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House plants with style

Tell us your top tips for caring for indoor plants…
It sounds silly, but some people don’t realize that a plant’s source of energy is light. Plants need to be either by the window or under a skylight to remain healthy over the long term. I see many people putting their plants on a dresser in the middle of their bedroom like a scented candle with no natural light and then wondering why they are dying.

Don’t overwater your plants. As a general guide, wait for the soil to dry before watering again. This can take anywhere from one to three weeks provided the plant receives the right amount of light and also depends on the time of year.

Be playful and cheerful with your plant care and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. This is a journey and a big part of the joy is in the experimentation. Each person’s growing conditions at home are unique. You learn through experience and observation. No one can do it perfectly by reading a guide or manual from the start.

What are the advantages of different types of houseplants?
Some claim that houseplants purify the air, but there’s also research debunking this. You would need lots of plants to really improve the air quality of your home. For me, the benefits of houseplants relate to your well-being. Plants make people happy. Taking care of your plants has the same benefits as meditation.

As for the benefits of different types of houseplants, desert plants (cacti and succulents) require less maintenance and look really cool, but need a lot more sun. If you live in an apartment without a lot of light, this probably isn’t the right choice for you. Tropical plants, on the other hand, can thrive with less light but require more watering and care. They create a beautiful jungle look.

What is your favorite houseplant and why?
There are so many plants I love and it’s hard to narrow down to a single favorite. But in the event of a fire, I’d reach for my Aglaonema Pictum ‘Tricolor’ on my way out the door. It is a very rare plant with a camouflaged pattern on the leaves. I also love other more common types of Aglaonemas because they are very easy to care for.