Mar 29 , 2020
What makes a beginner plant suitable for a newbie? There’s loads of lists and infographics online with suggestions, but not too many tell you why one plant and not another is suggested. So! For anyone keen to try their hand with their first plant or two, here’s a few factors that make a plant easier to care for, and why they’re useful in improving your chances of keeping your new green baby happy
Low light tolerance
Many of us live in what is essentially a dark cave to a plant! Understanding light can often be a steep learning curve for newbies, and figuring out what spots will actually work can take time to get your head around (and that’s ok!).
So, many beginner plants are so named because they’re able to live in low light conditions, so are more adaptable to more spaces. Devils Ivy is one great common low light tolerant option
Strong, thick roots
One of the most common mistakes new plant owners make is over watering their plants. Most plants don’t like wet feet, and moist soil can lead to fungus breeding, causing root rot and sometimes plant death. So you’ll find many newbie-suitable plants easily grow long and/or thick roots making them less prone to rot - such as the chunky tuber roots on a ZZ plant. Generally speaking, with any plant that has fine, delicate & short roots, you should go easy on the watering - think plants such as Chain of Hearts, many Peperomias, or succulents. This is also why I recommend to avoid buying tiny baby plants if you’re a newbie, as more established roots will survive better.
Can handle a range of humidity
Most indoor plants grow in rainforest style conditions, living under a canopy in hot, humid conditions. So whilst our homes offer similar shade, they tend to be a lot drier, which can be a cruel shock for the plant. Luckily there’s loads of plants that are able to adapt to a wide range of air humidity, for example the Syngonium, which grows like a weed
This is an important one as it’s so rewarding to witness a new plant grow in front of you so you know you’re doing a good job. Vines tend to be fast growers, such as the gorgeous Heart Leaf Philodendron pictured in this shot