Searching for guidelines on how to choose plants for your space? So you’ve got a place you want to fill with plants; to bring some greenery to a specific space. Before you dash out and pick up just any plant – have a look at the conditions in your room so you can match the best plant to your place. Within each room, there’s a micro-environment where a plant will best prosper. Here are the variables in your home or office you need to factor in to find it.
How to Choose Plants Based on Light Conditions
Have a look at how much light your room gets, then pick a plant for the light it needs rather than what it looks like. Remember – the darkest corner of your garden still gets more light than your brightest indoor window. If your houseplant prefers bright filtered or bright indirect light, make sure the light is diffused before it hits the plant. Use a sheer curtain or put your plant in a window overlooking a covered outdoor area for this effect.
Every plant is an individual, and to fulfil its functions, it needs a specific level of light based on its natural environment. And this is what you want to replicate in your home. While we have some houseplants that can deal with low light, light is food for plants, so the more light, the better. To make your job easier, check out the meaning of the light categories on our website:
How to Choose Plants for Indoors
Low light: there’s not much natural light in your room, for example, a south-facing window or your plant gets no direct light because it’s placed a few metres from the window.
Average light: there’s a decent amount of light in your room. It may be getting sun in the morning or afternoon.
Bright light: there’s plenty of light in your room throughout the entire day. Your houseplant will receive the most direct light while indoors.
How to Choose Plants for Outdoors
Part shade: there’s shady or dappled light in your outdoor spot
Full sun: there are more than six hours of direct sunlight in your outdoor spot
Try The Shadow Test to help you figure out how much light your greenery is getting. At midday, where the sun is the brightest, place your hand 30cm above where you intend to grow your plant – if it casts a sharp shadow – that’s bright light – a soft shadow shows medium light.
Lastly, as the seasons shift, your plants need to too; rotate or move them so they get the winter sun.
Temperature and humidity
Like us, plants like to be comfortable, so don’t place them in drafty places, such as near aircon and heater units. Unlike us, most houseplants love humidity, so create it with regular misting, by grouping plants together or by placing them in your kitchen or bathroom. Using a humidifier is hugely helpful and healthy for humans too.
Plants are living things, so they don’t operate like clockwork. For forgetful green thumbs or busy people, some of our plants can tolerate infrequent watering: Zanzibar Gems, Mother in Law’s Tongue, succulents and cactus. When it comes to quenching their thirst, your best bet is to water them only when they need it. Most houseplants like the top 2 inches or 5cm of their soil to dry out before watering; if the soil is dry to touch, get your plant a drink. If the soil is still damp, leave it for another few days and try again. Plants generally need less water in winter, so make sure you adjust accordingly.
A little bit of love
As living things, your plants love a chat while you water it or wipe the dust from its leaves. Give your green friends some liquid fertiliser in the summer while they’re busy growing, as well as a slow-release fertiliser biannually. Not just part of the furniture, your leafy friend will fare well with some attention and TLC. They bring a lot to your space so don’t forget to give some love back.
Low-maintenance indoor plants
If you’re new to being a plant parent and don’t know much about caring for your green dependents, check out our category called ‘Easy-to-Care Plants.’ Here you’ll find a host of low-maintenance plants such as Zanzibar Gem, Parlour Palm and Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, which can all handle low light areas (and a bit of neglect).
Plant shopping made easy
There are so many plants: big, delicate, leafy, colourful, flowering and fruit-bearing. Choosing the right ones can be overwhelming, so we’ve made it simple by using the filter tool on our website to help you pick the right plants for your space. You can select plants based on size, light levels and plants that are pet-friendly.
Happy, healthy plants delivered to your home
We’ve carefully selected and freshly potted up your beautiful new plant; thriving, watered and ready to call your place home. All of our plants come with a plant care guide, so you can brush up your green thumb and enjoy your new housemate. We offer care support and plant advice; we’re here to help.