Go Green: 5 Houseplants Every New Homeowner Should Have in Their Home

The Split-Leaf Philodendron is an easy to care for houseplant.

The Split-Leaf Philodendron, also known as the Swiss Cheese plant, is an easy to care for houseplant. Photo by Mike Marquez/Unsplash.

You’ve built your home, you’ve moved in and all your furniture is in place. Your years of hard work has culminated into this moment where you’re living in the house of your dreams.
But something is missing. Your house has yet to become a home. There’s one easy way to make any house or room more homey: houseplants.

Indoor plants have been the must-have trend for renters and homeowners the past few years. “Tending to a plant gives millennials a chance to take a break from their screens and connect with something tangible in the ‘real world’,” Catherine Cottney, global trends manager at the forecasting agency Mintel told the Independent.

Why Get a Houseplant?

Houseplants aren’t just for Millennials. They can be your greatest design accessory, no matter your age. There are so many plants you can choose from of varying sizes, shapes, colors and degree of ease in caring for them. They can complement your design style or be used as a statement piece.

And, if you want to have a garden down the road, taking care of a houseplant first is one way to figure out if you have a green thumb or not. But in the words of Hilton Carter, whose 180 plants garnered him a feature in The Washington Post, “It’s no trend, it’s a lifestyle.”

Plants are not just a décor item that you can forget about. They are living beings that need love, attention and care (some more than others). And in return they purify the air, reduce stress, help you sleep and can even make you smarter, according to research that appeared in the Journal of Environmental Psychology.

I’ve compiled a list of stylish, low-maintenance plants that are sure to turn your house into a home (or at the very least, a healthier, greener environment).

1. Split-Leaf Philodendron

The Split-Leaf Philodendron is also known as the Swiss Cheese plant for obvious reasons. Chances are that any design blog covering houseplants has included the Swiss Cheese plant because it just looks good. Whether small or big, their big leaves are sure to bring life and vivacity to any room.

Plus, they’re easy to take care of. They thrive in bright indirect sunlight, but low light is fine too. Just don’t put them in direct sun. They only need to be watered a few times a month.

2. Umbrella Tree

The Umbrella Tree plant is also known as the Octopus Tree, Parasol Plant and Dwarf Umbrella Tree. They’re a terrific addition to any home because they clean the air for you. The Umbrella Tree plant also adapts to its environment. So, if you want a tall, commanding plant, place it in a space where it can grow to ceiling height. If you want something cute and shorter, keep it on a table or window sill. They grow best under bright indirect light, but they’ll still manage in a dark corner.

3. Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe plants are one way to add a pop of color to your home. They’re available in white, pink, yellow and red. Because they can handle temperature changes, you can grow them indoors or outdoors, making them the ideal low-maintenance plant.

Fun fact: Kalanchoe produce more flowers during the shorter, darker days of the year. Place them in bright indirect light in the summer (their growing season) and direct light during the fall, winter and spring.

4. Devil’s Ivy

A vine plant is a great way to make any room seem more vibrant. And paired with a hanging basket, this luscious long-stemmed plant can bring elevation and drama to your home. It’s important to know that the Devil’s Ivy plant can grow up to 40 feet long.

Situate them in bright indirect light. Devil’s Ivy plants are drought-tolerant and don’t need much water, which is great news if you’re like me and always forget to water your plants.

5. Aloe Vera

The Aloe Vera plant doesn’t just look good, but it’s also good for you. Think of having an Aloe plant as growing your own medicine. Inside, it has a clear jelly that can help clear your skin (or help treat it in cases of minor sunburns), get rid of constipation and be used as an antioxidant.

Aloe Vera plants only needed to be watered every three weeks or so and even less during the winter. It thrives in bright direct light.
Danielle Small is a freelance writer and strategist. She has written for a variety of publications, including, Salon, Fast Company and more.

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