As Houstonians, we're scarcely made to endure the severe chill and snow-caked yards the rest of the country is coping with right about now. Still, unpredictable weather and the uncomfortably squishy combination of rain, mud, and cold is enough to keep us huddled together inside, anyway. Though the great indoors has much to offer (Netflix, Uber Eats, Ring doorbells), it’s only natural to crave the happier, greener aspects of the outside world.
Enter the humble houseplant.
Houseplants supply a sense of freshness and well-being year-round—and at an affordable rate, making adopting a tree, vine, or succulent particularly attractive to young people living in small spaces. It can be therapeutic to nurture and bolster a living thing, and potted plants are exceptional options for those without the space or time for an outright garden (and for anyone in search of a low-risk alternative to, you know, having an actual kid).
Shopping for your new “#plantbabies” is as simple as paying a visit to any of our impressive local nurseries and selecting a potted plant to keep you company during the singular winter month before us, and beyond. There's no better time to start planning your interior greens, following a holiday decoration takedown, and on this, January 10, National Houseplant Appreciation Day, nonetheless. So, which houseplant is right for you?
The Loyal Fern
Ferns come in sundry varieties and, like most houseplants, are super low-maintenance. According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, the Boston fern specifically helps with air purification, removing traces of formaldehyde (yikes) and xylene. The Boston fern needs bright, indirect light and plenty of misting to keep its fronds long and lush. Most ferns make for great hanging plants, too, which is particularly on-trend right now in the world of interior design—try one in a macrame planter and watch your Insta likes soar.
The Sturdy Snake Plant
A plant of many names, you might also hear this variety called the "mother-in-law’s tongue" or the "good luck plant." Zach Buchanan of Buchanan’s Native Plants says it's “extremely easy to care for. It doesn’t need a lot of water. It can take low light; it can take a lot of light. It’s kind of an all-around great plant.” It's true, the snake plant is one of the sturdiest houseplants around, but those with indoor pets should be wary of its digestive effects on cats and dogs.
The Fiddle Leaf Fig
Luxurious and low-maintenance, the fiddle leaf fig is an extremely popular option for those on the hunt for an actual indoor tree. The fiddle leaf does love to bask in the sun (it even starts leaning toward it over time), so it’s advised to keep your tree in a well-lit area of your home. Keep these babies watered and you could see them grow as tall as six feet. It is a tree, after all.
The Peace Lily
If you’re looking for something that blooms, the peace lily is beautiful on its own or adorned with stunning white flowers. It’s also an advantageous addition to your home when it comes to improving air quality, as it filters out even more toxins than the Boston fern. As an added bonus, the peace lily can flourish with very little light, leaving more space by your windows for the pickier plants in your collection.
The Almighty Aloe
You already know and love the magical sunburn-soothing properties of this praised potted companion, but are you aware of just how effortless they are to take care of? The aloe vera plant only needs watering about every three weeks, and either indirect sunlight or artificial light can fuel its inner workings. The harvest of that healing gel makes for a considerable payoff, too.
With all this in mind, continue your research to discover the perfect houseplant (or two, or three) to add to your crew. Whether you’re considering something to cleanse the air you breathe, to boost your Instagram clout, or simply to bring you some peace, there’s greenery out there for everyone.