Let’s face it; we have all walked into a shop ready to purchase a plant friend to shower with love and care. Typically picking out a tropical specimen to help us forget we live in a concrete jungle or a delicate fern to absorb all that moisture from the shower. After being informed that they need frequent watering, sun, misting and a small string quartet to serenade them you are convinced you can keep this little plant alive. Two days later you stroll in after happy hour and your little fern friend is cooked to a crisp on the radiator that still seems to be on even though it’s almost summer. Clearly you have learned your lesson and next time will be different, right? We are here to help with our guide for vacation proof, easy to care for, Instagram worthy plants.
First up on the list is a classic, but beautiful plant. Snake plants, Sansevieria, tolerate both full sun and low light conditions. Their vertical growth patterns make them ideal for New York City spaces and they are extremely drought tolerant for you travelers out there. Best part is that snake plants are extremely efficient in removing toxins from the air we breathe. These sculptural plants come in a variety of patterns and colors which lends itself to curating a beautiful collection of them. We recommend watering them only when the soil has gone totally dry and ensuring that you completely saturate the soil during watering. You will notice accelerated growth in the spring and summer with the plant going dormant in the winter months. Be sure to adjust your watering schedule to reduced amounts in the winter. Tip: Snake plants pair very well with modern, clean looking containers.
Next is a naturally shiny plant commonly called a ZZ plant. Zamioculcas zamiifolia, ZZ for short, share similar needs to the snake plant. They grow in arching branches studded with green oval leaves that are extremely glossy, which gives the plant a very healthy look. Prolific in producing new offshoots in a bright, lime green hue, these plants can make a big statement against light walls or help you achieve that jungle style living space. Tip: Be sure to repot when the plant becomes snug in the container as the bulbous roots are so strong they can crack ceramic pots.
Another specimen that is worthy of attention is the hoya plant. These fast growing vines make the perfect accent for a bookcase or shelf. They come in a vast array of leaf variations and will flower for months on end with the right conditions. Hoyas thrive with filtered light from a north or east facing window. They should be protected from direct, full sun, which can damage or bleach the leaves. While they will grow and produce long tendrils in low light situations, they likely will not flower. Hoyas prefer a sandy soil mixture and regular waterings as long as the soil is almost completely dry between waterings. Tip: Fertilizing in the spring and summer months will help produce the sweet smelling flowers.Staghorn Ferns
Maybe you have mastered the easy to care for basic plants and are looking for the next step? Staghorn ferns can be wonderfully fun and simple to care for. Recognizable by their long fronds that mimic stag antlers these ferns are more tolerant of forgetful plant parents. While they do require a more regular watering schedule their dusty, muted tones are worth the extra attention. Medium to bright light will keep these ferns producing new fronds and very happy. You will notice the base of the plant is made up of a shield that is either brown or green, which is perfectly healthy. When happy, the staghorn will continue to produce new shields which will produce new fronds. Be sure to check the moisture level every 3-5 days and water when needed. Tip: When traveling for an extended period of time place the plant in a saucer of water with rocks to help maintain the moisture and move to a less sunny location.
No luck with succulents? There is still hope! Aloes are the easier to care for cousin of succulents with added benefits. These desert plants make a statement with their dusty, water filled leaves. They require a western or south facing window with lots of sun, but thrive on minimal water. They are known for the gel substance that makes up their leaves which has healing qualities for the skin and cuts. While they are slow growing they are a great plant for added interest in a space. Tip: Aloe plants make great gifts and look great in both modern white planters and traditional terra cotta planters.
With a bit of knowledge having beautiful, healthy houseplants can be easily achieved. We are always available to answer questions and give suggestions and offer a variety of services for repotting plants too. Come visit us anytime and let our experienced staff help match you with the right plants!