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Top 5 Favorite House Plants and How to Keep Them Alive

I’ve had a love of decorating for as long as I can remember. My mom was laid back enough to always let me paint my own room whatever color I chose. Twelve-year-old Diana would much rather paint her room purple with a gaudy rose stencil boarder than anything else a typical 12-year-old would want to do. I spent hours on that ugly stencil, and I was so proud. I hope I can put aside my decorating control one day to let my daughter have the freedom to make her space her own like my mom did. That will be much tougher for me than it was for my mom!

As my decorating interests evolved, I always thought a coat of paint, an interesting piece of furniture, and beautiful art made a space pop. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve realized it’s more than paint, furniture, and art that makes a room feel inviting and finished, it’s the touches of green that truly makes the space come alive.

If you’re anything like me, I shied away from live plants for the longest time because: 1. I had no clue what to get, and 2. I had no clue how to keep them alive. It’s definitely been a trial and error journey, but I wanted to share my five go-to indoor plants that even the blackest of thumbs (that’s the opposite of a green thumb, right?) can keep alive.

Snake Plant a.k.a Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

Why I Love It

Snake plants are modern, sleek, and a natural air purifier. You can find them affordably in a smaller versions, which are popular for side tables, dressers, and buffets, but I like the large, statement Snake Plants. One thing I love about Snake Plants is that they grow thin and tall, which adds such a sleek element to any design. It also provides great height for many spaces. You can find them in several different varieties and colors to best fit your home.

They also purify your air of several different toxins. I originally bought mine for the nursery for its air purification qualities, but I realized that our nursery probably gets too much light to keep it alive. It’s final resting place is in our master bedroom, which doesn’t get nearly as much afternoon sun and it’s thriving.




Savings Tip: If you want a large plant, but don’t want to pay the extra large price, consider purchasing two medium-sized plants and planting them in one large pot. I saved about $20 doing this with my Snake Plant.

Keeping it Alive

If you’ve placed your Snake Plant in a low light room, then you can pretty much forget about it for a month and it would still flourish. I wouldn’t recommend that though. I usually put about a cup of water in my large plant about every week to week in a half. Basically, if you see that the soil is dry, water it. Fertilize 1-2 times each season.

 

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

(Click HERE to check out the full NURSERY REVEAL)

Why I Love It

Fiddle leaf fig is the house plant of the year…or last few years, really. They are so popular, but it’s for a good reason. The large green fan-like leaves make such a beautiful, modern statement. They can grow 8+ feet, which can fill up that sparse corner in your living room or dining room. You can obviously keep it trimmed though if it’s getting too wild.

I love the look of fiddle leafs in baskets. You will need to first plant it in a basic well-drained pot then place that in a basket. By using a basket, you can easily change out the look of the plant without replanting it, which is very easy and convenient.

You may be saying, “Well, Diana, I love these too, but I don’t want to pay $80+ on a house plant!” I didn’t either, friend! I found mine online at Home Depot for $30! They were only about 2′ at the time, but they’ve grown fairly quickly in the last year and a half. Unless you’re impatient, try finding a small tree for much less and watching it grow.

Keeping it Alive

These guys like a home base. Once you find a spot for them, keep them there if you can. I’ve read horror stories where large fiddle leafs die after being moved to another area of the house. Once you’ve found that nice, sunny spot in your space, make it your fiddle leaf fig’s home to thrive.

You’ll only want to add about a cup of water once an inch of topsoil is dried out. They also love light, so place these where they’ll receive plenty of indirect light. I have to rotate my plants every so often so that they’ll grow evenly. Fertilize 1-2 a season, skipping the winter months.


 

Philodendron

Why I Love It

Probably the most popular house plant in the world, Philodendrons add a beautiful weeping green element to many spaces. Some Philodendrons are vines that can grow several feet. Mine have not grown as much as I’d like, but it has a lot to do with the pot size and drainage. My dream Philodendron would drape for several feet down my fireplace, but I’m not so lucky just yet.

Keeping it Alive

I see so many fake Philodendrons draped above cabinets and in bookcases. These vines are so easy to keep alive, so I wouldn’t recommend going the fake route with these guys. The real plants are so much more beautiful. They like a darker space, and they only need water when the soil is dry, maybe once a week.

Succulents and Air Plants

Why I Love It

Succulents add a fun, quirky element in any space. There are so many things you can do with succulents: use them in fairy gardens, terrariums, hanging planters…the list goes on! They’re cheap and easy to maintain. They’re like a typical 15-year-old. Just give them a cozy space to retreat and leave them alone. Using succulents is one of the quickest, cheapest ways to add plants to your space. So, if you’re just starting out with introducing plants to your home, try out one of the many varieties of succulents. You can find them at any nursery of home and garden store.

Keeping Them Alive

As I mentioned above, succulents like to be left alone. I usually only water mine maybe twice a month. Even then, I only give them a little bit of water by spraying them with a water bottle. Though succulents are advertised as one of the easiest house plants to maintain, I’ve killed my fair share of them because I’ve given them too much attention. Use a well-draining soil and rocks on the bottom of any planter that doesn’t have drains so that the soil doesn’t sit in water.

As for air plants, you’ll just need to spritz them with water ever week or two. Sometimes, if my air plants are looking rough, I’ll soak them in water for a couple hours. (I purchased my air plants here.)




 

Eucalyptus

 

Why I Love It

If you love the “Joanna Gaines farmhouse look”, then you’ve got to fill your home with Eucalyptus. Though I wouldn’t consider my style “farmhouse”, I love a good, dried-out eucalyptus plant. I start with fresh eucalyptus that I get from Trader Joe’s. I initially put water in its container, then I’ll let it eventually dry out. I’ve had the same plants for months at a time before refreshing. Eucalyptus adds that drapey touch of green to your home in a whimsical way. Plus, it’s so cheap and easy to care for.

Keeping Them Alive

As I mentioned above, you can start by adding your plant to a container with water, but as the plant dries out, you can remove the water and just enjoy your dried eucalyptus for many months. Easy peasy.

 

What is your favorite house plant? I’d love to know in the comments below! Or tag me on Instagram or Facebook when you share the greenery that fills your home, @dahliasanddimes.

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