Tips For Beginners: Choosing Your First House Plant

How many people have you known who have no house plants because they feel they have a “brown thumb,” are too busy to maintain their plants, or live in a house with low light? How much lovelier their surroundings would be if they just had a little guidance on which plants could be just right for their home?

There are many plants, such as cactii, that can survive very well on little water. Some, like the orchid cactus, don’t even need very much light. Cactus plants and succulents thrive in dry air as well, so with these plants you don’t need to worry about humidifiers or leaving the plants all day in hot summer weather.

With all that being said, let’s walk through some key considerations you should take into account when choosing your first house plant:

Lighting Conditions

If your house light is low, consider the Philodendron, Baby Tears, Indian Kale, Tree Ivy or ferns such as the Stag Horn or Bird’s Nest. Spider plants are generally easy to grow in all kinds of light conditions. African Violets are beautiful flowering plants, yet can thrive on a little indirect light and do not have to be watered often.

If you live in a very sunny location, you may want to select a lovely flowering plant such as the Amaryllis, Gloriosa Lily, or Chinese Hibiscus. Geraniums love light, and are another gorgeous flowering plant that can be chosen from many bright colors.

You may have mixed light in your home depending on the location of the rooms. Thus when you’re shopping for plants you can see which one fits best where. The best light provided for house plants is the south window, with the least light at the north.

How Thirsty Is Your Plant?

If you are able to keep up with weekly waterings and want tropical plants, be aware that they will do best with high humidity. You can create more humid air around tropical plants by grouping them together, using a humdifier, or placing them on pebbles in trays. Colorful pebbles and trays, as well as plant humidifers, are commonly available at nurseries and garden centers.

Consider Hanging Plants

If you’re living in a small space, there are many house plants that do quite well in hanging baskets. Swedish Ivy, Inchplants, Piggyback Plants and Spider Plants are a few of those that look great in hanging planters. This also keeps your plants up out of the way of pets and children.


Toxicity is also a consideration when you do have pets and children in the house. Some plants are easily grown, like the Pothos (Devil’s Ivy) but are highly toxic to both pets and humans. Some of the safest are the Boston Fern, Zebrina Wandering Jew, Christmas Cactus, and Jade.

It’s always wise to consult your nursery expert on which plants to avoid if you are going to have plants within reach of children and animals. If children are very small, it’s best to just place the plants out of their reach regardless. Toddlers are notorious for placing things in their mouths.


If you love the look and atmosphere that house plants provide, there is going to be a house plant that will complement you and your home no matter what your living conditions. Go out to your nursery or garden center today and add the beauty of house plants to your daily life!