For plant novices, it can be hard to choose from the vast array of greenery on offer from plant shops and garden centres and to know which plants are best suited for beginners.
From root rot to lopsided growth, plants can experience a host of issues when not cared for properly or placed in the wrong surroundings.
In celebration of National Houseplant Day, we've partnered with Andrew Forbes of Edinburgh-based plant emporium, Green Meadows, to share the eight best beginner plants to start off any newbie’s houseplant journey.
The Epipremnum is a beautiful trailing plant, ideal for hanging from the ceiling or cascading from a shelf. Epipremnum come in a variety of colours and patterns from the marble queen to the vivid yellow hues of the neon. These plants prefer medium, indirect light and are to be watered when the soil becomes dry. They are happy with normal household temperature and humidity however extra humidity is always good.
The great thing about Epipremnum is they are drought tolerant, so if you tend to forget to water your plants, this will be more forgiving than most. These plants grow fast and it can feel very rewarding to watch every new leaf come through.
When you think of tropical indoor plants, Monstera are usually first on the list. Known for their big beautiful leaves, the plant’s classic holes have resulted in its unusual nickname - the Swiss Cheese plant.
While there are a few different varieties of Monstera, for beginners the Monstera Deliciosa is a great option as it is a very easy plant with big growth potential.
Monsteras like bright indirect light, water when the soil begins to dry as well as warm and humid areas. They make an ideal plant for areas in the home such as bright bathrooms or hallways. These plants are quite forgiving of neglect but always strive to give them the best care and they will reward you with years of growth.
From the bright pink foliage of the Aglaonema pink star to the silver blue hues of the Aglaonema silver queen. Aglaonema - or Chinese Evergreens - are a diverse family of plants. They are on NASA’s list of air purifying plants, making them perfect to bring fresh air indoors.
Aglaonemas thrive in all light levels. The golden rule is the lighter the leaf the more light you need. Keep the soil moist, with normal household temperature and humidity, and your plant will thrive. They can tolerate lower humidity meaning if you typically have a drier home then this is the plant for you.
4. Zamioculcas zamiifolia
Also known as the ZZ, this popular plant is an ideal addition to any new plant parent's home and is especially great for forgetful owners. Not your typical plant, this eye-catching gem has great air purifying qualities and enjoys being pot bound, reducing the need for repotting.
The ZZ plant is both shade and drought tolerant, so don’t be afraid to let this plant dry out or put it somewhere shady. This plant is happy in normal household temperatures, but can also handle it slightly cooler.
Ficus plants, also known as the Rubber plant, come in all shapes, sizes and colours and can be an excellent green addition to any room. Whatever Ficus you fancy adding to your home, it’s sure to be one of the easiest plants to care for.
Take the Ficus belize for example, a beautiful plant with big round leaves adorned with cream and pink variegation. This only needs watered when the soil becomes slightly dry, is happy in bright indirect light and doesn’t have any humidity requirements - with general household temperatures being fine for growth.
The reason their nickname is Rubber Plant is due to the sticky latex that oozes from a cut stem.
A firm favourite amongst beginners and seasoned houseplant lovers alike, Tradescantias can be purple, pink or all shades of green. Our top pick for newbies is the Tradescantia albiflora nanouk, a beautiful pink, cream and green variety with sturdy leaves and easy care requirements, they are robust in comparison to the equally beautiful Tradescantia albiflora quadricolor.
The more light you give this plant the more vivid it’s colours become. Feed this plant water when the soil dries out and keep in normal room temperatures with a little extra humidity thrown in to keep it healthy. This is a great plant if you want to have a go at propagating plants.
For all the plant parents out there desperate for a little pattern and colour but are scared off from the slightly more challenging Calathea plant, meet its friendlier cousin - the Maranta plant.
From the same parent family as Calatheas, Marantas are also known as prayer plants thanks to their unique characteristic of lying flat during the day and folding up at night.
Maranta plants prefer medium to indirect light, but can handle a shadier spot. Keep the soil moist to encourage good growth and higher levels of humidity - misting is a must. Household temperatures are fine but a little warmer is preferred.
A classic houseplant - Sansevieria, or the Snake plant, is an ideal choice for your first plant. Available in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours, they make ideal desk plants or feature plants for your coffee table.
Sansevieria are robust plants that are perfect for those who go away often or need a plant to be able to fend for itself. These plants can handle everything from bright indirect light to shade and are only to be watered when the soil dries out completely which can be as little as once a month. Snake plants are happy in temperatures as low as 10 degrees and can handle normal household humidity.
So, no matter what plant you pick, there are plant options for people of all skill levels - it just takes a little time to get to know your new green friend and understand its needs.
Owning houseplants can be extremely rewarding - not only improving the look of your home but by seeing your plant grow and progress as you care for it.
For inspiration on how to bring the outside into your home and see Andrew work his magic, watch the video below:
Find out more about our collaboration with Green Meadows for National Houseplant Appreciation Day.