Last weekend we hit up our local nursery to replenish our vegetable garden, and I have to admit—it’s one of my most favorite places to visit in spring. I could drop some serious benjamins on plants. The more I learn about plant care and gardening, the more I love it. There is something so grounding about digging in the dirt.
Many people express an interest in having plants, but are afraid they may have a black thumb. The good news is, there are tons of indoor plants that are easy to grow so that you can enjoy the benefits of live greenery in your home. A simple internet search will give you tons of lists, but some of them have a real...eh, can I say dentist office look?? You know what I mean. Just kind of stale and plain. This is a list of my favorite plants to keep that have a little more personality. Check em out!
1. Asparagus Fern – this guy has lots of varieties and alternate names. I picked up two at our local nursery last weekend. One tiny baby emerald feather, and one bigger branchy one like the one pictured. They are great for porch plants or indoors since they tolerate low light. And I love their feathery soft texture. A great alternative to the broad waxy leaf of most indoor plants.
2. Jade – these are commonly reproduced artificially. I guess because they are so waxy to begin with, they almost look artificial. But there’s no reason yours should be! They’re super easy to grow. I have one in my kitchen window that’s doing just fine. Many people love succulents but find their ornary nature and slow growth frustrating. Jade is the easy way out. I had some succulents that were already not doing well, and then my two year old decided it would be fun to pluck all their leaves off….so we’re done with those…I’ll just hang onto my jade!
3. Basil – another one of my kitchen window babies. We also have basil in our garden, but I like to keep one nearby for easy access. Basil is an herb that most cooks keep in their back pockets, and if you learn to snip them correctly for culinary use, they regenerate quickly. Even if you're not a big cook, they do great in a sunny window.
4. Aloe – a plant we all know and love come summer time! Not only is an aloe plant extremely easy to keep, but they are handy to have around. We had one in our garage when I was little (yes the garage!) and anytime we had a small burn, my mom broke off a tip and put some fresh aloe on it. Medicinal and easy! Win-win.
5. Hydrangea – obviously an outdoor bush, but the great thing about hydrangeas are they make beautiful summer bouquets, and you can preserve them to keep forever! The bushes themselves need soft light and daily watering, and some people find them difficult to keep (or maybe they just don't read about them before they plant them in the scorching sun). So either find a neighbor with a generous amount of blooms, or look during the spring and summer at the grocery store and you’ll find some clippings. (Just don’t look out of season—I recently heard someone complain in February that the hydrangeas at the store were expensive and not lasting long. I politely explained that it was still winter and they weren't in season here, and the ones in the store were probably grown out of the country.)
6. Mother-in-Law's Tongue – you can’t not love the name of this plant!! I love their hint of yellow and the fact that they’re a vertical plant. If you have a tight corner that needs a little something, this is the perfect plant. They’re super easy to care for as well.
7. Fiddle Leaf Fig – big in design world right now, and for good reason. They are the perfect indoor tree. Broad leaves, easy maintenance, and take up the perfect amount of space in an empty corner. Like the jade plant, they are commonly sold as artificial reproductions, but it’s not necessary to spend the money on a fake when you can have the benefits of the real thing.
8. Dwarf Umbrella tree – I have a baby one of these and I just love it. It’s the happiest little plant. I’ve moved it all around and it hasn’t been phased at all. It’s also grown quickly! I’ve already moved it to a bigger pot and I’ve had it about 6 months. The branches spread out wide and are very tropical-looking.
9. Citrus Trees – I haven’t personally tried this, but after last year’s luck with the birds devouring our meyer lemon tree, I’m considering it! Apparently in ample light with a roomy pot, not only will a citrus tree flourish inside, but also produce fruit—and where the birds can’t get it. I like that!
Now you've got a few ideas to get you started! I also highly suggest local nurseries over big box stores for your plants. The plants are usually better cared for, and at ours, the staff is unbelievably helpful if you have any questions. Or just to trouble shoot. They have a wealth of knowledge, whereas most big box store employees are no different than any of their other employees. Plus it's always good to support local business!
But if you don't have a local nursery, don't neglect the power of the internet. Like I said, there are tons of lists out there on how to care for your plants and how to select the best one for your home. So what are you waiting for??