Plants 101: Here are the best indoor plants

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indoor plants 101

I’ve always had this impression that when I became an adult, my home would be filled with plants, and that my space would become a full expression of my personality. As I grew older, the idea of having plants felt a bit scary. How am I going to take care of this living thing? Will I just be disappointed after the plant calls it quits on me? The list goes on… Therefore, I needed to tackle “indoor plants 101” heads-on.

Thanks to COVID-19 and to spending more time at home, I realized I had to face my fears, stop my procrastinating, and buy the damn plant.

The thing is I know absolutely nothing about plants, although I grew up with a plant-lover mother. Sorry, mom, I should’ve shown more interest in plants growing up. Ha!

But as a curious adult that indeed loves learning about new things, I decided to go straight to the source and become a sponge by absorbing all the answers to my questions. I stopped by Fancy Free Nursery, a Tampa-based plant nursery that not only sells plants but educates you on the topic, provides styling services, and even offers its setting as a wedding venue. It really is the full package.

Walking into Fancy Free Nursery amazes me every time. The space is just so well designed and the curation of plants leaves me in such awe. I like to call it the plant heaven! During my visit, I spoke with the co-founder, Megan. She is super knowledgeable and through her words, you can tell how passionate she is about plants.

Needless to say, my first question was: 

Which indoor plants are the easiest to care for?
As she gave me a proper tour, she pointed out Snake Plant, Bird of Paradise, Peace Lily, and Dracaena. All beautiful plants, but I immediately leaned towards the Bird of Paradise. Based on my quick research, I noticed it has been dubbed as the queen of indoor plants, as it’s very easy to care for. This indeed sounds up my alley.

How much do I water it?
To my surprise, she mentioned I only have to water Bird of Paradise every 2-3 weeks. This sounds totally reasonable to me.

Will it get messy when I water it?
Megan mentioned Bird of Paradise doesn’t require as much water and that with a proper saucer in place there shouldn’t be much leakage. She also suggested I could bring my plant to the bathtub and water it there. I honestly did not know this was such a thing. I was slightly mind-blown. If you know me you know, I am big on self-care and this sounds slightly soothing. I’ll report back if I actually do this. Have you?

Does it have a recurring insect, disease, or other problem that harms its health or appearance?
She mentioned insects should not be a problem and that by using a leaf shiner it could make the leaves slippery for bugs to sit on.

How can I tell if a plant is struggling?
If it’s yellow it might be over-watered and if it’s brown, it needs water. I thought that was simple enough!

How much light does it need?
Though they can tolerate medium light conditions, the Bird of Paradise will not thrive long-term without adequate sunlight, she recommends placing them in bright light.

Will my Bird of Paradise flower?
Bird of Paradise will not produce flowers indoors, most likely.

More info
I noticed some splits on the leaves but learned it’s completely normal. It actually allows light to access the lower portion of the plant.

indoor plants 101

If you adopted a Bird of Paradise too, Megan mentioned it’s nice to rotate the location of the plant twice a year. By this I mean, you could find a spot inside the house for half a year and then outside for the other half. Other team members mentioned this is not necessarily needed, so I encourage you to play it by ear.

Fun fact Monsters Deliciosa is Fancy Free’s best seller. Take a look, it’s a beauty!

indoor plants 101

Indoor plants 101 did not sound so foreign after all.