A Beginner’s Guide to Houseplants

It all started with a single peace lily. A beautiful, perfect peace lily that arrived at my doorstep mere hours after we put our beloved family dog down. It was from a friend of my husband’s, and I later learned that peace lilies are often gifted to people after they’ve suffered loss. I admired the plant’s lush, green foliage and popped it by a bright window.

peace lilyA few weeks passed, and one day, I noticed the leaves on my peace lily were crispy and droopy. Google told me that my plant was getting hit with too much direct sunlight and was also in desperate need of a drink. I watered it thoroughly and set it in a brand new spot. Another month passed, and this time I was treated to a wonderful sight- new green leaves emerging and unfolding from the soil.

Today, my indoor garden of has expanded to 14 plant bébés and my Kindle library is chock full of books about houseplants. Keep scrolling for my pointers on how to start your own indoor jungle!

How To Begin A Houseplant Collection

houseplant in front of booksFirst, think about where you want to put your new plant. Then, take the time to assess the amount of light that that particular space receives. I used a handy free app called “Light Meter” to help me take these measurements of light intensity {foot candles}. Pairing these readings along with House Plant Journal’s Bright Indirect Light Requirements page helped me figure out which plants would live best in my space. I was quite surprised to find that several commonly labeled “low light” houseplants such as the zanzibar gem {zz plant} and dracaena trifasciata {snake plant} require more light to thrive than I originally thought.

Second, consider the amount of effort, time and money you’re willing to spend on your plants. Houseplants can be a considerable investment and it is wise to think through your purchases before you make them!

Third, remember that houseplants are living things, and as such, dealing with pests is an inevitable part of plant parent life. Do yourself a favor and make an upfront investment in Bonide Systemic Granules and insecticidal soap before you even bring a plant home. Preventing a problem is much easier than trying to get rid of it later. If you want to go more of a natural remedy route, you can try out mosquito bits and neem oil

Take your time when you are plant shopping. Visit some local nurseries {see my favorites listed below} to browse. When you finally settle on a plant that you just *have* to bring home, inspect it carefully before you purchase it. Check the undersides of all the leaves and probe the soil gently to check for pests. Do you see any new growth coming in on the plant? More mature plants {6 inch pots and up} can be expensive, but with this maturity also comes established growth and roots. 

Once you figure out the right light and watering habits for your plant, you are on your way to plant fam success! I prefer keeping my houseplants in their nursery pots for as long as possible due to the superior drainage that these pots provide. However, nursery pots aren’t the prettiest, so you may want to check out Target, HomeGoods, World Market, Marshalls or Ross for cute cache pots to put them in.

Most importantly, have fun with the process! I hope you get to experience the beauty and new life that houseplants can breathe into your home!

Shop Houseplants in Houston

Plants Galore at Mala Market HTX

Enchanted Forest
Enchanted Gardens
Cornelius Nursery
Buchanan’s Native Plants

Maas Nursery
Dirt Bag Houston
Mala Market HTX
Hey Botany
Flora Culture
Joshua’s Native Plants
Lotus Sky Botanicals
Trader Joe’s
Whole Foods

Planty Instagram Accounts

child's drawing of four houseplants


Houseplant Books

New Plant Parent: Develop Your Green Thumb And Care For Your House-Plant Family

Houseplants: The Complete Guide To Choosing, Growing, and Caring For Indoor Plants

Wild At Home: How To Style And Care For Beautiful Plants

Houseplants For All: How To Fill Any Home With Happy Plants

Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates and other Affiliate Programs designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com, Target.com, Nordstrom, ABC Mouse, and other affiliate sites.


Pin this post and be sure to follow
Houston Moms
on Pinterest!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here