplants to grow. It is also one of the more popular indoor houseplants. This is mainly due to their long lasting ability. The blooms themselves are also long lasting and can last up to several weeks. There is a need however for abundant sunshine. They should be positioned in a sunny window but not exposed to those blasting hot rays of sun penetrating your windows in the summer. You can use artifical light if you feel not enough sunshine can be found at one of your windows. A good window would be one that faces south to west in your home.
SOIL AND FERTILIZER
Garden shops usually can be relied on to have in their inventory a soil mix and fertilizer directed specifically to African Violets. Easy houseplants, such as this species, should have a pot with definite openings on the bottom to promote adequate drainage should you accidentally over water the plant. Here is something to watch for if blooming becomes a problem;check the fertilizer for nitrogenm because too high of a nitrogen formula,like in excess of ten, can hinder the blossoms on your plant.
This plant should be bottom watered. A pot with proper holes in the bottom should be placed in a saucer of tepid water not cold water and the plant will then soak it up from the saucer. If you must water from the top, be extremely careful that NO water gets on the leaves as it will spot the leaves.
The best temperatures for these easy houseplants is 75 degrees F during the day and 60-70 degrees F at night.
I love this plant for several reasons because it is almost indestructible which makes a good plant for those who feel their thumb is not so green. It tolerates low light conditions,extreme temperatures,and sporadic watering. Its perfect for those with a busy life style and who would never entertain the idea of a houseplant. This by far fits the term easy houseplants.
It is slow growing but lives a long long time. My cast iron plant pictured here was given to me by my mother about eight years ago and she had it as far back as I can remember. I have transplanted once into a larger pot for I felt it was becoming pot bound. It was not a big deal since the stems remain just below the surface and it was so tolerant of the transplant. This particular plant will even thrive in a pot of poor soil.
It is acknowledged as a plain looking plant but does well in foyers and dimly lite hallways to give a little brightness to an otherwise drab location. In easy houseplants it is a member of the "LILIACesa" with such respected relatives as day-lilies,tulips,and hyacinths but the cast iron plant has an extremely modest flower when in bloom. The one inch flowers are hidden at the soil surface by the leaves if it blooms at all. My plant has just bloomed this year but don't look for proliferous blooming. I understand it blossoms more regulary if moved outside.
It does however serve its purpose as a dark green leafed plant adding contrast to any part of your apartment or home. It will grow in moderate to low light,45-85 degrees F and should be watered from time to time especially in periods of new growth except in Fall and winter when the soil should be allowed to dry out between waterings.
This is another excellent choice out of easy houseplants for the novice green thumber because it is yet again another low light plant. Imagine a plant that can survive with just a reading light. There are very few foliage plants that I can find that will tolerate this type of illumination. The leaves are a combination of silvery gray and dark green and presents itself in an upright manner and bushy appearance. There is one caution here be observant of the amount of water given to this plant.The soil should be allowed to dry out between waterings all because of the low light. These plants enjoy warm locations and will turn ugly on you like in yellow or blacken color if temperatures dip below 45 degrees F
This plant in the easy houseplants list will provide you with some attractive foliage if kept in brighter spots. The foliage on this plant has gold,pink and orange tones and will just broadcast these tones in a bright glow when the sun hits the croton from a window exposed to the sun. I purchased this croton as a very small plant. It grows rather rapidly and I moved it through three pots in the first eighteen months. My biggest mistake was the last pot was a little large and the plant suffered through some hard times flopping around in this pot but as you can see in the picture all is well. I always talk about having patience but in this case I violated my own rule.
The growing conditions for this plant includes bright light;60-75 degrees F;allow the soil surface to dry between waterings. The croton will reach heights of four feet and 3 feet wide so make sure you have a spot with plenty of room to grow.
The Geranium is another among the easy houseplants and really does great indoors. I am really proud of the one pictured here. This is a zonal Geranium and has distinct leaf markings with the colors of white,red or pink as this one in the photo. There are ivy leafed Geraniums which have a trailing habit and are used mostly in hanging baskets and window boxes.
SOIL MIX AND CONTAINER
You can plant Geraniums in most any type of container as long as they have good drainage. I have used various type of potting mixtures from my garden soil to a commerical potting soil. I have not found any determental problem with any soil that I have used in my containers and I presently have six of these potted.
I have found that a slow release fertilizer are good for the container growing Geraniums. I recommend Osmocote® it seems to have the correct ingredients. I would fertilize these plants semi-monthly from March to October. The use of low intensity light either outdoors or indoors should result in a lesser amount of fertilizer applied.
The Geranium should be checked each day for moisture. This plant does react favorably to the soil drying out between each watering. Apply sufficient water that some will drain out from the holes in the bottom of a container. Make sure you have something under the pot to catch the running water. The soil should be checked for dryness at least to a depth of four to six inches. This procedure is covered in some detail at my indoor plants click here for more information>
LIGHT AND TEMPERATURE
Bright light will keep your geraniums flowering throughout the year. South and west facing windows are best for locating your plant. As with many other easy houseplants,you can employ artifical light as an acceptable means during the winter months. My plants are anywhere from 12 to 24 inches below a suspended 120 watt flood light depending on the height of the plant and is on a timer illuminating the Geraniums for 14 hours per day. This keeps the temperatures between 65 degrees to 75 degrees F. The night temperature should remain around 55 degrees F. At all costs it is necessary to stay away from cold,hot or drafty areas.
If you overwater coupled with high humidity you can cause oedema which results in small corky cell production on the leaves.You will need to cut down on the watering and increase the light to control the spread of this disease. Boytris blossom blight is a plant disease that develops in cool and damp situations. The disease prematurely fades and dries out your flowers. I would remove the old flowers as they start to fade. It would be best to provide good circulation and perhaps use a seven inch fan to assist in this endeavor. Common insect pests includes mealybugs,whiteflies and aphids.
This is another popular choice in the list of easy houseplants because Jade Plants are very hardy an easy to grow. They enjoy being in containers and respond well to warm and dry conditions. This is a succulent plant in that they have the ability to store water in its leaves,stems and roots. It than becomes a candidate for low water conditions and very little fertilizer.However,they do need care to keep them free of insects and common houseplant diseases.
LEAF DROP:will occur if the soil,however,becomes too dry for too long of a period. Conversely the Jade plant can be subject to root rot if overwatered which is quite often the case. You can keep the soil moist in warmer weather during the spring and summer. You should let the soil dry out between waterings in the winter.
GOOD DRAINAGE:can be achieved by providing the right draining soil along with moderate watering will help provide the right balance. This can be easily accomplished by the use of cactus soil mix with some additional organic material. This would include one quarter sphagnum peat moss and three quarters of coarse sand and mix this with a good potting soil. You can also purchase a special cactus soil at your local garden store.
FULL SUN:should be applied preferably with a window having a southern exposure. You should monitor the temperature that the plant is receiving so extreme heat is not being soaked up by the Jade Plant. They do well when the temperature is between 65-75 degrees F (18-24c). They have no problem with nighttime temperatures around 50 degrees F(10c). The indicator of over heating can be observed if the edges of the leaves start browning. If possible move the plant to less direct position if you do observe this with your plant.
FEEDING:is also very simple. Remembering the previous statement about little fertilizer;you should only use liquid fertilizer and then only every three or four months. A standard 10-10-10 NPK mix with some micro nutrients,such as,magnesium will do the job very well. There is no need to concern yourself with over growth because the Jade Plant is at home with root bound conditions. I would hold off feeding in the dormant season in winter.
THERE ARE PESTS: who are in love with Jade Plants these include mealybugs and spidermites which are the most common.You can go to insects and read more detailed information about these pests
You should keep the leaves free of dust with an occasional wipe with a wet cloth is a good idea even without the presence of bugs. The wiping with a wet cloth will permit plants to exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen. You should keep any dead leaves trimmed off.
BRAIDED MONEY TREE
The easy houseplants includes the beautiful braided money tree. It is not only beautiful but is certainly an unusual specimen. It would make an excellent addition to your home. As you can see from the photo,the tree is composed of several trunks that wind around each other. In the bonsai specimen the tree only reaches a height of one foot in the normal potted version it will go to several feet in height. The full sized tree will reach a height of seven feet.
THE SOIL:should have small pebbles lying in a pot with the soil itself being of a loamy mixture. The holes in the pot could also be covered with a wire mesh to allow water to flow but keeping the soil in the pot. A money tree will flourish in a mix of peat,vermiculiyte and perlite.
WATERING:can be less with a braided money tree. Once a week should be sufficient for watering this plant. There are some trees that a cup per month will do. You will have to be the judge of that depending on the size of the pot and the soil composition. It would be an advantage to mist at the same time because it enables the leaves to absorb moisture and aids the leaves to stay dust free. The soil should dry out between waterings. You can determine the amount needed to be applied if your leaves start to wilt and turn yellow; too much moisture. If the leaves become wrinkled or curled then the plant is not receiving adequate water.
SUNLIGHT:should be medium actually indirect sun is best. If you can find an area that receives some sun and shade, would be an ideal location. This is one of those easy houseplants that is accustomed to hot regions. The money tree will not do as well when the temperature drops. You should not allow the temperature to drop below 50 degrees F.
FERTILIZER:is generally not needed for this plant. All that needs to be done is trim the leaves when they dry up and die and ensure you have good air circulation.
The secret to maintaining a healthy Norfolk Pine is the result of ample light and humidity. Bright light is necessary but not full sun. It would be best to locate the pine within four feet of a large window. They will continue to grow if illuminated by fluorescent lighting for at least sixteen hours of light per day. It is a great plant in the easy houseplants category.
These easy houseplants need to be watered throughly using water that has either been sitting for twenty four hours or you could use rainwater. It should be watered weekly in the summer to keep it moist but don't let it get soggy. In the winter the soil should be allowed to dry out completely before watering again.
Lack of sufficient humidity will cause the lower branches to brown and fall off. The Norfolk pine that sits in our living room responds well to misting since I have no humidifer. The misting water should be on the cool side rather than warm. I do have to admit that mine is located not too far from a heat register and I have not noticed any ill effects from this location. It has been located here for a number of years.
Your Norfolk pine should be fed monthly in the summer. It would be best to use a diluted soluble house plant food that is one at about half strength.
There are hundreds of species of carnivorous plants and the tropical pitcher plant is one of them. It is included here as one of the most unusual of the easy houseplants receiving my vote as the most unusual surpassing the braided money tree. As you know most plants soak up their nutrients from the soil and the air. However carnivorous plants such as the pitcher plant obtains its supplemental diet from insects and even small reptiles. The pitcher plant receives its name from a shape in the leaves which bears a resemblance to a cup. There are special compounds secreted by the pitcher plant producing an odor that attracts insects and the plant breaks it down and the insects are consumed.
THE SOIL in these easy houseplants should include unmilled sphagnum mixed with about 40% perlite making a good combination. You still need to use peat moss or fir bark as an alternative compound. Incidentally ordinary fertilizer is not good for these type plants.
SUNSHINE should be of the indirect kind with a little dappled shade. These easy houseplants should not receive too much sun or too little. The extreme of either one will result in thin and weak leaves with too little sun and dead areas in leaves indicate a sign of too much.
WATER should be provided in periodic gushes of water like in the rain forest provided you have adequate drainage. A good flushing of watering since it assists flushes excess salts is very healthy. The soil should be allowed to dry out completely between waterings.
These easy houseplants known as a snake plant make an excellent addition to the indoor plant garden. They are very easy to grow and care for properly. The other advantage with these plants is their ability to do well in low light areas. They will even go two months between watering in the winter. This further enchances their choice for the easy houseplants seal of approval. These plants do have very sharp tips so placement of the plants in in your home should be of some concern. The trimming of the sharp tips is not recommended so be cautious when watering or trimming.
Overwatering will cause dropping leaves and easily promote root rot in this plant which is tolerant of drought. Underwatering is just as bad causing leaves that appear wrinkled and can eventually end up in permanent root damage. There are times when the long leaves have a tendancy to fall over. It is not wise to stake them but trim the leaves at the bottom and wait for new ones to appear. This is a fast growing plant so it will not take long. Your best bet in any case is to allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
AN ADEQUATE POT should be provided for these prolific plants because they sometimes can split a clay pot because of their healthy root system. You will have to judge the pot size because a very large pot will require you to perform excessive growth trim. We are endeavoring to make these easy houseplants so try to avoid this mistake.
FERTILIZER again with this plant is not required in any great or frequent amounts. They do best in low nitrogen level soil. The snake plant can become overwhelmed in soil that is too rich. If you handle them like a cactus plant you will have years of enjoyment from your snake plant.
It is just another attractive plant among easy houseplants. THey are seemingly much more tolerant of over or under watering as some of the other plants on this list. They do live practically forever well almost forever. I acquired a spider plant from my mother which she had for years and I had for eight years and then the pot cracked and from there it was down hill. The lesson learned here is to pay attention to your indoor plants because we are not the ony ones that suffer from stress. All easy houseplants suffer from this problem.
WATERING your spider plant does not require much effort. However you can overdo it. A consistent moist soil should have periodic dry outs making it best for these plants. They can go several days without water especially during the seasons of Fall and Winter. The tips of your plant can become brown or spotted which indicates a need to change the type of water. This could be especially true if your water supply contains high concentrations of chlorine or fluoride. These chemicals will damage your plant. I would use either collected rain water or purified water without minerals to solve the brown or spotted condition.
INDIRECT SUNLIGHT is good for spider plants although they are very flexible about the light received.They can absorb very bright light for hours per day. The best situation would be to give the plant several hours of reflected light in a place that is neither too hot or too cool. They will thrive in your house at temperatures around 65 degrees F but can survive if the temperature goes to 55 degrees F.
FERTILIZER for spider plants is not needed in any frequent applications. A liquid NPK mixture applied to your plant every three to four months of the growing season will be sufficient. It is not necessary to apply in Fall and Winter. This means you have a good plant in the easy houseplants list.
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