Vancouver interior designer Ami McKay shares the best houseplants for a healthy, beautiful home. Are you ready to elevate your space?
Houseplants are so hot right now, and understandably so. Not only do they brighten up a space, they’re also (usually) low maintenance and easy to take care of.
But which houseplant is right for you? That can depend on a few factors, like the light and space available in your apartment, as well as how good you are at remembering to water them! Here, I’ll take you through a few popular houseplant options and some things to consider before you make your purchase.
Known for their distinctive knotted trunks, money trees do well in artificial (read: indoor) lighting and are great floor plants that will grow into statement pieces. They’re also pet-friendly and symbols of prosperity and fortune. We could all do with some of that!
Best for: People with spacious apartments. Money trees can grow quite a bit!
This fun, spiky plant – which is also called mother-in-law’s tongue – is hardy and easy to take care of! You’ll really have to try hard to kill a snake plant, which is great if you’re away often or regularly forget to tend to your leafy roommates. In fact, it’s worse to overwater snake plants than it is to underwater them!
Best for: Scatterbrains. Snake plants are low maintenance and tough to kill.
Classic and cute, parlor palms make great statement plants. They’re also super resilient and do well in medium to low light areas. Plus, parlor palms are non-toxic to pets and people – ideal for animal lovers and parents alike.
Best for: Parents. Parlor palms are non-toxic, tough to kill, and hardy.
Also known as a heart-leaf philodendron (or philodendron heartleaf), sweetheart plants are ideal for first-time plant parents. They thrive even in dim rooms and add a touch of whimsy to any space. They also look great hanging from macrame holders, bookshelves, and desks. Careful though – they’re poisonous to pets.
Best for: Busy work-from-homers. They’re fun to look at, but don’t require much maintenance.
Calatheas are gorgeous dark green plants with flecks of rich red or pinkish hues that will add class to any space. Not to mention they thrive in medium to low light, making them ideal for people with less direct sunlight.
Best for: Pet owners. Calatheas are non-toxic and pet safe.
It seems like everyone has a monstera right now, and I can see why! They’re super cute, add tropical vibes to even the least-tropical of apartments, and do well in indirect light. However, they’re certainly as pricey as they are popular so make sure you’ve got the money and space for one. They’re also poisonous to pets.
Best for: Ballers. Monsteras don’t come cheap.
Small and compact, spider plants are great for small spaces and thrive in humid areas. Stick one in your bathroom and enjoy how it brightens up the space and purifies the air!
Best for: People who live in humid climates. And bathroom owners.
Aloe veras are hardy and practical plants that everyone should have in their home. Not only are they great for soothing sunburn, they’re also great at purifying the air and fit nicely on a countertop or shelf. Plus, they’re pet-friendly and can survive being under-watered.
Best for: Accident-prone people. Aloes are great for soothing cuts and burns.
Kimberly Queen Fern
Most ferns make great houseplants, as they’re resilient, pretty, and affordable. And they cope well with all kinds of light! The Kimberly Queen Fern is especially great because it’s small and compact, though – perfect for apartment dwellers with limited space.
Best for: Those in small apartments. Kimberly Queen ferns are both neat and petite.
Also known as pothos, devil’s ivy is a scourge when kept outdoors as it tends to decimate other plants. However, when kept indoors, it’s near impossible to kill, can survive even in the dark, and will handle both under and over-watering like a champ. You can even grow them in water, rather than soil. However, they are, as you might imagine, poisonous.
Best for: Forgetful plant parents. This plant will thrive in basically any conditions.
Contrary to popular belief, not all cactuses were created equally. There are in fact many varieties of cactus! One of the best houseplant cactus options is the saguaro cactus, a type that requires very little water, is incredibly slow growing, and thrives in direct sunlight. So, stick it on a windowsill and (mostly) forget about it.
Best for: Sunny apartments. Saguaro cactuses love the sunshine.
Things to Consider
If your apartment doesn’t get much (or any!) direct sunlight, consider plants that require less sunshine and thrive in the shade. You don’t want to deal with dead plants just because you didn’t double-check the lighting requirements.
How big is your apartment? If you’ve only got some shelf space available, look for smaller plants like spider plants, cactuses, succulents, and anything with trailing vines that will look cute hanging from on high.
If you have floor space, go for leafy or tall plants that will both make use of the space and serve as statement pieces!
Make sure you don’t accidentally buy a houseplant that could be toxic to your furry friend if ingested. Before buying any houseplant, double-check that it’s safe to have around cats and dogs. And kids!
Some houseplants require more care than others. If you’re prone to underwatering your plants, make sure the houseplant you opt for can handle and bounce back from being a bit thirsty. Ditto: overwatering!