Houseplants are popping up all over people’s homes these days. For some people, life under quarantine may stoke a craving to bring more greenery indoors.
Caring for a plant and watching it grow is a calming experience in uncertain times. Add Mother’s Day to the mix, and it’s no wonder plants are selling like hotcakes.
“We have sold many plants during this crisis; I think people are interested in trying plants during quarantine,” says Ji Crowley, owner of Gotham Florist in New York, NY.
“They are also excited to send flowers for Mother’s Day. It seems to bring a lot of joy and happiness during this depressing time.”
“Consumers are really craving the colors and textures that come in plants and using them as home decor.”
That said, many houseplants purchased with the best of intentions end up dead—and not necessarily due to neglect.
Instead, the problem could merely be because the plants haven’t placed in the home in an area where they can thrive.
Light, moisture, how often you enter the room, and other variables should be carefully considered, as well as where plants might make the greatest visual (and sensory) impact.
So if you need help picking the best plant for a particular spot in your home—or are wondering where to put a plant you already have—we asked Paurus and Crowley to share the best plants for your bathroom, bedroom, and beyond.
Best plant for the bathroom
Bathrooms can be a notoriously tricky spot to grow plants, because most don’t get much light and tend to be damp. Among the options to consider are ferns (which love shade and humidity) and eucalyptus ($19.99 on amazon.com).
“You can either put eucalyptus on a counter, or get it cut and hang it in the shower,” Crowley says. “The steam releases the oils from the eucalyptus, so it keeps your bathroom very fresh.”
The branches will dry out in two weeks, so plan to buy a new bunch at that point.
Best plant for your bedroom
The bedroom is your sanctuary, so you’ll want add a plant or flower that fosters a tranquil vibe. For Crowley, the no-brainer choice is lavender ($16.99 on amazon.com), which can be bought as dried bundles, a live plant, or even as lavender sachets, which you can add to drawers or closets to serve as a moth repellent.
“Lavender has a very calming effect,” says Crowley. She notes that it has been proven to help you sleep better, which explains why many people use lavender essential oils for this purpose.
“I actually grow lavender in my front yard,” she adds, “because mosquitos don’t like that scent. It’s a wonderful plant that you can have outside or inside your home.”
Best plant for your kitchen
If the only fresh greens in your kitchen are in your salad bowl, it’s time to make some changes. But what works best in the heart of the home? Crowley explains that because you’re cooking—and sometimes eating—in this space, it’s best to avoid fragrant flowers.
“You don’t want to do anything like roses,” she says.
Because of the heat in a kitchen, and depending on the size of the room, you’re probably better off avoiding fresh-cut flowers. Instead, Crowley suggests growing an herb garden ($39.99 on amazon.com).
“You can use those herbs to cook as well, and they have a great natural scent,” she says. She recommends rosemary and basil, which can withstand the heat and which give off a pleasant aroma.
Best plant for play room or kids’ room
Wherever young kids play, Crowley advises keeping an aloe vera plant ($29.99 on amazon.com), due to its healing powers. After all, with kids, accidents are bound to happen!
“You can place the juices of an aloe plant on skin abrasions and cuts,” she says. “It has a very healing effect, due to its antibacterial properties.”
Best plant for your guest room
For a room like a guest room that you don’t enter often, Paurus recommends sansevieria ($19.99 on amazon.com).
“It’s one of the plants that will thrive on lack of care,” she says. “You don’t need to water it once a week, it can live in low light. You can forget to water it for a couple of weeks, and it’s fine. It’s the perfect plant for people who are just starting out with plants. Plus, it’s on trend right now.”
Best plant for a living room
Succulents ($23.99 at amazon.com) are ideal for living room coffee tables or side tables, because they’re small, and won’t overwhelm the space—and thus pair well with books and other items you might have there.
Their compact size and interesting texture are a bonus, says Paurus. “You can put them on a coffee table and they’re a great conversation piece, because they can get pretty funky.”
The main issue to avoid with succulents, she adds, is overwatering. Water weekly to start with, and adjust as necessary.