Plant parents guide

Plant Parents: Your Guide to Houseplant Care

With fall quickly approaching, we're turning our attention from outdoor gardening to brightening the inside of our homes with some greenery and color. And whether you're a beginner houseplant parent or an experienced one, it's never a bad idea to brush up on the best ways to keep your growing houseplant collection thriving.

Ensuring your plants stay healthy through the colder seasons and beyond involves choosing the right ones for your space and experience, knowing how much to water (and when to stop), finding the best light levels for each plant, and avoiding some common mistakes. But plants can also add a lot of style to our space and become part of the decor, so styling and grouping the right plants together can be an important consideration as well.

Whatever your houseplant needs, this guide will help you become a better plant parent.

30 Best Houseplants for Beginners

Best houseplants for beginners

The Spruce / Krystal Slagle; Photo Treatment by The Spruce

If you're looking to start a houseplant collection and haven't developed your green thumb yet, some plants are better than others. Houseplants for beginners are easy to grow and can generally withstand erratic watering, uneven or bad light, and fluctuating temperatures. They can thrive in dorm rooms, offices, and sometimes even dismal corners. Find out which houseplants you should add to your collection when you're just starting out.

How Not to Kill Your Houseplants With Too Much Water

How to water houseplants

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes people make with their houseplants, especially when they're new to plant parenting. On the other hand, there is the stage of neglect, when houseplants are no longer so exciting or new, so they are forgotten or not looked after with quite as much attention.

Developing good watering habits isn't difficult, but it does require a few essential ingredients, such as consistency and paying attention to your plants and reading their signs. Ultimately, the plants themselves are your best source of information. Plants that are wilting are telling you they need more water, while plants that are yellowing and looking washed out may be getting too much water.

How to Determine Sunlight Levels for Houseplants

Sunlight levels for houseplants

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida; Photo Treatment by The Spruce

Too much or too little light can quickly stress a plant, which makes them more prone to disease, pests, and premature death. Fortunately, most plants come labeled with information about their sunlight preferences, such as full sun or partial shade. However, finding optimal lighting for your plant can take some trial and error, so you'll have to monitor it closely.

It's often easier to determine the amount of sun in your yard as opposed to inside. Outdoors you can clearly see where it's shady and where the sun is hitting directly. Light is more subtle indoors. To figure out if a houseplant will be happy in your space, it's helpful to know the different types of light you have in your home.

4 Mistakes People Make With Their Houseplants

Mistakes people make with houseplants

The Spruce / Krystal Slagle; Photo Treatment by The Spruce

Houseplants are such a great addition to your home. They bring a sense of calm and add a bit of flair to a space. But sometimes when you get houseplant crazy, you forget that houseplants are living things and need to be taken care of a certain way. Instead of thinking about the things that help a houseplant flourish, people think about where it might look nice in their home or what planter would make it pop. This can often lead to mistakes that can stop your plants from flourishing. Mistakes like not placing your plant in a spot where it’s getting enough light, or accidentally putting it in a drafty area. It’s important to remember that your plant needs certain things to survive so we spoke with a horticulturalist to find out common mistakes people make with their houseplants so you can avoid making them yourself. 

Everything You Need to Know About Grouping Houseplants

Tips for grouping houseplants

The Spruce / Kara Riley; Photo Treatment by The Spruce

There’s nothing like walking into a room and being surrounded by a ton of houseplants. And it’s even better when there are corners of a home where there are lots of plants grouped together. It just makes you feel like you’re in a jungle.

Many people intentionally group their houseplants together. Whether you’re doing it to keep your plants near each other to make caring for them easier or because it looks nice, grouping houseplants can be super beneficial for a number of reasons. We wanted to find out why people group houseplants—or why they should—so we spoke to a plant specialist to find out everything you need to know about grouping houseplants.

7 Plant Styling Tips We Learned From the Pros

How to style houseplants

The Spruce / Sarah Crowley; Photo Treatment by The Spruce

Over the past few years, it seems that there’s one thing every designer agrees on—no matter your personal style or home’s aesthetic, every room can use some greenery.

But even if you’re confident in your own indoor gardening abilities, adding plant life to a space can be overwhelming. With this in mind, we turned to a few of our favorite experts to ask for their best plant styling tips for any and all spaces.