The best indoor plants for small spaces

Apartments or small spaces are invitations to get creative with décor. There are many different ways you can grow indoor plants. There are plenty of ways to keep houseplants nearby.

To maximize space, design and style, utilize a few small potted plants. Take advantage of vertical spaces with hanging baskets or a green wall. Even small DIY projects such as terrariums or kokedama can instantly perk up a small space.

When growing in containers, be sure to use Espoma’s Organic Potting Soil Mix for best results.

These houseplants are a small space gardener’s best friends:

Haworthia ‘Big Band’

A big name for a small plant, but the deep green leaves with white stripes really stand out. They look very modern in small containers with a layer of white gravel on top of the soil. Keep them out of direct light. They grow 2-8 inches tall and wide.

Moth Orchid

Moth orchids have long, thin stems and large flowers that create a big impact in small places. Plus, they flower for an incredibly long time. These are the easiest orchids to grow, even if you are a beginner. Bonus, they are actually more likely to flower when rootbound, so no need to add more space anytime soon. Water well once a week, then let drain completely. Feed regularly with Orchid! liquid plant food.

African Violet

The colorful blooms of African violets instantly add color to any room. They’re known to bloom continuously, even throughout the darker winter months. Slightly root bound plants will continue to bloom, but be sure to repot using Espoma’s African Violet potting mix at least once a year. Water African violets from the bottom to prevent leaves from rotting and never let them sit in standing water.   

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Fittonia

Also known as nerve plant, Fittonia adds a pop of color with leaves that have bright pink, white or red veins. Its petite size allows for it to be placed almost anywhere. Fittonia prefers medium to low light, but tolerates direct sun if the light is filtered through a sheer curtain.

Echeveria

The echeveria is one of the most common types of succulents. Little plants like these are commonly found on office and home desks due to their easy care and small size. A common cause of death, however, is overwatering. Make sure to let your plants’ soil dry completely before giving them another drink. Feed regularly with Espoma’s Cactus! liquid fertilizer for best results.

Try these lowlight houseplants if you want greenery, but lack light. https://youtu.be/SYXv_EcBdEA

Products for houseplants:

Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix

Succulent Tree House Fairy Garden

Watch Laura from Garden Answer make this enchanting Treehouse Fairy Garden!

Espoma Products for Succulent Fairy Gardens

How to Care for Colorful Calathea

With their dark green leaves, maroon undersides and geometric patterns, calathea plants are striking additions to any space.

Calathea, maranta, and other marantaceae plants open and close depending on the time of day, hence their nickname: prayer plant. 

At first glance, growing them may seem like a stretch for those of us with brown thumbs or low light, but many calathea are great for new plant parents. They combine the best of both worlds with their vibrant colors and tolerance of low-light conditions. And most are non-toxic to children and pets.

As a bonus, these plants are extremely forgiving. They could lose practically all leaves and still come back in full force.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

These plants, however, demand a little more from the average plant parent. If you’re looking for a challenge, try Calathea warsewiczii, Calathea zebrine and Calathea white fusion.

To help them thrive, give calathea the right conditions. Place in an area that receives low to bright indirect light. Keep  out of direct sun since it’ll bleach the leaves. Generally, the darker the foliage, the less light these plants need.

Calathea like humid environments, so surround them with other plants or place their pot over a tray of pebbles with some water. If your calathea’s leaf tips are browning, chances are plants need more humidity. Calathea enjoy moist soil—but not wet soil, so check every few days and water generously, draining excess water. Mist soil occasionally to increase moisture, but be sure not to directly mist leaves.

Calathea can be fussy about the kind of water they drink. They prefer filtered or dechlorinated water. If only the tips of leaves are brown, this is a sign your water may contain too many minerals or chemicals. Fill your watering can the night before and leave it out to dissipate the chlorine or try using filtered water instead.

Use Espoma’s organic potting soil when it’s time to repot your calathea.

In the event your calathea is not looking so hot, cut the leaves off to the bottom of the stem to encourage new growth. These plants are good at making a comeback and grow quickly. Feed plants regularly with Espoma’s liquid Indoor! fertilizer to promote new growth.

Ready for more low light houseplants?

Espoma Products for Coloful Calathea

Don’t Throw That Orchid Away, Get It to Rebloom

Talk about flower power! Orchids, especially Phalaenopsis or moth orchids, can bloom for months. Moth orchidsare easy to find, relatively inexpensive and one of the easiest orchids to grow. But, plant parents are asking themselves, how do I get them to rebloom? Paying attention to a few key factors will encourage them to bloom again and again.

Light:

Inadequate light is the number one reason orchids don’t rebloom. It’s important to find the sweet spot between too much sunlight and not enough. Orchids like bright, indirect light. They don’t care for hot, direct sun – the leaves can actually get sunburnt. If the foliage on your orchid is a healthy looking, deep green, the plant is getting enough light. Light green or yellow foliage is an indication that the plant is not getting enough light.  L

Temperature

Like many plants, orchids need a temperature differential to be encouraged to rebloom. In nature, that would be cool nights. A 10 degree Fahrenheit difference in daytime and nighttime is ideal. That can usually be accomplished when house temperatures go down at night. In addition to cooler evening temperatures, the shortening days of autumn can signal an orchid to form buds. 

Water and Feeding:

As with light, orchids want just the right amount of water. They don’t like being dry or standing in water.  Try watering them once a week with lukewarm water, making sure that all of the excess water has drained off. This is also the best time to feed your orchid. You can either feed them once a week or once a month. If you plan to feed them weekly, do it weakly. That means to use Espoma’s Orchid!organic liquid fertilizer at one-quarter strength. When feeding once a month you can use the full strength that is recommended on the package. 


Repotting

Depending on your orchids’ health, you may consider repotting every one to two years. When repotting, only choose a pot with plenty of drainage that is 1-2” wider and plant in an appropriate medium such as Espoma’s Organic Orchid Mix. It’s made with bark and other ingredients to ensure good air circulation. Re-pot right after they have dropped their spent blooms because repotting can cause them to refrain from blooming for a while. 

For more information on orchid care, watch this video from Garden Answer. https://youtu.be/k6S_OpW-pzA

Learn About 5 Orchids That Put on a Show.

Espoma Organic Orchid Mix

 

Get Inspired to Create a Next Level Succulent Arrangement

Succulent arrangements are long lasting creations that can be enjoyed indoors or out. This DIY video from Garden Answer will show you just how easy it is to create your own succulent arrangement

Form Follows Function

Arranging succulents is all about texture, form and color. Use contrasting forms to add interest. Think of the round foliage of a string of pearls plant in comparison to the rosettes of hen and chicks for example. The prickly form of the gold tooth aloe is entirely different than the glossy foliage of a Kalanchoe.  Experiment with different textures and heights to create something entirely unique.

Color Palette

Color also plays an important part in the design. Many succulents have colorful foliage. Think of the nearly black Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ or the orange hues of Graptosedum ‘California Sunset’. Even the container can reinforce the color palette. In this video, a variety of warm colors are used and are picked up the terra cotta accent of the pot.

Care Tips

Caring for a succulent couldn’t be easier. Their number one nemesis is too much water. Pot them up with an organic, potting soil designed for succulents and cacti like Espoma’s Cactus Mix. This will ensure that the soil drains freely. Your succulents also need a special diet. Feed them with an organic liquid fertilizer like Espoma’s Cactus! Succulents love sunshine and their colors will be most intense in bright light.

Meet the Stars of This Garden Answer Video

String of Pearls

This is a highly ornamental plant that can be grown both indoors or out. The “foliage” looks like a string of green pearls. They cascade beautifully over the edge of containers and hanging baskets. This is a show-stopper that will attract lots of attention.

Sempervivium ‘Aglo’

Sempervivum, are commonly known as “hen and chicks.” Each spring new rosettes form that are called the “chicks.” This cultivar is known for its terra cotta colored foliage. The color is best in bright sunlight.

Echeveria pulvinata

Echeveria is also known as a Chenille Plant, ‘Ruby Blush’, ‘Ruby Slippers’, or ‘Red Velvet’ because it has a crimson color. The foliage has a velvety coating to protect it from the intense sun in its native habitat.

Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’

 ‘Zwartkopf’ is a striking succulent, with very dark purple, almost black foliage. The long bare stems are topped with a rosette of leaves and can bloom with clusters of yellow, star-shaped flowers.

Kalanchoe blossfeildiana

This versatile succulent is prized for its glossy foliage and brightly colored flowers that bloom for months. This is a stand out in a container and is extremely low-maintenance. They are available in a wide variety of colors.

Gold Tooth Aloe

These golden spines may look mean, but they are actually soft and won’t harm you. In full sun the foliage will be tinged with orange. Watch for the red blooms in summer.

Graptosedum ‘California Sunset’

Durable, grayish new leaves of this succulent will become tinged with pink in full sun. Happy plants will produce white flowers in spring. The “sunset” coloration is truly striking. Easy to grow and very low maintenance.

Crassula Jade

Crassula, commonly known as the jade plant, are carefree and easy to grow. This beautiful house plant can also be grown outdoors in the summertime. Jade plants are considered to be symbols of good luck, prosperity and friendship.

Check out these blogs to learn more about growing succulents.

Dress Up Your Desk With Succulents

Succulents With Flowers – Beauty Meets Simplicity

How to Care For Succulents and Cacti in Winter

Espoma Products

Free Plants – Grow Pothos Cuttings in Water

With its attractive leaves and low maintenance personality, pothos is one of the best houseplants for new plant parents to grow. Those with trailing vines, like golden pothos, love to fall over the sides of containers. It’s a fun plant to decorate with and a favorite of brown thumb gardeners because it likes low light and minimal watering.

This is also one of the easiest plants to start propagating by cuttings. DIYers will love this trick for getting more pothos plants for free. If your pothos is getting a little leggy or you’re just looking for more plants, start with pothos.

6 Steps to Propagating Pothos

Step 1: Decide how much you want to cut from your plant. Make snips directly below the lowest leaf node. Nodes are those tiny brown bumps on the stem that are the key to growing new roots.

Step 2: Make more cuttings. You’ll need a stem with at least two leaves to root your plant and you’ll want to remove the leaf that is closest to the stem. So clip vines into more cuttings, leaving at least one node on each. Your new roots will form from the node.

Step 3: Place Cuttings in Water: Fill a small mason jar or other glass with water and place the cuttings into the water so the cut ends remain submerged. Place the cuttings indoors near a window, but not in direct sunlight. Check cuttings every few days and refresh water every 1 to 2 weeks.

Step 4: Wait until your cuttings have at least one inch of roots to transplant. This should take about a month. If left in water, your pothos plant will continue to grow roots. The longer they grow in water, however, the harder it will be for them to transition to soil.

Step 5: Pick a container with proper drainage holes and fill two-thirds of the way with Espoma’s Organic potting mix. Place the cuttings around the pot edges and add more soil to keep the cuttings in place. Add more cuttings to the middle and add soil as needed. Water your new pothos plant until water runs out of the bottom of the pot.

Step 6: Place your new pothos in an area where it will get adequate light. Fertilize once a month with Espoma’s Indoor! liquid plant food for more growth.

Looking for more easy care houseplants? Check out Garden Answer’s favorite low light houseplants!

Where to Buy

Organic Potting Mix

Indoor!

Why Philodendron is the Best Trailing Plant for Your Indoor Jungle and 4 Others We Love Too

Philodendron are one of the most popular, versatile, and easy to grow houseplants on the planet. Trailing plants lend an air of the tropical to your indoor jungle. They drape casually down from bookshelves and windowsills, looking graceful with their heart-shaped leaves. They’re absolutely ideal for hanging baskets. It is often said they thrive on neglect and that is not far from the truth.  There are over 200 different varieties, some with split-leaf foliage, some with variegation but all are perfect for even novice plant parents.

Image courtesy of Costa Farms

Light

Philodendron can survive with very little light but will grow faster and healthier in bright indirect light. They will sunburn in harsh, direct sunlight.

Water

Your container should have good drainage. Water when the top 50 percent of the soil is dry, about once a week. If the foliage begins to turn yellow, it’s an indication of too much water. Conversely, if the leaves turn brown, your plant needs more water.

Temperature and Humidity

Philodendron grow well in normal household temperatures, between 70°-80ºF during the day and above 55º F at night. Average home humidity levels are fine but an occasional misting or rinsing off the leaves would be welcome and remove dust.

Pests and Diseases

Over-watering can cause root-rot but yellow leaves will warn you to slow down the watering. While they are rarely bothered by pests, it’s a good idea to keep a look out for aphids and mites. If you do see them, try  Insect Soap.

Repotting and Fertilizing

Always use a quality soil like Espoma Organic Potting Mix for optimum plant health. Repot once a year.  Feed your plants once a month in spring and summer and, once every other month in fall and winter with an organic indoor plant food.

Endorsed By NASA

NASA lists a Heartleaf Philodendron as a clean air plant that removes formaldehyde, a chemical found in insulation, floor coverings, cleaning agents, pressed wood, and even paper towels, from the air.

More Super Star Vines

String of Pearls 

Looks exactly like its name. This succulent tolerates drought and does best in bright light.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Pothos

Long, leafy vine that prefers bright, indirect light and moist soil. Will grow fairly well in low light too.

 

Inch Plant or Purple Heart

Beautiful purple foliage on trailing stems with attractive zebra patterned foliage. Perfect for hanging baskets.

Image courtesy of Costa Farms

Arrowhead Plant

Elegant plant that vines with age, prefers bright light and moderate watering.

Thinking about more indoor plants? Check out this video on the top low-light plants!

 

Espoma Products for Happy Trailing Plants:

 

Plant parenthood: Top 5 plants to start your houseplant family with

Welcome to Plant Parenthood, a reoccurring series helping you with all things houseplant! As plant people ourselves, we are so happy to see you here. This will be your resource to get you started, to teach you how to care, when to fertilize and much more.

 

Some of you may already have a houseplant or two, which is wonderful. If you are starting from scratch, below are some great houseplants to get you started. They are easy-to-grow and require little maintenance.

Before getting started think about your lifestyle and what chores you want your houseplant to do. Do you want them to clean the air, just sit around and look pretty or maybe both! Also, think about how much light your space gets, as some houseplants love bright light while others thrive in little to low light.

Top Five Plants to Start Your Houseplant Family:

 

Peperomia

This tried and true classic is getting more and more popular. Peperomia is compact, so you don’t need a lot of space for it. But don’t let the size fool you, it’s variegated and colorful foliage can pack a punch. Keep your plant near a window, as it likes medium to bright light. Water it when the top two inches of soil are dry, though it can go a bit without water and still be fine. It will not grow quickly, however use Espoma’s Indoor! liquid plant food to give it the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Photo Courtesy of Costa Farms

Dracaena

Dracaena will need  a new home as it ages. When it is young, it is perfect for a tabletop or desk, as it is a little bushy plant. Though, it can grow 5 to 6 feet tall as an adult. Depending on the variety you choose, its foliage can look like little bursts of stars or fireworks on the tips. It adds dramatic texture to any room. Place it where it looks best in your home – it is not picky about how much light it gets. Water it when the top of the soil dries out.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

ZZ Plant

This tough houseplant can survive even with the brownest of thumbs. You can put it anywhere in your home or office and it will be happy to see you. It can even survive with only florescent lights and no natural light.  Water when the top two inches of soil are dry. Don’t worry if you forget, it may start to drop some of its leaflets to conserve the water left and will rebloom after a good drink.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Aglaonema

Also known as the Chinese evergreen, this houseplant is stunning. It can come in colors from deep green to silver to red. It is slow growing, with large, narrow and glossy oval foliage. When deciding where to put Aglaonema, keep in mind the lighter the variegation, the more light it needs. So if you opt out for dark green foliage, it can thrive in low light. Water when the top two inches of soil is dry and add humidity around the plant in the summertime. Use Espoma’s indoor! liquid plant food during the growing season to give it the nutrients it needs.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Pothos

Have fun with pothos as you can grow it in a hanging basket to allow the foliage to trail down, trellis it up or allow it to grow horizontally across a shelf or on a cabinet. It has a beautiful green foliage with specks of white, yellow or cream mixed in. It can grow in any kind of light, with low humidity. Keep the soil moist, so water it when the top inch of the soil is dry.

Laura from Garden Answer shows off some low light houseplants that are perfect for anyone looking to get started.

 

Happy Houseplants Need Food:

 

New Year, New Gardening Reads

Spend winter months brushing up on your plant knowledge and cozying up indoors with a book on plants. The options can be endless and there’s certainly something for every level of gardener. Explore a whole new world of plants with our recommendations below.

How Not to Kill Your Houseplant: Survival Tips for the Horticulturally Challenged

By Veronica Peerless

From the basics of horticulture to detailed information about what type of plant will thrive in your living space, How Not To Kill Your Houseplant will be your comprehensive guide. This book covers 50 popular house plants and teaches you how to look for warning signs of sickness, pests and disease. With helpful tips, pictures and informational panels How Not To Kill Your Houseplant will help you create a plant paradise right in your own home.

Homestead Brooklyn shows you how to fertilize your houseplants.

Photo courtesy of Urban Jungle

Urban Jungle: Living and Styling with Plants

By Igor Josifovic and Judith de Graaff

This book will inspire beginners as well as advanced plant parents. It goes beyond the basic of plant care into the art of styling your home with plants. Travel across Europe to 5 different green homes with urban jungle bloggers, Igor and Judith. Along with style tips you’ll find DIY ideas with step-by-step instructions along with beautiful photography. Take your design skills to the next level and create and care for your own urban jungle.

Gardening Under Lights: The Complete Guide for Indoor Growers

By Leslie F. Halleck

Growing under indoor lights opens up a whole new world of possibilities for home growers. Gardening Under lights is a complete guide to high tech growing. It explains the basics and gives an overview of the most up-to-date tools and gear available. It also offers tips and techniques for growing ornamentals like orchids and bonsai, to growing a whole range of edibles from arugula to zucchini. There is also a complete guide to starting seed indoors.

New to seed starting? Watch this video to get up to speed.

Root, Nurture, Grow: The Essential Guide to Propagating and Sharing Houseplants

By Caro Langton and Rose Ray

A follow up to their successful debut book House of Plants, Caro and Rose show how easy it is to propagate house plants at home in their stylish new book. Beginner friendly techniques such as stem cutting, rooting in water, runners, offsets, grafting, and division are all covered. It also includes DIY projects like seed-bombs and how to make self-watering plant pots. Find out how fun and easy it is to create new plants for meaningful gifts and displays.

Here’s how to propagate the hottest houseplant.

The Savage Garden, Revised: Cultivating Carnivorous Plants 

By Peter D’Amato

While this might not be new, The Savage Garden is still the best-selling book for anyone interested in carnivorous plants. The new edition is fully revised to include the latest developments and discoveries in the carnivorous plant world, making it the most accurate and up-to-date book of its kind. Beautifully illustrated with over 200 color photographs, let this be your guide to the beautiful, unusual world of easy to grow savage plants.

Bonus: Houseplant Masterclass

The Houseplant Masterclass is the first comprehensive online audiovisual course on houseplant cultivation, care and maintenance taught by Summer Rayne Oakes, founder of the blog, HomesteadBrooklyn.com, the weekly web series Plant One On Me, and author of the forthcoming book, How to Make a Plant Love You (Optimism Press, July 2019).

The course was fully funded on Kickstarter in April 2018 and went on sale in December 2018. The Masterclass features five sections and 100+ sub-sections on houseplant growing, care and cultivation; over 4 hours of audiovisual recordings; 300 full-color images and charts; a comprehensive care spreadsheet of 300+ common houseplants; 100+ botanical terms and 350+ botanical Latin names; product and book recommendations; access to a private Facebook community; and more. Participants will get houseplant badges as they complete sections and a certificate of completion at the end of the course.

Want to learn the basics of one of the most common houseplants? Summer Rayne teaches us all about Pilea Peperomioides.

 

 

Products to Buy

 

 

Easy, Breezy Houseplants that Cool Your Home

While everyone loves being indoors in air conditioning on hot summer days, indoor spaces sometimes could use a good pop of plant life. Plus, Mother Nature has her own way of cooling things down. Try cooling your house down the eco-friendly way with houseplants.

Not only do our favorite houseplants look good, they also have humidifier properties and  clean the air too. If you live in dry regions, having houseplants with humidifying effects will help beat the heat.

Photo courtesy of Garden Answer

 Aloe Vera

Not only will you be able to treat sunburns all summer, but Aloe leaves have a high water content which release cool moisture into the air. Aloe is also known to remove toxins from the air. The plant prefers a lot of sun and well-draining soil, such as Espoma’s Organic Cactus Mix. Water approximately every three weeks to allow the soil to dry 1-2 inches between watering’s. Fertilize once per month with Espoma’s Cactus! Liquid fertilizer.

Bamboo Palm

The bamboo palm’s luscious leaves are excellent humidifiers and have air purifying qualities as well. The more mature the plant gets, the more moisture it releases. Bamboo Palms prefer well drained soil and pots. They are relatively low maintenance and only require watering when the soil surface feels dry. It is important not to over water Bamboo Palms. Set the pot in an area with bright, indirect light to get healthy growth.

Photo courtesy of Garden Answer

 Sansevieria

Sansevieria has a variety of names but is commonly known as “snake plant.” This snake-like plant has incredible air cooling and cleansing properties. Not to mention, it may be the easiest houseplant you can find. It only requires watering when the soil is completely dry. This can take up to six weeks depending on the size of the plant, humidity, light and temperature conditions in your home. They prefer indirect, medium-to-low light.

 Peace Lily

The Peace Lily is a home essential. Not only does it have stunning green foliage, but if given enough light, classic lily blooms will flower. They have air cleansing and cooling abilities making them perfect as part of your air-cooling house plant team. Peace lilies prefer medium to low light and well-drained soil. For quality potting soil and houseplant success, try Espoma’s Organic Potting Mix. The biggest danger with Peace Lilies, and most plants, is over watering. It is best to check the soil once per week. If the plant starts to wilt or the top 1” of the soil is dry, it is time to water. They only require fertilizing once or twice per year.

Areca Palm Tree

Like the other heat-battling, air-cleansing plants on this list, the Areca Palm tree is an excellent air humidifier and also removes toxins from the air. It requires a little more attention than the other plants on this list and will not survive neglect. They prefer lightly moist soil so be sure to check on your plant frequently, especially in warmer temperatures. It is best to fertilize frequently in the spring. For a lush, healthy tree try Espoma’s Indoor! Liquid Fertilizer. They are light-loving plants so near a non-drafty window would be the perfect spot.

Espoma Products for Houseplants:

Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix