The Best Houseplant for Every Plant Parent Type

Houseplants are like low-maintenance pets, except much quieter and considerably less jumpy. It’s definitely not uncommon for us “plant parents” to fuss over our potted kin like they were a family member of the four-legged variety, and like all parents, we each have our own unique approach and parenting style. 

Just like choosing a pet, it’s best to consider your lifestyle when picking out a new houseplants. For example, if you were living in a tiny studio apartment downtown, you probably wouldn’t be a good match for an energetic German Shepherd. We take the same approach to searching for new houseplants—you want something that suits your home, and your attitude!

oc succulents plant parent type
We put together this list of the best houseplants for all the common plant parent types out there. Whether you’ve got a downtown apartment that’s low on windows, a bright sunroom with plenty of windows, or a cozy nook that feels rustic and homey, there’s a perfect plant for you that will settle right in!

The City Slicker: Chinese Evergreen

So you’ve got a thing for the excitement, culture, and fast-paced energy of living downtown, but maybe your sunny window view is obstructed by a sea of other high rises. No problem! The Chinese Evergreen, or Aglaonema, is made for city life. Its sunlight needs are pretty minimal, and while moisture and well-draining soil are necessary to keep it alive, it won’t end up biting the dust if you forget to water it for a week or so.

If the seriously easy-care routine for this houseplant wasn’t reason enough to love it, its big leaves look as though they’re hand-painted, with plenty of different color palettes and motifs to choose from. It brings a cool, artsy aesthetic into your living space that will totally complement your modern decor.

The Doting Parent: Croton

If you’re the kind of hands-on plant parent that loves to fawn over their precious baby angel and is entirely certain they’re the most perfect creature to ever grace the earth. Hey, that’s cool, we get it—and we’re happy to tell you that caring for a croton (Codiaeum variegatum) will be a highly fulfilling endeavor. Crotons are real overachievers that boast impressive displays of neon rainbow leaves, but they’re a bit fussy and do best with attentive caregivers that can tend to their needs.

If your home gets plenty of sunlight, and you’re eager to put other plant parents to shame with your mad skills, you and your croton are a match made in heaven. Let the soil dry out between watering, use a humidifier or mist the plant weekly, and give the leaves a wipe-down with a wet cloth once a month to keep them shiny and dust-free. Fertilize them once in the spring and once in the summer, and repot them at the end of winter if their container is getting a bit cramped.

The Influencer: Mini Monstera

If you’re all about interior design with a perfectly-curated aesthetic, you already know how the right houseplants can take a room from an “8” to a “10.” While you’re out there documenting the many beautiful and charming sights you encounter, might we suggest picking up a mini monstera (or Rhaphidophora tetrasperma) to add some visual interest to your picture-perfect, sunlit gallery wall?

This show-stopping houseplant is seriously mesmerizing, with its gorgeous trailing vines with elegant split leaves. The plant has a delicate sense of movement, making it a perfect choice for displaying in hanging baskets or your favorite ceramic pot.

The Hippie Parent: Tradescantia

If you’ve got a jug of fermenting kombucha, palo santo incense, or one or more djembes in your home, you might be a hippie parent. You value exploration, freedom, and embracing uniqueness, and the constantly-moving tradescantia (sometimes known as Wandering Jew) is a perfect match for your bohemian home.

Now, hippie parents tend to know a thing or two about plants, or at the very least, how to flaunt a flower crown like no other. The tradescantia requires some moderate upkeep and a bit of know-how, but if you’re ready to graduate from Flower Child to Plant Parent, caring for this houseplant should be a breeze.

The Minimalist: Peace Lily

Did you Marie Kondo your living room too hard, and now you need a houseplant or two to add some visual interest? For those of you who like to keep a clean, crisp home and prefer to simplify your busy life by maintaining a minimalist style, you’re going to really love the peace lily (or Spathiphyllum). This sleek, white-flowered houseplant actually purifies the air, so taking care of one will actually make your home even cleaner!

If you’re juggling a lot of responsibilities, or if you have actual human kids, you’ll be relieved to know that the peace lily has pretty minimal needs to go along with your minimalist approach. Medium-to-low light is sufficient to keep it healthy, and you’ll only need to water it once the soil has totally dried out. To keep it looking crisp and sleek like the rest of your decor, wipe the leaves down every few months—this also helps it to absorb sunlight more effectively!

The Fam with the Full House: Hoyas

Even if you’ve already got a house full of pets, kids, and enough houseplants to start your own shop, sometimes you just can’t resist welcoming a new member to the club. You’ll love having a hoya in your life, because this trendy, up-and-coming succulent is low-maintenance, non-toxic to pets and kids, and has a distinctive style that sets it apart from all the others.

Hoya carnosa is a waxy, vining plant with curls of emerald leaves and white, star-shaped blossoms. If you’re running out of shelf space for your plant collection, don’t worry—this bad boy looks amazing in a hanging basket. While it can tolerate pretty much any sunlight level, you’ll get the most flowers out of it if it’s in full sun. Water it whenever the soil.

The Nervous New Parent: Snake Plant

We were all first-time plant parents at one point, don’t worry if you feel like a total rookie. You have to start somewhere! The good news is that there’s no shortage of ultra-easy-care options for plant newbies like yourself, such as the ever-popular snake plant (also known as Dracaena trifasciata or Sansevieria trifasciata). Snake plants are ideal for true beginners looking to spruce up that first apartment or college dorm.

These lively-looking plants thrive in low light and should only get watered when their soil has dried out. It’s practically impossible to kill them, so while you’re busy trying to ace your exams or hustle through three part-time jobs, you won’t have to worry about failing at plant parenthood. They need even less water in the winter, perfect if you’re going home for a couple of weeks at Christmas, your snake plant should be just fine on its own.
Some other great choices for beginners include the practically-unkillable spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) or the famously patient pothos (Epipremnum aureum).

Life’s more colorful with houseplants. Ready to take the leap and embark on the wild journey of plant parenthood? Our Orange County OC Succulents location is open to the public, so come and see our expertly-curated collection of succulents and houseplants—you’ll be surprised by how rewarding plant parenting can be!

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