What are Houseplants?

Andrea Metzler

art terrarium blog

We know there are tons of benefits to having plants in your home. From their mood-boosting properties and ability to improve air quality to the vibrant pops of color they provide, plants are an essential part of your home.

By now you’ve probably heard the term houseplant gets tossed around quite a bit. But what exactly is a houseplant?

While it may seem logical that any plant you bring home could technically be a houseplant, that’s not always the case. So we’ve pulled together a quick crash course that includes important houseplant basics like their background, how to keep your houseplant healthy, and our recommendations for fairly kill-proof options for new plant parents.

house plants des moines

So what is it?

Most of the common houseplants we see today are native to the tropics or the desert. While many native Iowa plants require a winter dormancy, tropical plants and succulents need consistent, warm temperatures. Our climate controlled homes and offices replicate the year-round temperatures of these environments, making them the ideal home.

When starting on your houseplant journey, it’s important to understand the native environment of your houseplant and try to replicate it as much as possible. The jungles of the tropics are warm and humid, with regular rainfalls. Your tropical houseplants will appreciate a humid environment (even in the winter!) and regular watering. The succulents and cacti of the desert are used to the warm, dry air and lots of direct sun. Replicate this environment by placing your succulents in the sunniest area of your home, cut back on humidity and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

house plants art terrarium

Keeping your houseplant healthy

Plant parenthood may seem intimidating, but there’s a science to keeping your houseplants happy and healthy. Start your successful plant care routine with these three easy steps:

Find the Right Light
When it comes to placing your houseplants, consider the places in your home that receive the most and least light. As we mentioned above, think about the native environment of the plant and place it accordingly. Succulents will appreciate being in or near south and west facing windows that receive a lot of direct sun. Many of our tropical houseplants grow along the jungle floor where the light in filtered. These plants will do best in an area where they are getting natural light, but the sun rays aren’t hitting them directly.

Set a Watering Schedule
Different house plants require different amounts of water. To avoid overwatering set a schedule to establish a good plant watering routine. You can even consider clustering houseplants with similar needs together in your home to make regular care a little bit easier.

Don’t forget to feed them
While the soil your houseplant is potted in likely contains some sort of fertilizer, your plant will likely need some added nutrition as time goes on. Because the fertilization processes that naturally occur outdoors are missing inside your home, you’ll need to give your plant a little extra help.

succulents des moines downtown

Popular with plant parents

Not only will these popular houseplants bring a fresh feel to your space but they’re also extremely easy to care for day-to-day.

Pothos
Pothos are the ultimate low-maintenance houseplant. Not only do these plants require little light but they also prefer infrequent waterings. Get creative with your placement of pothos—these vining plants can thrive in unlikely locations like your bathroom.

Sansevieria
Also known as snake plants, sansevieria are the perfect houseplant because of their love of dry conditions and ability to tolerate low light. Especially if you’re giving houseplants a try for the first time, Sansevieria is both a forgiving and visually stunning option. To keep this houseplant happiest, water it only when the plant’s soil is completely dry.

Spider Plant
This easy-going variety of houseplants grows quickly and brings a vibrant spray of green to your home. Spider plants require little light but are a powerful purifier when it comes to removing toxins from the air. These hardy houseplants prefer regular watering but can withstand the occasional dry spell, making them virtually kill-proof.


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