Everyone says that they are plant killers. Truthfully, just like people, only certain plants thrive in certain environments. Yes, that means it may not be you, but the plant you chose! Your lifestyle truly defines what kind of plants you should get for your apartment.
Beyond what kind of light you have, understanding your schedule and how much effort you want to put into it. If you travel for work a lot, you need a few houseplants that can chill without you for a week or two.
Take this quiz to find out what type of houseplant you should get.
On a beautiful day off you are most likely:
My pet is very likely to
What environment do you envision for this plant?
Which one of these is most important to you as it relates to plant care?
You've got 2 weeks off. Which of the following vacations most appeals to you?
Which of the following best describes your current lifestyle?
What Type of Houseplant Should You Get?
You should add a snake plant to your apartment. You love being on the go, but that means that you need an easy-going plant that can survive while you go off on an adventure. Snake plants need the opposite of a plant helicopter parent — over caring may actually kill them! Snake plants thrive in bright and low light and only need to be watered every 2-3 weeks. They can be up to one foot away from a window. They are slow-growing but can get really tall over time, with many little babies that you can turn into more plants. Don't forget to dust them every once in a while for optimal light absorption.
You're a type-A person. You love spreadsheets, to-do lists and schedules. Calatheas are the drama queens of house plants and need detailed care. They love diffused bright light, like an east window that gets morning to early afternoon sunlight. They like staying moist so water once a week when the first one inch of soil is dry. Depending on where you live, you may have to give them distilled water. Hard water can lead to rapid mineral build-up in the soil, crispiness all over and a sad Calathea. They love humidity, so a bathroom with good lighting is their perfect home. Your reward for your detailed care? Gorgeous leaves with beautiful patterns. It's hard to resist them.
If you're looking to make a statement in your living room or bedroom, Monsteras are the plant for you. They grow fast! Those with a competitive streak can compete with friends and see who gets the most fenestrations, or leaf holes. These appear as the plant matures and has top plant care. Monsteras require a climbing pole as they get grow for support, bright indirect light and watering about every two weeks. As it gets bigger, it will be good to buy a soil water meter to make sure you check that the whole pot is dry. It helps avoid under- and over- watering.
If you're working with barely any light and are rarely home, a ZZ plant is a great compliment to your lifestyle. ZZ plants are like camels, they have little potato-like pouches attached to their roots called rhizomes. This helps them store water out in nature. ZZ plants are very much set it and forget it. You can set an alarm once a month to check the soil before watering. They love medium to bright indirect light but can be in lower light if needed. It's important that you dust off their leaves too (a quick shower will do) to help them absorb more light.
You're a social butterfly. We can find you at the latest restaurant opening or hanging out with friends at an outdoor concert. That's why the Pilea is the perfect companion for you. This plant goes by many names — money plant, UFO plant, coin plant, pancake plant — but the loveliest nickname is friendship plant. That's because Pileas love to put out pups, or little Pileas, that you can easily remove from the mother plant and gift to friends. They love bright indirect light and to be rotated to stay uniform (they have a tendency to seek the light and get bendy). Pileas love to be watered when 75 percent of their soil is dry. If you see the leaves get droopy, it's time to water thoroughly.
You're direct and honest in all of your relationships, at work and in life. Some say you're prickly, but you just know how to dish it out. Succulents need that kind of direct sun in their lives. If your apartment feels like a stadium in the afternoon as the sun comes in, succulents are the only plant companions that can stick it out. Succulents require little water (think once a month) and no real plant care. While they say these are hard to kill, don't get them if you like to be more hands-on with your plants. They can quickly perish if you water them more than you should.
If you're looking for something that needs care (but not too much!), Pothos is a great beginner plant that will teach regular waterings while being extremely forgiving if you mess up. There are so many kinds — neon, jade, golden and more. They grow quickly and trail so they are perfect for kitchen shelves or in a bookcase in your home office. They need indirect medium to bright light, water every two weeks when soil is dry and love to get trained to climb walls.
You love trinkets, thrift stores and decorating your apartment intentionally. Your free spirit will enjoy air plants, which can be placed in any vessel that you find at your favorite boutique. Since they are able to grow without soil, you can place them in any ceramic bowl or plate as long as they receive bright indirect light. Taking care them is just as easy! Once a week, submerge them all together in a bowl of room temperature water for 20 minutes and you're good to go!
Muriel Vega Muriel Vega is an Atlanta-based journalist who writes about technology and its intersection with arts and culture. She's worked on content for startups like Mailchimp, Patreon, Punchlist, Skillshare, Rent. and others. Muriel has also contributed to The Washington Post, Eater, DWELL, Outside Magazine, Atlanta Magazine, AIGA Eye on Design, Bitter Southerner and more.