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6 beginner-friendly houseplants you can totally keep alive

The beginner's guide to keeping houseplants alive

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Since we aren't able to spend as much time outside of our homes as we might like, why don't we bring some of that outside in. Plants not only improve air quality, but they can be super soothing to the soul. Working in a garden or caring for your indoor plants can do wonders for your mood. Plus, they look awesome.

I've been a notorious plant killer for years. Even still, about a year ago I decided to give it another go. Steven thought I was nuts and throwing our money away, but lo and behold, 12 months later and we still have more than a dozen plants thriving indoors. Here are 6 plants that I've successfully kept alive in my house, how to care for them, and where to buy them.

image via @terracottakat

Before I jump all the way in, I want to say this. Start by adding one plant at a time to get used to this process. Different plants have different watering needs, and you want to get to know your plant's rhythm a little. Then you can add more and more and it won't feel overwhelming. I water plants 2-3 times a week, but not EVERY plant gets water EVERY time. More on that below.

Snake Plant

aka Sansiveria

It's also called mother-in-law tongue, which is hilarious. Super-hearty, water once every week or two, happy with low light or even artificial light! This is our go-to plant for office spaces because it will stay alive even with just fluorescent lighting. This plant, as with most, will tell you when it's ready to water. Stick your finger an inch down into the soil. If it's dry, give it a little water. If not, you don't need to water it. When you do water, don't soak it. Just water till it starts to pool on the surface a bit and then stop.

watering frequency: every week or two

light: low to medium diffuse


There are so many of varieties, but this is the super basic kind that's available at the grocery store and literally everywhere. Water this guy more often, 2-3 times per week. They are native to humid climates, so they like moisture. I spray mine with water a few times as week as well. It's a great job for the kiddos. Make sure he's in a pot that will let the water drain out of the bottom. He likes medium sunlight since he's tropical and used to being under the canopy of larger plants. Nothing too harsh.

watering frequency: every few days. water the plant and mist the leaves

light: medium diffuse


This might be the best one to start with if you are a notorious plant killer. He's a hearty, soft, leafy plant with little heart shaped leaves. Just like the snake plant, you want to water when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Since mine is smaller, that's about 1-2 times per week. He likes soft sunlight, so you could place him NEAR a window but not right in a sunny spot.

watering frequency: once or twice a week

light: low to medium diffuse


A hearty cactus, used to being dry. He definitely likes sunlight. I only water about once a month and mist the leaves every other week or so when I'm misting the fern. When he starts to look a little less green and more gray-green, that means it's time to give it a lil' water. Ideally you'd water it before that, but this guy doesn't mind much.

watering frequency: every two weeks

light: medium to bright

Lemon Surprise + Prayer Plant

aka: Dracaena and Red Maranta 

Both love the same kind of diffuse , indirect sunlight and weekly watering, so they make great neighbors! Just like the Philodendron, you'll want to wait for the soil to dry out at the top, watering about once per week. These guys live at an office space that we set up in December. I gave the guys the simple task of just setting a day once per week, put it on the calendar, and water. And they are still going strong in April!

watering frequency: once a week

light: low to medium diffuse



If you're one of our local Dallas/Richardson/Plano friends, we highly recommend you pop over to Plants and Planters in Richardson! They are SO nice and knowledgeable and will really help you understand what plants are best for where you want to put them and how to keep them alive! If you've seen on our portfolio any cool planters, they very likely came from here (like that zig-zag guy the Lemon Surprise is in). Their selection is awesome.


If you aren't our neighbor in Richardson, our go-to source for plants online is Bloomscape. They ship the plants right to your door (in VERY nice packaging...what a middle-aged sentence) and the pots with drip catchers are included in the price. And they are PRETTY, y'all. Our Philodendron came from Bloomscape, along with a beautifully designed little card telling me how to care for it, and inviting me to a plant community, where they will answer your plant care questions online! No more wondering if you are overwatering or underwatering. They will show you the way.

I hope this has given you the confidence to give plant parenthood another try! Let me tell you, after 35 years of killing plants it IS possible to redeem yourself. And the life and happiness it brings to your house? TOTALLY worth the try.

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