Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How to buy houseplants (once and for all)

I've always loved the idea of a house filled with greenery. But whenever we've brought home a brave little plant, it has shriveled up and died within a couple weeks. Eeps! What gives?! Maybe it wasn't meant to be, I thought.

Well, luckily, my friend and floral designer Amy Merrick promised me that houseplants are easy if you know two simple tricks...

Amy's advice: "I live in Brooklyn, so filling my apartment with plants is my connection to nature. And my dad is a houseplant genius. Some of his plants are more than 40 years old! The two key tricks are: Choose plants that work with the light in your home, and water them the right amount. People often don't realize that they're overing-watering their plants, causing the plants to turn brown."
8 easy houseplants that Amy swears by:

1. Air Plant
No soil required! They thrive in direct sunlight with a once a week misting. (Here's where to buy them.)

2. Rabbit's Foot Fern
A rabbit's foot fern is one of the easiest ferns to keep inside. They need indirect light and twice weekly waterings.

3. Strawberry Begonia
Pretty plant -- it also sends out the most darling little baby plants! Likes medium to bright light and the top of the soil should dry out slightly between waterings, so keep an eye on it.

4. Split Leaf Philodendron
This tried-and-true houseplant sometimes gets maligned as boring. I love the huge ones, though; if you cut off an extra leaf, it'll keep in a vase for a month! They like indirect light and once a week waterings.

5. Prayer Plant
With really pretty patterned foliage, a prayer plant does well with indirect sunlight and twice a week watering.

6. Rex Begonia
They take a little more care and dedication, but they're so gorgeous you have to try. They thrive in indirect light and the top of the soil should dry out slightly between waterings. (Repeated overwaterings is just as bad as underwaterings with these guys.)

7. Ponytail Palm
The Dr. Seuss of houseplants, Ponytail Palms are virtually indestructible. Happiest in a sunny spot with once a week watering.

8. Succulents
Low maintenance, if you have a very sunny spot inside. Water once a week and ignore.

Thank you SO much, Amy! I'm excited to create a green home! (I'm going to take this list to the flower shop.) What do you think, my darlings? Do you have houseplants? Any other tips from those who garden? xoxo
(Plant layout by Em from HipHipGinGin for Cup of Jo. Home photos by SFGirlbyBay, Bologet and Lonny.)