Houseplants offer a quick, easy way to add a splash of color to your home decor. And they’ve been proven to help purify the air inside your house, too. But have you ever bought a beautiful plant from a local greenhouse, only to watch it shrivel up a few weeks later?
If so, you know there’s a lot more to consider than how a flower, cactus or palm might look in your house. For a plant to grow and thrive in your home, it needs to be a good match for your space.
Here are some things to consider when shopping for your next houseplant:
- Space: If you live in a small apartment or have low ceilings, a large plant like a palm might not be your best option. Experts recommend you allow at least 6 inches of breathing room around your houseplants. So think twice before squeezing a plant between two pieces of furniture.
- Size: Before choosing a plant, consider where it’s going to live in your home. Plants less than 2 feet tall are ideal for spaces like a windowsill or table, while taller plants work best on your floor.
- Lighting: Most houseplants need natural light to grow. But the type of light (direct, indirect or low) will vary by species. For best results, match your plant’s lighting needs with a room in your home that supplies the correct amount of light. And consider placing plants in rooms facing south, east or west in your home.
- Temperature: Some plants are more sensitive to temperature changes than others. Consistent temperatures during spring and summer months make it an ideal time for plants to be nurtured. But fall and winter can bring cold snaps that will damage plants – especially in areas that are not always heated, like porches and sunrooms.
- Style: Allow the plants you buy to reflect your decorating taste. There are plenty of options available, from plants producing lush greenery to bright flowers. And you can add more of your own personal style with a ceramic or copper pot.
- Pets and children: Be aware that some plants, like lilies and ivy, can be toxic if touched or eaten. Exposure could cause your pets to become seriously ill or irritate your child’s skin.
FIND THE PERFECT FIT
Now that you know the basics of choosing the perfect houseplant, here are some you may want to consider for your space:
- Plants that don’t need much light: Looking for a houseplant to grow in a basement or windowless room? Consider plants like the pothos, heart-leaf philodendrons, arrowhead vines, cast iron plants and dieffenbachia – all of which can grow in low light conditions.
- Plants that don’t need much water: Need a hearty plant that can withstand a little neglect? No judgement. Good choices include succulents, ZZ plants, snake plants or Chinese evergreens.
- Plants that can help with dry skin: Tired of dry skin in the winter months? Consider a natural alternative to expensive creams and lotions. Spider plants, rubber plants, peace lilies and English ivy can all help balance moisture in the air.
- Plants that add a splash of color: Mosaic plants, dragon trees and polka dot plants can help you break away from plain-old green.
If you’re looking for expert advice on protecting your plants, talk to a florist or a professional at your local garden center. And if you have any questions about protecting your home, contact us. Our agents know the ins and outs of homeowners insurance and can help you find the right coverage.
by Walter Doerschuk