Beginner’s Guide to Houseplants

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Houseplants have become one of the biggest trends of the year – and especially for students. You might not have the room or time for a pet, but you can certainly enjoy taking care of your very own houseplant. Plants are not only beautiful, but can also improve your indoor air-quality, be eaten, or used as a home remedy.

If you’re ready to commit to the life of a plant parent, try this guide to get you started.

Start With Some Research

Determine how much light you have – and what kind.

Does your apartment have enough light, and do you have a place to put a plant that is near that light source – likely a window? Though some plants can survive low light, most really need a lot of direct light.

If you aren’t sure of the quality of light you have in your home, check with your phone. Open and unfocus your phone camera, and you’ll see everything is mostly dark. If you focus on the window, you will see the rest of the room turn almost black. This is a good representation of the amount of light plants in those areas will be able to soak up. When in doubt, put a side table right next to a window and make sure you can keep the curtains open during the day.

Ask yourself how much care you are willing to put in

While a plant obviously requires a lot less maintenance than a dog, it still needs to be cared for. If you have the time to care for your plants daily, air plants, ferns, and orchids would work. But if you’d rather it survive mostly without you, cacti and succulents are a better choice.

Consider These Good Starter Houseplants

These plants are low-maintenance and some have some added benefits as well.

Golden pothos vine

This plant grows quickly, and will drape its leafy vines down the side of a shelf or table. It prefers bright filtered light during most of the year, and needs only to be lightly watered. Pothos is also  are rated one of the best houseplants for removing all indoor air toxins – perfect if you’re spending a lot of time studying in your apartment.

Spider plant

This fun spiky plant is easy to grow and adds a nice visual touch to your room. Spider plants are not picky about water, light or temperature, which is an added bonus if you have a less than ideal light situation. Ideally, provide them with well-drained soil and bright, indirect light and they will flourish.

Snake plant and mother-in-law’s tongue

This is a tall and striking plant that can sit on a windowsill to start, but might eventually need a spot on the floor as it grows. This is another plant that improves indoor air quality, as it converts CO2 into oxygen at night. It was even recommended by NASA!

Succulents and Cacti

There are dozens of varieties of succulents and cacti, with many different sizes, shapes, and colors available. They do best with bright light, well-drained pots, and little water. In the right placement, these are plants that truly thrive on neglect. If you only have a little bit of space and just a few minutes to spare on plant care, this is the species for you.


Filling your apartment with plants can improve the air quality, add a design flair, and help your space feel more like home. What plant are you hoping to purchase for your collection?