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Want to know the number one question I get as an interior designer? No, it’s not about paint color or furniture placement or how high curtains should be. Nothing so specific, really. Here it is: “What’s the easiest thing I can do to spruce up my space?” My answer: Plants.

There are about a million good things I could say about plants and why I suggest them—they bring the outside in, give your space texture, clean your air, add life to the room (literally but also visually), etc.—but the biggest reason is that it gives you something to take care of. Hear me out. When you start interacting with your space and taking care of it, you create a bond that ignites a fire in you. That fire makes you want to continue upgrading your home to something that makes you feel proud and good.

It’s the design gateway drug. First comes pothos, then comes new rug then comes curtains. Another great tip with indoor plants is they like to be together—just like us during quarantine! Plants are social and grouping multiple together will actually make them happier and flourish, so live out your social closeness dreams right now with your plants!

During this “Shelter In Place” period, they are also a great thing to add to your #WFH life to bring you a little more joy. Studies actually show that houseplants increase productivity and reduce stress so it’s really a no brainer. A lot of people can get a bit intimidated by them though which I understand, especially if you don’t have a green thumb, so I thought I’d share a few of my go-to plants that I love as well as some other hard-to-kill varieties from some of the Apt2B team.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum Wallisii)

Photo: Kyle Schuneman

These tropical gems are great and a really popular indoor plant. They like to be moist in a well-lit area but not in direct sun. What I love about them is they produce these white lily flowers so it’s like having a little garden in a pot.

Care Notes:

  • Mist the leaves with water every once in a while to replicate that tropical weather that they like and they will love you forever.
  • Water regularly (at least once a week, more if it’s warm) to keep the soil moist.

(Note: toxic to pets if ingested)

Purple Shamrock (Oxalis Triangularis)

Photo: Kyle Schuneman

This gorgeous creature that I recently discovered has so much personality. It opens and closes its leaves depending on if it’s night or day so I love to think it goes to bed at night. It’s delicate, wispy and looks like an overgrown clover so it’s an instant design addition to any room. The purple shamrock also produces some beautiful little pink flowers sometimes that, again, makes it super unique.

Care Notes:

  • Prefers a good amount of sunlight but not direct or the leaves could burn.
  • Water about once a week depending on how cold or hot it is, though you can tell if it needs water if the leaves are drooping. If that happens, water that it needs some water.

(Note: toxic to pets if ingested)

Baby Rubber Plant (Peperomia Obtusifolia)

Photo: The Sill

The smaller cousin to the larger rubber tree (another great option if you’re looking for something larger), we like this one because of its thick, glossy leaves. It grows pretty upright and looks nice and sculptural once it gets some height on it.

Care Notes:

  • Does well in all kinds of light, from low to bright, though avoid intense direct sunlight.
  • Water once or twice a week, depending on season.

(Note: non-toxic to pets)

The Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

Photo: Léon & George

Arlyn, Apt2B’s Content Director, mentioned she had one of these in a bathroom that got absolutely no sunlight for two years and it still thrived. This should just be renamed “the plant that no one can kill.” Water it, don’t water it, completely ignore it, it’ll likely keep kickin’...and cleaning your air like a champ (it’s one of the best plants for air purification).

Care Notes:

  • Water every 2-8 weeks (it’s best to let the soil fully dry out) and avoid wetting the leaves when you do.
  • Keep in indirect sunlight (though it can tolerate almost any light condition).

(Note: mildly toxic to pets if ingested)

Philodendron

Photo: The Sill

Another one from Arlyn. Philodendron plants seem to be the mascot of the “boho design-loving community” (similar in look to Pothos) but it’s such a great indoor plant for anyone, no matter your style. The trailing leaves take on a very organic vibe and work really well at the top of bookcases, in hanging planters, even dripping off a fireplace mantel (as long as the fire isn’t roaring!). It’s such an easy one to care for if you don’t have a ton of time or can’t ever seem to keep anything alive. Bonus: it’s very apt at cleaning VOCs and toxins from the air, though if you have dogs or cats, be sure to keep it out of reach because it is toxic to our furry friends.

Care Notes:

  • Grow in bright but not direct light (though it can adapt to low-light conditions if your place doesn’t get a ton of sunlight).
  • Water when half of the soil is dry (or at least the top inch of soil). If you see the leaves starting to dry out, water more regularly; if yellow, water less.

(Note: toxic to pets if ingested)

I’m up to 14 plants in my house – I think that categorizes me as a true “Plant Lady” – and honestly, I could have more. Spreading them around my house and tending to their different needs brings me joy and makes the space come alive in a way no decor accent could. I’m determined to turn all of you into Plant Ladies as well so tag me in your house plant pictures or in a post if yours are struggling and need help (@kyleschuneman, @apt2b) and let’s create a revolution!

*Featured Image: Photo by Joe Schmelzer. SHOP THE LOOK: Clinton Chair in NAVY/SPRITE/PECAN, Laurel Canyon Side Table, Diogo Verissimo SAFE HAVEN Art Canvas, Azora Vase, Azora Bottle Small, Azora Bottle Large, plants courtesy Leon & George

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