We’ve picked out five of our favorite plants for beginner plant parents. These plants also make great gifts, especially to those who might lack a green thumb.
Peperomia (Peperomia sp.) is actually an entire genus of over 1,000 plants that are commonly referred to as radiator plants because they enjoy warm, moist areas. Botanically speaking, they are a type of herb in the same family as the peppercorn.
Peperomias are great for beginners because they are very easy to take care of. Just make sure they have loose, humid soil, watering once a week or when the soil is try to the touch. Most peperomia prefer bright, indirect light - in your office or foyer of your house would be a perfect spot.
You've probably seen a dracaena many times. They are often found in offices, like at your doctor or insurance agent, or in large installations in museum foyers and university student unions. They make great statement plants, as they can grow quite large.
Dracaena are a genus of plant from Southern Africa and Madagascar. They are excellent for beginners because they can essentially be ignored and still thrive. They enjoy filtered light (direct or indirect) and well-draining soil. Let the soil dry out completely before watering again and never let them sit in water.
There are many, many species and cultivars of dracaena. The two most common you're likely see in our shop are commonly referred to as a "dragon tree" (Dracaena marginata) and "corn plant" (Dracaena fragrans). They are easy to distinguish; the dragon tree has a small, woody stem with thin leaves, while the corn plant has a thicker, trunk-like stem with broad leaves.
The Madagascar palm (Pachypodium lamerei) is one of our favorite little weirdos. It’s halfway between a cactus, with its spines, and a palm, with its leaves that arch from the crown of the plant. They hail from Madagascar, as their name implies, but aren't actually a palm species. They are a type of succulent that stores water in their fat trunk, which is where they get their scientific name, Pachypodium, or "elephant's foot".
Madagascar palms is are easy to please. They require very little water, even less in the winter. Just put yours in full sun of a west- or south-facing window and it forget about it.
Heartleafs (Philodendron cordatum) are harder to kill than to keep alive. For real. They also come in a variety of colors and can be kept as bushy plants or trailing from a hanger or shelf.
Heartleaf philodendrons will not tolerate direct sunlight, so keep them in a low light area like an office or dim kitchen. The prefer to have their soil stay moist and appreciate the occasional misting, though not required.
The ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamifolia) is an all-around MVP of houseplants. They are beautiful, with thick waxy green leaves, and they are one of the lowest maintenance plants you can buy. They are also great air purifiers.
They do well in low-medium light, watered infrequently. So if you ZZ on your ZZ plant, no worries. They are tough, and can handle neglect.
To keep them happy, provide low light and water every two weeks.
What was your first plant?