Want to add some serious indoor plant inspiration to your daily Instagram feed? You might want to add crazy plant lad to your mix.
In this article household plant influencer, Crazy Plant Lad lists his top 5 plants a novice plant parent should start with. And guess what? There’s not a cactus or succulent in sight!
‘Buying your first plant can be daunting. What plant should I get? How often should I be watering it? Is it getting enough light? Should I be feeding it?
The following plants are great options for beginners as they thrive when neglected. However, being a foliage fanatic, these are my top 5 plants that give me all the foliage satisfaction without being a total diva.’
Snake plants (a.k.a. Sansevieria)
Snake plants, native to tropical western Africa, are a great starter plant for anybody because of their versatility. They thrive in all sorts of environments, including low-light environments. These plants do like the occasional feeding during the growing season between March and September. Like most plants, snake plants should not be overwatered and soil must be bone-dry between watering sessions. Snake plant are very easy to propagate. Propagation may be done by separation or by planting leaf cuttings directly into soil. There are many different Sansevieria varieties that one can choose from, especially if you do not want the more ‘common’ ones. Such varieties include the ‘Moonshine’ and ‘Whalefin’ Sansevieria.
ZZ Plant (a.k.a. Zanzibar Gem)
My next ‘must-have’ for the novel gardener is the ZZ Plant, native to Eastern Africa. This plant is a common sight in public places such as shopping malls, and for good reason. The ZZ Plant thrives on neglect and does very well in low-light environments. This plant can go weeks on end without a drop of water. Much like snake plants, the soil of the Zanzibar Gem needs to dry out completely before being watered again. They also should be fertilized with a weak solution during the growing season. Besides the common ZZ plant, one can also opt for the ZZ Raven. The ZZ Raven is identical to the ZZ plant, except for the colour of the leave. The ZZ Raven grows black foliage rather than deep green foliage.
Monstera Deliciosa (a.k.a Swiss Cheese plant)
Next up is my absolute favourite plant of all: the Monstera Deliciosa. Native to the tropical regions of South America, this plant is a climbing plant that pushes out the most extraordinary fenestrated foliage. The Deliciosa likes bright indirect light and weekly watering sessions, but should not be left sitting in too much water as this may cause root rot. Unfortunately, the leaves are magnets for dust and should be wiped clean every now and then. Too much dust on the leaves will block sunlight and reduce the plant’s ability to photosynthesize. If you are too busy to wipe the leaves one by one, just stick you Monstera under the shower head and give it a good shower. Swiss cheese plants should be fertilized biweekly during the growing season with a diluted fertilizer. On a final note, these plants grow bigger and bigger every year, and they will try to take over you living room. Regular pruning and infrequent repotting will help stunt their growth, but do keep in mind their growth potential when considering this plant.
Pothos (a.k.a Devil’s Ivy)
Next on my list is the Devil’s Ivy or the Pothos. These trailing plants like bright indirect light but also do well in lower-light environments. They do not require frequent watering and can go weeks without a drop of water. In fact, these plants should be watered when the foliage is looking droopy. Depending on your preference, a moss pole may be used for the vines to latch onto and climb upwards. Alternatively, vines can be left to overflow from their planter and create a beautiful draping effect. Pothos are also very easy to propagate, especially in water. Cutting from these plants can also live in water years. There are many varieties of pothos that one can choose from; the Golden Pothos, Pothos N’Joy and the Marble Queen just to name a few.
My final pick has to be the Spider Plant. The Spider plant is also a very common houseplant that can live happily in moderate lighting but prefers bright indirect light. Much like my other picks, this plant likes its soil to dry out between watering sessions and should be fertilized during the growing season. These plants like to be somewhat rootbound and should be only repotted when their roots are clearly visible from the drainage holes of the pot. Propagation can be done by division or by planting the spiderettes produced by the mother plant directly into soil.
As a rule of thumb, make sure to always use well-draining soil for your houseplants. Soil should not become soggy as this will increase the chance of root rot. Soggy soil is also the perfect environment for the pesky fungus gnats to reproduce. While the plants on this list tolerate low-light environments, all plants require some sort of light source to thrive and should not be kept in total darkness.