8 Tips for Choosing and Growing Houseplants

Houseplants enhance your décor, clean the air, and bring the outdoors inside. (DepositPhotos)

Growing houseplants is a great way to start gardening while enhancing the beauty of your home.
Like any other gardening endeavor, indoor gardens can be as simple or elaborate as you would like.

Here are some general guidelines to help get you started.

Dracaena comes in many varieties and is easy to grow.

1. Choose Plants Wisely

The first step is to choose healthy, actively growing plants with no signs of disease or distress. Start with plants that are forgiving, rather than ones with special needs. Some suggestions for easy to grow houseplants are:

  • Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
  • Philodendron (Philodendron sp.)
  • Dracaena (Dracaena sp.)
  • Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
  • Snake plant (Sanseveria sp.)
  • Rubber plant (Ficus elastica)
  • Peperomia (Peperomia sp.)
  • Peace lily (Spathiphyllum sp.)
  • Diffenbachia (Dieffenbachia sp.)

Most houseplants like bright, indirect or filtered light.

2. Light and Location

The best place for houseplants is a bright window that gets direct sun only part of the day. Houseplants like light, but most don’t necessarily like to bake in the sunshine. Check the plant’s label and follow the instructions about light requirements. Some tips:

    • High or Direct Light: Sunny windows facing south or southwest.
    • Medium or Indirect Light: East-facing windows, and spots in bright rooms away from the windows.
  • Low Light: North-facing windows and darker rooms.

Plants with darker leaves can usually tolerate less light.


  1. *”Don’t let your plant sit in water, particularly if it’s in a decorative planter where it could drown.”

    So your average English Ivy should not sit in water?

  2. Hi, My name is Lynn and I have been growing plants since I can remember. My mother has always had a “Green Thumb” and i followed suit. My main question is about a Variegated Peperomia Plant, and I want to Propagate it so I can fill the pot up to make it look fuller and more “Eye Catching” when someone walks in the door. I have read about the powdered root compound to put on it before planting it into the dirt. But I also read that it was okay to cut it with 6 leaves on that stalk and place it into water (approx. 2 weeks) and once i see the roots, then very easily plant it into that pot being careful not to break that root. Is This A Wise Idea?????? Please help, because I am about to go but another Peperomia just to fill in the flower pot so it will have that full foliage look like the rest of my plants do. Thank You for you time. Lynn

  3. going to sell home. live in seattle suburb of edmonds. what plants are recommended to plant outside facing south under large window that don’t require a lot of water? thank you.

  4. Hello & good day to you. We recently purchased a potted Golden Pothos house plant. Some of the leaves have areas that look similar to a cigarette burn. Looks like insects have eaten the section, but no insects in sight. Can you help with the kind of spray and/or chemical to use?

  5. Dear Julie Day,
    I am constantly asking anyone who grows plants and those who are in garden store questions about plants. In just this one article I have learned more about hints for growing plants than years of asking people questions. Thank you ever so much!! -Eddie.


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