Beginner Houseplants A-Z

Houseplants are a wonderful addition to any indoor space, bringing nature’s charm right to your home. Whether you’re new to plant care or have some experience, this guide will introduce you to various houseplants that suit different preferences and lifestyles.

From the unique Alocasia with its impressive leaves to the sturdy ZZ Plant that can thrive in low light, you’ll learn about these plants’ needs and how to care for them. Find out their light and water requirements, ideal temperatures, and more. This guide will help you choose the right plants and give you the confidence to nurture them.

Whether you want to add colour, elegance, or simply some greenery to your home, this article is your starting point for exploring the world of houseplants. Enjoy the beauty and benefits these plants bring to your indoor spaces.

Alocasia (Giant Elephants Ear)

Alocasias certainly draw attention with their enormous, uniquely shaped leaves. They like warmth, so they are best grown in a shaded conservatory.

Light: Bright in winter, semi-shade in summer.

Watering: Water thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are dry. Reduce watering in the colder months.

Temperature: Above 21°C in summer and at least 18°C in winter.

Humidity: Average to high.

Feeding: With houseplant feed fortnightly during the growing season, March – September.

Repotting: Re-pot when needed using Houseplant Compost.

Propagation: Divide plants at re-potting time.

Poisonous: Toxic to humans and animals if eaten.

Aloe Vera

A succulent of the Lily family, Aloe Vera is a plant whose medical & cosmetic qualities have been celebrated for centuries.

Light: Keep in a light, in-direct, sunny spot

Watering: Water plants deeply but infrequently. Take care not to overwater in winter.

Temperature: Keep plants at room temperature. From May to September, you can move your Aloe outdoors, but be sure to bring it in on colder evenings.

Humidity: Average to dry.

Feeding: Feed every two weeks with Houseplant feed during the growing season, March – September.

Repotting: Re-pot when needed using Cacti and Succulent compost.

Poisonous: Toxic to humans and animals if eaten.

Begonia

All Begonias have a few basic features in common. A key fact is that the flowers are either male or female and are generally borne in clusters. Stems are fleshy, and the leaves are usually lop-sided.

Light: Prefers a bright, airy position in diffused light. Flowers and foliage will scorch in direct sun. Winter sun is beneficial.

Watering: Water thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are dry. Reduce watering in the colder months.

Temperature: Around 21°C in summer and at least 15°C in winter.

Humidity: Average to high.

Feeding: Feed fortnightly when in flower with houseplant feed.

Repotting: Re-pot when needed using Houseplant Compost.

Propagation: Propagate from leaf cuttings in summer.

Poisonous: Mild toxicity to humans and animals if eaten.

Croton – Codiaeum

This is a popular houseplant, and its attraction is obvious with its vivid foliage colours and varied leaf shapes.

Light: Plenty of light from an east or west-facing windowsill is ideal.

Watering: Water thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are dry. Reduce watering in the colder months.

Temperature: Keep warm in summer and at least 15°C in winter.

Humidity: Average to high.

Feeding: Feed every two weeks during the growing season, March to September.

Repotting: Only re-pot when the plant is thoroughly pot-bound. Repot using Houseplant Compost.

Propagation: Propagate from seed when the temperature is around 26°C.

Poisonous: Mild toxicity to humans and animals.

Dragon Tree – Dracaena

Easy to grow and becoming increasingly popular as specimen plants in the home, these plants can grow up to 10ft tall.

Light: Ideal in a bright position but will cope in light shade.

Watering: Water thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are dry. Reduce watering in the colder months.

Temperature: A minimum temperature in winter is 13°C if the compost is kept slightly dryer. Plants are happiest at around 18°C or higher.

Humidity: Average to high.

Feeding: Feed regularly with Houseplant feed during the growing season, March – September.

Repotting: Re-pot when needed. Move up one or two pot sizes and use Houseplant Compost.

Propagation: Propagate from a leaf cutting that is 6-8 inches long.

Poisonous: Mild toxicity to humans and animals if eaten.

Devils Ivy/Pothos – Epipremnum

A versatile and resilient botanical companion that effortlessly brings a touch of vibrant greenery and natural elegance to any indoor space.

Light: For best-growing conditions, grow in bright, indirect sunlight.

Watering: Water thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are dry. Reduce watering in the colder months.

Temperature: A minimum temperature should be 20°C during the day and 15°C at nighttime.

Humidity: Average to high.

Feeding: Feed regularly with Houseplant feed during the growing season, March – September.

Repotting: Re-pot when needed using Houseplant Compost.

Propagation: Propagate using root cuttings in soil.

Poisonous: Slight toxicity to animals.

Fern

It is beautiful and ideal for hanging baskets and pots.

Light: Keep in bright, indirect light.

Watering: Keep the soil moist, watering thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are dry. Reduce watering in the colder months.

Temperature: Above 21°C in summer and at least 18°C in winter.

Humidity: High.

Feeding: Feed with houseplant feed fortnightly during the growing season, March – September.

Repotting: Re-pot when needed using Houseplant Compost.

Propagation: Divide plants at repotting time.

Poisonous: Mild toxicity to humans and animals if eaten.

Fittonia – Nerve plant

A low-growing creeper that will flourish in dry air provided it is kept away from direct sunlight.

Light: Choose a partially shaded spot. Direct sunlight should be avoided.

Watering: Water thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are dry or when you notice wilting. Reduce watering in the colder months.

Temperature: Average warmth, at least 15°C.

Humidity: Average to high.

Feeding: Feed with Houseplant feed during March and September.

Repotting: Re-pot when needed with Houseplant Compost.

Propagation: Creeping stems will root in compost – remove and pot up rooted cuttings.

Poisonous: Non-toxic.

Money Tree – Pachira aquatica

This plant is very easy to care for, as it can tolerate much neglect. This plant is popular and can grow up to 3ft or more.

Light: A windowsill is ideal but may need shade from the midday sun.

Watering: Water thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are dry. Reduce watering in the colder months.

Temperature: Average warmth; keep cool in winter.

Humidity: Medium to high.

Feeding: Feed with Miracle-Gro every couple of weeks from March to September.

Repotting: Only when necessary, once roots start growing out of the compost.

Propagation: Take stem cuttings in spring.

Poisonous: Toxic to animals if eaten.

Parlour Palm – Chamaedorea

These stunning plants can grow up to 10ft under good conditions. They are remarkably easy to look after.

Light: Partial shade.

Watering: Water thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are dry. Reduce watering in the colder months. Make sure excess water drains out of the pot.

Temperature: Average warmth – minimum of 10°C in winter.

Humidity: Average to high.

Feeding: Feed with houseplant feed during the growing season, March to September, every two weeks.

Repotting: Only re-pot when the plant is thoroughly pot-bound, as palms dislike disturbance.

Propagation: Propagate from seed at 26°C.

Poisonous: Non-toxic.

Ponytail Palm – Beaucarnea recurvata

This is a useful tree if you require a tall specimen plant that will not require much attention. It grows slowly but, in time, could reach up to 6ft tall when grown in the correct conditions.

Light: Brightly lit room with some direct sunlight.

Watering: Water thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are dry. Reduce watering in the colder months.

Temperature: 10°C to 20°C in summer. Keep cooler in winter.

Humidity: Average.

Feeding: Feed with houseplant feed fortnightly during the growing season, March to September.

Repotting: Re-pot, if necessary, in spring using Houseplant Compost.

Propagation: You can plant up offsets in spring, but it is not easy.

Poisonous: Non-toxic.

Prayer Plant – Maranta

A captivating houseplant renowned for its distinctive foliage that gracefully folds and unfurls, resembling hands in prayer, adding a touch of nature’s serenity to any indoor space.

Light: Thrives in medium to bright, indirect sunlight

Watering: Water thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are dry. Reduce watering in the colder months.

Temperature: 18°C to 30°C in summer. It’s best not to let it get below 15°C.

Humidity: Average to high.

Feeding: Feed with houseplant feed fortnightly during the growing season, March to September.

Propagation: Propagate via cuttings in spring.

Poisonous: Non-toxic.

Radermachera Sinica – China Doll Plant

The “China Doll” houseplant is a graceful and vibrant addition to indoor spaces with its glossy leaves and elegant growth pattern.

Light: Bright, indirect sunlight is best for this plant, as a shady environment could lead to slow growth. However, do be cautious of sunscorch with this plant.

Watering: Water thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are dry. Reduce watering in the colder months.

Temperature: Keep at around 18°C.

Humidity: Average.

Feeding: Feed once a month during growing seasons (March to September).

Repotting: Re-pot when needed.

Propagation: Via seed or stem tip cuttings.

Poisonous: Non-toxic.

Rubber Plant – Ficus elastica

These are easy-to-care-for plants that can grow tall. Be sure to cut back to help it maintain its shape.

Light: A well-lit spot with some direct sunlight is beneficial

Watering: Water thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are dry. Reduce watering in the colder months.

Temperature: Average warmth; keep in a cool room in winter.

Humidity: Average to high.

Feeding: Feed with a houseplant feed fortnightly during the growing seasons (March to September).

Repotting: Re-pot if necessary in spring using a Houseplant Compost.

Propagation: Take stem cuttings in summer.

Poisonous: Mild toxicity to humans and animals if eaten.

Snake Plant

This extremely tolerant plant is easy to care for and undemanding. It will tolerate sun, shade, and dryness and rarely needs repotting.

Light: Bright sun is preferred, but will grow in shade

Watering: Water thoroughly when most of soil has dried out. Reduce watering in the colder months.

Temperature: Average warmth, minimum of 10°C in winter.

Humidity: Average to high.

Feeding: Feed with a cacti food fortnightly during the growing season (March to September).

Repotting: Rarely needed, only when potbound.

Propagation: Remove offset by cutting off at the base or dividing the plant. Use Houseplant compost.

Poisonous: Mild toxicity to humans and animals if eaten.

Spider Plant

It is one of the most popular houseplants because it is extremely adaptable. It is quick-growing and produces small white flowers in spring and summer.

Light: A well-lit spot away from direct sunlight but will tolerate shade.

Watering: Water thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are dry. Reduce watering in the colder months.

Temperature: Average warmth with a minimum of 7°C in winter.

Humidity: Average to high.

Feeding: Feed every couple of weeks with houseplant feed from March to September.

Repotting: Re-pot when necessary, using Houseplant compost.

Propagation: Peg down plantlets in compost and cut stem when rooted. Alternatively, divide plants at potting time.

Poisonous: Non-toxic.

Succulents

It is a stunning fusion of beauty and resilience that brings a touch of the desert’s charm into any indoor space.

Light: Place in a sunny position. In winter, this may mean moving your succulent nearer to the windows. Succulents make ideas plants for south-facing positions.

Watering: From May to August, water regularly, allowing the compost to dry out between watering. Reduce the watering in late summer and keep it almost dry between October and March.

Temperature: Average room temperature from spring to autumn, but keep cool in winter between 4°C and 15°C.

Humidity: Low to average.

Feeding: Feed with cactus and succulent fertiliser during growing seasons.

Repotting: Re-pot annually in the spring with Cacti and Succulent compost.

Propagation: Leaf cutting in spring.

Poisonous: Generally non-toxic.

Syngonium

This plant requires warmth, moist air and protection from direct sunlight. The plant protects aerial roots, and a moss pole makes an excellent support for this attractive climbing plant.

Light: Well-lit but sunless spot for variegated types, semi-shade for all green varieties

Watering: Water thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are dry. Reduce watering in the colder months.

Temperature: Average room temperature with lows of 15°C in winter.

Humidity: Mist leaves regularly

Feeding: Feed every couple of weeks with houseplant feed from March to September.

Repotting: Re-pot in spring when needed with Houseplant compost.

Propagation: From cutting placed in water or compost.

Poisonous: Toxic to humans and animals if eaten.

Teardrop Peperomia ‘Pixie lime’

These plants are widely used in bottle gardens. They are slow-growing, compact and easy to care for in average room conditions.

Light: A bright or semi-shaded spot away from direct sunlight. These plants will thrive in fluorescent light.

Watering: Water thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are dry. Reduce watering in the colder months.

Temperature: Average room temperature with lows of 10°C in winter.

Humidity: Average to high.

Feeding: Every few weeks with Baby Bio during March to September.

Repotting: Avoid repotting until it is absolutely necessary. Move to a slightly larger pot in spring, using Houseplant compost.

Propagation: Cuttings root easily, between spring and late summer.

Poisonous: Non-toxic.

Tradescantia Zebrina

A popular hanging basket plant, pinch-out tips to encourage business and remove all-green shoots as soon as they appear.

Light: Bright light is essential, and some direct sunlight is beneficial.

Watering: Water thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are dry. Reduce watering in the colder months.

Temperature: Average warmth in growing seasons, lows of 10°C in winter.

Humidity: Average to high.

Feeding: Feed every two weeks with houseplant feed during growing seasons.

Repotting: Re-pot if necessary in spring.

Propagation: Very easy, take stem cuttings in spring.

Poisonous: Although not toxic, it’s sap can cause skin irritation.

Yucca

A large Yucca needs lots of attention. It will need a deep, well-drained container that can be moved outdoors in summer. In winter, the plant will require an unheated, well-lit spot.

Light: As much as possible.

Watering: Water thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are dry. Reduce watering in the colder months.

Temperature: Average room temperature with lows of 10°C in winter.

Humidity: Average to high.

Feeding: Feed with a houseplant feed every two weeks in the growing season.

Repotting: Re-pot when needed with Houseplant compost.

Propagation: Remove and pot up offsets or root cane cuttings.

Poisonous: Toxic to humans and animals if eaten.

ZZ Plant

A true icon of resilience and low-maintenance elegance, it is perfect for novice and seasoned plant enthusiasts alike.

Light: Happy with most light conditions but prefer shaded areas.

Watering: Water when the soil is dry. The ZZ plant is drought tolerant so don’t worry if the soil dries out for a while. Reduce watering in the colder months.

Temperature: Cool room temperatures, with a preferred range of 15°C to 24°C. Lows of 8°C in winter.

Humidity: Average.

Feeding: Weak does of houseplant feed once a month during the growing seasons.

Repotting: ZZ plants love being pot-bound so only re-pot when absolutely necessary.

Propagation: Root from stem cuttings in soil.

Poisonous: Toxic to humans and animals if eaten. It’s sap can cause skin irritation.

Updated on February 5, 2024

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