Brent & Marisa Whitaker

Houseplants: Why, What and How?

January 16, 2023

Photo of a lounge area interior with comfortable armchairs and houseplants

The “Why”

The “why” for indoor houseplants should be fairly obviously, right? They scrub the air in your home, they lend a tranquil vibe to any room, and as a design element they’re super versatile, adding color, texture, and shape for great interest and appeal. Their aliveness makes you feel alive.

The “What”

Now, how to choose among the many, many, many options?

The Classics

Ferns and bamboos add class and cleaner air without clutter. The tiny leaves allow the eye to flow right past and beyond, not distracting from your decor. They’re so zen, you can pile on these plants in a bedroom, office, kitchen, or foyer – anywhere you need that subtle calming vibe.

The Best Air Scrubber

If NASA really thinks you should have these in your home, who are we to disagree?

Your top 3 air scrubbers all have that leafy green look, as you would imagine. They are: English Ivy with its classic trailing greens, the Peace Lily, a Christmas favorite, and Red-Edged dracaena with its tall, lanky beauty. The first two do well in low-sun or indirect sun, so they’re great for corners and dim rooms. They’ll give you fresh, benzene-free oxygen to breathe year-round – yay! The dracaena prefers sunlight and likes to grow tall, so pick a big open, sunlit room – you’ll feel healthier just looking at it. The red edge (hence the name) adds a pop of color and a sweet tropical feel. All three are easy on your lungs and easy to work into your home designs.

The Air Plant

If leafy green is not your style, or if you need something ultra-sleek for that modern guest bathroom you just put in, air plants are certainly all the rage. They range in color from deep maroon to dusty blue to light airy sage. Sculptural and elegant, they satisfy the strictest minimalist design. But they’re equally at home in their glass pods sitting atop your rustic dining table.

The Statement Makers

A lush rubber tree towering next to your white leather sofa? Awesome. Tiny decorative succulents in delicate hues of blue and purple on your mantel? Just as gorgeous. Statement pieces come in all shapes and sizes. All of which, your common house plant can accommodate with grace and living energy.

The “How”

Over-watering is your enemy. Really, it’s your number one enemy. Don’t do it. Most plants need a good soaking once a week on average, but if it’s hot and dry in your house, you’ll clearly need to stay on top of dry soil more often. Otherwise, placement is hugely important. Put sun-loving plants directly in the sun, near windows, etc.. Put shade-loving plants far away from harsh direct rays. Some of the ivies and lilies are pretty fussy. Orchids, naturally, are very finicky about their needs. While succulents of course are your easiest to care for. Give them some loose, drainy soil, and water them at most every 1-2 weeks, depending on the dryness of your home and the type and size of the container.”

Finally, houseplants can perish even under the most cautious care. Don’t beat yourself up. Our policy is: buy more. Enjoy more.