Hello, and Happy Friday, Jaime of JME Decor here! I am excited to be writing this blog post series on Plant Parenthood. Thank you to all of you who encouraged me to do this and for all the suggestions about topics to cover!

I will be sharing a 3 part series on house plants, and then stay tuned for a spring series on urban and container gardening! 

Before we get to soil types and fertilizers, we need to talk about what plants you are actually caring for and why you have brought these specific plants into your home. 

Here is a list of common and currently popular house plants. If you have been gifted a plant, picked one up on a recent hardware store shopping trip, or just had to have that cute little guy at the checkout line in Aldi, chances are it is one of these varieties! 

Common House Plants: 

1) Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

This has to be one of the most common plants seen in homes today, and it probably seems familiar because it was also a favorite house plant from years gone by. Chances are your grandparents or parents had these trailing about in their homes as well! You might even have been given a propagated piece of one of their parent plants (more on propagation in Part 2 of this post.) 

  • Light- Bright filtered or indirect light.  
  • Water- These plants will tell you when they are thirsty, and leaves will begin to wilt. This is OK, just give it a good drink!

2) Cacti (Cereus)

There are countless varieties of cacti, and most of us have had one in our space at one time or another. The fact that these are desert dwelling plants and don't need frequent waterings makes them an easy to forget about and still keep alive plant, haha!

  • Light- Bright, direct, full sunlight. Find your sunniest spot and let this guy have a front row seat.
  • Water- In spring and summer months water regularly, making sure not to let roots sit in water. Over-watering is the number one killer of cacti(and most house plants for that matter.) In winter (non-growing months) you may go weeks or months without needing to water. 

3) Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

This plant may be familiar as the kind you see sitting in office and lobby corners, but I think this plant is ready for it's time to shine! It is hardy, can survive in darker spaces in your home, AND it is atop my list of plants that purify air, so if you don't have a snake plant you should go adopt one today (yes, adopt because these are living things that want to live and grow with you rather than decorate a space for a few weeks and then get tossed out.) 

  • Light- Can tolerate low light, but will thrive in medium to bright light.
  • Water- If yours lives in mostly shadows it won't need much water, in fact let the guy get bone dry! If yours is in brighter light it can be watered more frequently. 

4) Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata)

Oh the Fiddle Fig....probably Instagram's favorite plant of the hour. I hope this post encourages you to run out and get a live little guy, because I hope to never see another bad faux version of this plant again in my life! While not among the easiest of house plants to care for, the Fiddle Fig is also not the pickiest of plants. YOU CAN KEEP ONE OF THE REAL ONES ALIVE. I promise! 

  • Light- A medium light condition is ideal, and some direct sun each day will make yours love you! Make sure to clean the leaves every few weeks; they collect dust that will inhibit photosynthesis. 
  • Water- Water well every week or so, letting the top few inches of dirt become completely dry before re-watering. If the bottom leaves are dropping this is most likely due to over-watering. 

5) Monstera or Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa)

This guy was social media's little darling a few years ago, and I am still crushing hard. I have to admit I got my first monstera 4 years ago in the peak of the trend, and today he is more of a family member than plant. This is my favorite plant to propagate and share with friends and family! Little pieces of my papa plant now live all over Michigan in others' homes. In our homes, these plants usually max out at a few feet by few feet, but in a recent trip to Nicarauga we saw them in all their glory climbing up and around 100 foot trees! 

  • Light- Bright filtered or indirect light is ideal. The room in your house where natural light pours in and dances around all day is where this guy wants to live. 
  • Water- Water sparingly. In winter months you may go weeks without watering. Let the top few inches of soil become completely dry before re-watering. 

6) Palms (Palmae) 

There are so many varieties of Palms, they are easy to find at the hardware or grocery store and range in size so we buy them to fill whole corners and also to sit on our desk at the office. Palms have to be one of the most versitile and underrated of house plants. 

  • Light- Bight light and a few hours of direct sun each day and your palm will love you forever. This might be difficult in winter months, but a little sun will keep them happy!
  • Water- Watering conditions differ from one palm variety to the next. Make sure these plants have an ability to drain so their roots are never sitting in water. 

Want a Low Maintenance plant?

  • Peace Lilly
  • ZZ Plant
  • Pothos
  • Snake Plant

Want a Air Purifying plant?

  • Rubber Plant/Tree
  • Snake Plant
  • Golden Pothos

Want a Non Toxic, Animal Safe plant?

  • Air Plants
  • Spider Plant
  • Rosemary
  • Boston Fern
  • Staghorn Fern 

Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert, but over the past 5 years my husband and I have brought over 100 differerent plants into our home. When we started I knew very little about house plant care, I googled everything, worried I was killing plants at the first sign of yellow, and then when a plant died that I thought was just fine I would feel defeated. If this is you, just know that there is a way to live peacefully with house plants and even have them become a simple yet joy-giving part of your home and life!