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Living green

With summer gardens being put to bed, it’s time to focus on houseplants.

Houseplants do more than brighten a space; they can have a therapeutic effect on your mood. Darryl Cheng, author of The New Plant Parent and creator of, says the key to long-term enjoyment is knowing your houseplant will grow and change—it will not remain exactly like the day you bought it.

“Give them the best possible conditions, but accept that nature will take its course. Older leaves will die,” he says. 

Match your lighting—and indoor gardening ability—with a new potted plant.

Low light plants

holding large plant
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If you have low lighting, and are looking for a smaller plant, add a ZZ (zamioculas zamiifolia) plant to your space. 

For a larger plant, snake plants (Dracaena trifasciata/Sansevieria trifasciata) are a great and low maintenance addition to your indoor garden. Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, snake plants come in many sizes and colours. They also require minimal care and attention, making them the perfect beginner plant. 

If you have lots of light

holding large plant
feey | Unsplash

If you’re looking for a smaller plant to add to a bright window try a Chinese money plant (pilea peperomiodies). The Chinese money plant is known for how quickly it shoots out pups, or new baby plants. Separate and pot up the pups to give as gifts to all your friends. 

For a large statement plant to fill a sunny corner in your house, opt for the majestic Monstera (monstera deliciosa). Knwon for it’s broad, fenestrated leaves, the monstera is a statement plant that will liven up any sunny room. 

For the new gardeners

pothos plant
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For a smaller plant that is easy to care for, try a zebra plant (haworthia fasciato). This succulent species lights a lot of light and minimal water. It is a great introduction to greenery that doesn’t require a lot of attention. 

Pothos (epipremnum aureum) is another fantastic begginer plant. This plant has many different varities, with leave colours ranging from neon grean to a soft blue. Pro tip: “It will clearly show you when it’s time to water by wilting, and you’ll eventually learn to tend to its watering needs before it gets to this point,” Cheng says.

For rookies to have the best experience with their potted greenery, Cheng says to put plants as close to your largest windows as possible, only blocking them from direct sun if the duration will be longer than two or three hours (keeping in mind that sun tolerance varies by plant). “Moving a plant farther into a room is significantly slowing down its photosynthesis, and putting a plant in a dark corner is just starving it, where you will watch it decline until you quietly throw it away,” he says. Short on natural light at home? Consider choosing artificial plants. There are some surprisingly lifelike options these days that will perk up any basement rec room.

For those with a green thumb

queen anthurium
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For the experienced gardeners looking to add to their house plant collections, add a queen anthurium (Anthurium clarinervium). Tip from the pro: Cheng recommends this plant forits spectacular deep green foliage with intricate, nerve-like patterns.

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