02.19.14

HOUSE PLANTS 101

there’s something about plants that just liven up a room, right? (just look at how many i have in my living room) however, if you’re like most, you’ve bought a beautiful fiddle leaf fig or exuberant fern, and before you know it…it’s not looking so great. thankfully, having lush and happy houseplants is truly very simple! a little bit of research and a whole lotta TLC go a long way.

check out our favorites to grow indoors:

FERNS

light: these little darlings are delicate – ferns do best with indirect sunlight to shade; strong sunlight should definitely be avoided.

water: keep soil moist, but not water-logged. i’m also a HUGE fan of misting (just picked up this cute brass mister), since it keeps them hydrated & happy.

CALATHEA

light: moderate shade to bright indirect light; like ferns, they’re not the biggest fans of strong, unfiltered sunlight.

water: keep soil moist at all times, and make sure your container allows for good draining.

RUBBER TREE

light: bright, indirect sunlight is best – like next to a window that has sheer curtains, for example.

water: allow the soil surface to dry slightly in-between waterings. if you notice droopy leaves, it’s time to water.

SUCCULENTS

light: these cuties can seriously take the heat. give them the sunniest spot in your home. my windowsills are lined with them!

water: water very sparingly. soil should be dry to the touch at all times, but if you notice that their petals are withering and puckered, it’s time to water.

FIDDLE LEAF FIG TREE

light: like rubber trees, these fellas love bright, indirect light. a west or south-facing window is best.

water: allow soil surface to dry in-between waterings. overwatering is actually the biggest killer of the fiddle leaf fig.

and there you have it! which plants are you going to try in your home? best of luck with them.

art direction by: bri emery
plant care guide by:
 
mehreen qudosi – see more floral posts here!

photography by: sheila gim

60 COMMENTS

Add your own

    Duyen says:

    THIS POST!!!! I seriously am obsessed with house plants right now and I loved this!!! I died when I loaded your blog today and saw this. Amazing.

    Vicky says:

    lovely plants! I love ALL green! and my favourite the succulents and cactus…I invite you to see my last post with succulents´s images…http://www.traindevie.com.ar/2014/02/14-todo-depende-el-cristal-con-que-se.html

    La says:

    Such a great post! Having house plants makes me feel so happy and refreshed.
    Enjoy your holiday too, Bri.x

    Sophie Ollis says:

    I have cacti, aloe vera, baby’s breath, dried leafs, and live roses in my permanent plant collection at home. I love how they bring life and tranquility into my rooms.

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    x

    Samantha says:

    This is so helpful! I’m flat-hunting right now and am looking at plants to brighten things up. This is very good information. Succulents it is :)

    Becca says:

    Such a great post! The photos are gorgeous and these tips are great. I used to have a whole array of houseplants, but then I adopted a couple of trouble making kittens, so my plants had to go live with a friend for their own safety. I’m hoping I can bring them back sometime this year! I miss them!

    XOXO
    Becca | Ladyface Blog

    Ah, This is awesome. Unfortunately I killed 2 plants within one week that I bought at the same time a month ago. I didn’t even know they needed a pot that could drain. OOPS! I re-planted them in the same pots after I put rocks in the bottom and I THINK I have saved them. :) Needless to say this blog post is EXTREMELY helpful. I have been wanting to add in tons of new plants into my home, and I have started, but I would LOVE to see more of these posts. Everyone should have plants in their home. Thanks, Bri!

    Tiffany says:

    I have 2 fiddle leaf figs–one is doing amazing, the other, meh. Though it’s by a window that gets some light, I don’t think it gets enough. The edges of the leaves have started browning. Boo.

    Kimber says:

    I am a notorious plant killer. I want so badly to have plants thriving in my home and photo studio. I am going to give it another try and get all of these lovely plants. Wish me luck!

    Caitlin says:

    thank you so much for this helpful info! i’ve been wanting to get house plants and this is just what i need to get started!

    Andre says:

    So an additional note on the Calathea- I’ve read many forums on people with Calathea woes (apparently they are a little finicky) and I’ve learned they are easily shocked by cold water so use tepid water. They also aren’t fans of super hard city water. Finally they don’t like super dry air so if you put a little dish of water next to them or have a humidifier in the room it should keep them happier. Good luck!

    Jennifer says:

    Love this! You know I’ve been struggling to hold on to my fiddle leaf fig, which I’ve dubbed the fickle leaf fig. poor guy is down to about 15 leaves. waaah! may i request a follow up post for sourcing online shops to buy cute planters? I recently found some super cute ones at Anthro and Urban Outfitters, but it’s tougher than you’d think. Thanks for the pretty inspiration!

    maggie says:

    This post is my absolute favorite! I am a plant junkie and have learned by trial and error that some plants…well, they would be better NOT in my care. I am a huge fan of succulents – cute and pretty low maintenance!

    Gina says:

    Important to note that succulent is a type of plant, not the name of a specific plant. (I never paid much attention until I married the owner of a cactus and succulent nursery!). My bridal bouquet was all succulents, which we then dried and replanted.

    Melissa says:

    Would love tips on the basics of soil treatment, ie, how often to ‘top up’ soil levels in the pot, any specific soil better for house plants? Do you give your plants ‘food’? My house plants survive despite me and I think my soil is the biggest issue at this point…

    Bailey says:

    I thought that succulents were impossible to kill, but somehow I managed. Thanks for this guide – I love tips on keeping my plants alive!

    Love this! I’ve really been wanting to get more plants too. Top of my list is a pink polka dot plant (I actually posted yours today, from the diy-dyed napkin post)!

    P.S. Loved that you showed a little behind-the-scenes of the backdrop in your studio. that pink paper makes for such pretty photos!

    Maggie Zam says:

    I’ve always wanted to buy indoor plants… I think I’ll try the succulents first and then give the fern a try. :)

    Elisa says:

    I really want to make a mini terrarium with some succulents! Thanks for the tips :-)

    leanne says:

    hey bri, thanks for this – i am an plant killer. at the moment i’m trying hard not to kill a little palm… any tips for that type?? thanks xx

    leanne says:

    and usually my grammar is better than that! apologies for the “an” there…

    Emily B says:

    Can anyone tell me the two typefaces used in the first image? The cursive and “house plants”
    Thanks so much!

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    Rachel says:

    My current favorite (maybe) that I never see getting any love is Hindu Rope. It is so weird and cool- can tolerate less light than lots of succulents, trails and looks like curly pig ears.

    Adinda says:

    Looks cool but all my plants get eaten by my kitties or I forget to water them… But maybe one day.

    Esther says:

    Ack! Thank you thank you for this. I really need some houseplants, and have been thinking about it for weeks. I finally got rid of my artificial ficus (ugh, I KNOW) a couple months back and have been really lacking the green. (not that kind of green. but i guess i’m lacking that too.)

    June says:

    This is just stunning! I am always so, so inspired by your content and ideas, and anything to do with house plants is all the better:) I sent you an email earlier last week, would really love to hear back, thank you!

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.
    I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful
    info. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly return.

    Judith says:

    Such a lovely post, Bri! This makes my Urban Jungle Bloggers heart skip a beat!

    What a special post about plants! Plants give us energy, they make our home lovely and they remember us the most important that life become a paradise when we make it grow it with love and patience as we do with our plants and flowers they surround us at home and in our gardens.
    I invite you to discover the plants I love: http://madecomaison.blogspot.com.es/search/label/plantes

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    Anna says:

    Love this guide! thank you so much, it is really helpful!!

    nicolle says:

    This is SO perfect. I am a complete dunce when it comes to plants and killed a beautiful fiddle leaf fig because the light source wasnt enough and I probably overwatered – I have been scared to bring another plant in ever since! You have given me courage to try again! Thx bri and have fun in Thailand!

    Lex says:

    These are some of my favorite types of plants… Keep in mind many of these are actually quite toxic to cats! If you have a cat that eats any kind of plant you bring home, always check first. My cat is obsessive about plants, which is why I can’t have a fiddle leaf fig tree… :(

    rae says:

    great post, i def. needed it. i just recently bought a plant and it is not doing too well. i always have the problem of overwatering! I think i will try and get some succulents.

    rae of lovefromberlin

    This guide is so great. We have a little flower shop… and, love to share our love for plants with everyone. I think, we will send them right to your page! xo!

    jessica says:

    What types of plants can survive the humidity and not a lot of direct sunlight? I live in New York and my apartment (for the most part) is pretty dark, even with windows open. In the summer time it gets really humid and there’s a lot of moisture in my living room/kitchen areas. Every time I have tried to keep a plant, it gets all moldy and turns brown.

    Charlotte M. says:

    Would you happen to know which species of fern that is?

    Ellie says:

    Love the pink background!

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    Karen says:

    I have a Rubber Tree that I have enjoyed for the last 23 years. In the summer I put it out on my back deck where it gets indirect morning and early afternoon sun. The tree is very happy there. I had to cut it back a bit last summer because it got rather leggy over the last year or two. Now it is lush, full, healthy with shiny leaves.

    Amy says:

    LOVE! Where can I find simple white planters like the one in the last photo? Having trouble finding them on my own…

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    Christy says:

    I love every single thing about this post. It’s so totally inspiring!! Digging your plant love, for certain!! :) Here’s a little living centerpiece that I totally love… and inspired by you! :)http://weddingblog.potterybarn.com/diy-scalloped-shell-centerpiece/

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    Niki says:

    Timely! Our office just went plant-shopping. We do love our succulents. :)

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    Ohhh Thank you so much OMG I keep failing with fern! why!!!! , maybe round 3 will work!

    Very nice picture, good job

    Francesca says:

    thank you for these useful tips! ferns and succulents (and ivy) are my fave home plants ♥

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