Since our traveling came to a halt last December, I really got into houseplants and gardening. It gave me so much joy as a beginner because plants are easy and they respond so well to care. It feels so calming, being surrounded by green, too, as if I am in a forest, safe and nurtured by nature.
There is just something grounding about it, and a magnetizing force that highlights my connection to life and everything around me. I truly wish I have enough plants to give to everyone. It really gives an uplift to well-being.
For now, since I cannot give you a plant, please feel free to welcome one in your space. Do not worry if you have never grown anything before. Choose from this shortlist of easy care houseplants for beginners and you are likely to succeed!
1. Snake Plants (dracaena trifasciata, formerly sansevieria trifasciata)
The first plant I transplanted and took inside our tiny house is a laurentii that is close to reaching my height. My youngest sister also gave me a moonshine variety as a pre-housewarming present. I love them!
Snake plants have awesome stiff vertical leaves, really architectural, and each leaf has unique stripes like our fingerprints! They are drought-tolerant and low-light tolerant, very hard to kill, especially for beginners. I only water them once every two weeks. Other snake plants I have are whale’s fin, coppertone, cylindrica, and bird’s nest.
2. Dragon Tree (dracaena marginata bicolor)
I am so proud of my dragon tree because Markus and I propagated it from father’s massive tree! It looks so dramatic, even if it is still small. I hope to add it as a vertical element to our tiny house in the future. An indoor tree would be spectacular!
Dracaenas are beginner-friendly, in all. They do not need a lot of light or water. In fact, you must let it dry out before watering. Case in point: I overwatered my dracaena marginata kiwi and its bottom leaves dried up! It still has a lot of browning right now, but lesson learned. Sorry, Kiwi!
3. Chinese Evergreens (aglaonema)
In my post about lessons I learned from growing houseplants, you saw my pink aglaonema from my father’s neighbor. Its variegated pink leaves are so cute and it is currently pushing so much new growth. The trick is not to care for it. This is what makes it an easy care plant perfect for beginners. Put it in a corner with reasonable indirect light and forget about it for two weeks or so. Check the soil. Only water it if it is dry.
4. Sweetheart Plants (philodendron scandens)
Talk about tough plants. My youngest sister and I water-propagated my father’s sweetheart plant, also commonly known as heartleaf philodendron, but she quickly forgot about them!
After almost three weeks, the water in the small bottles are near empty and the roots are all parched and exposed! But did they die? No. I quicky repotted them in soil and took them with me for looking after. Now they are growing crazy on our balcony.
Philodendrons, in general, are easy care plants. They are not fussy, you can grow them in soil or water, and they can tolerate any light situation – even direct sunlight! Most of my philodendrons are indoors, including my gang of golden pothos trailing on our stairs and the rojo congo I rehabilitated. We have two giants in the garden, as you can see on the top photo, that are colonizing a couple of trees.
5. ZZ Plants (zamioculcas zamiifolia)
Most offices have ZZ plants. Their round leaves are so cute it is almost artificial! I received a black one as a present – so majestic. My father had lots of them growing in direct light, too, along the fence of the property where our tiny house is. They were doing okay, probably acclimated successfully, but I knew they will be happier with shade.
I dug most of the ZZ plants and repotted them, twice! They did not mind. In fact, they enjoyed it. ZZ plants store water in their bodies. If you water them a lot, they burst and die. I only water them once every three weeks, depending on the moisture of the soil.
6. Hanging Coin Vine (dischidia oiantha)
Hanging plants are delightful. I love how natural they look. They bring you back to Earth. I am growing several kinds in and around our tiny house and the most successful are hanging coin vines or manaog ka irog as it is known here in its native Philippines. The name translates to ‘climb, darling’ as the leaves resemble stairs. I do not know where the lover is!
My father always had one or a couple growing on some corner, until it eats everything around it, and makes a mess of the space. Apart from untangling the vines every now and then, this plant is low-maintenance. Frankly, I water it when I remember. It also likes shade.
You can pick up one to start your plant parent career but be warned: manaog ka irog grows vigorously. Remeber to trim it if you do not want a remake of Jack and The Beanstalk in your home or garden. Other than that, they are definitely easy care and beginner-friendly plants. All the best and please let me know how your plants are doing!