The prices of less-common houseplants have skyrocketed this year! Demand for houseplants is booming now because of quarantine and COVID, and many plants have become too expensive for most folks.
Seeing how limiting this can be, YouTube’s Crazy Plant Guy Christian shared some of his favorite inexpensive, common plants. They’re beautiful and just as rewarding as their high-priced counterparts. Christian also challenged others to share their favorite common houseplants! So, here are mine.
First, watch Christian’s video (below), and then read on to discover my favorites!
#1 Hoya carnosa ‘Krimson Princess’
Hoya carnosa ‘Krimson Princess’ was the first Hoya I ever purchased. I saw this plant hanging and beautifully trailing at one of my local greenhouses. The sun illuminated the variegated leaves like stained glass windows. It was at that moment that I knew Hoya carnosa ‘Krimson Princess’ was coming home with me.
The new growth, when in ample light, emerges various shades of pink and then fades to green and cream as the leaves mature.
This plant is VERY easy to care for. It enjoys bright, filtered light and can thrive in Eastern or Western windows as well as near a Southern window. Hoya carnosa ‘Krimson Princess’ only needs to be watered when the leaves near the soil have become soft and bendable. The plant prefers well-draining soil so it doesn’t stay wet for long periods of time.
#2 Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’ (sometimes listed as Silver or Silver Satin Pothos)
Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’ is often lumped into the Pothos family. While I do love all of the different varieties of pothos, this one is the prettiest of the bunch, in my opinion! It grows large, thick leaves that are covered in splashes of sparkly silver. It is a classy plant that brings the feel of the tropics into a home while being affordable and obtainable.
It is also a very easy-care plant. It can thrive near any window and will tell you when it needs to be watered by curling its leaves. A well-draining soil mix is perfect for this epiphytic plant.
#3 Snake Plants (Formerly Sansevieria, now Dracaena)
Snake plants are mentioned in so many plant lists, but it is for good reason!! These plants are super affordable, available nearly everywhere, and ridiculously easy to care for. I only water my snake plants once every few weeks, sometimes even less in winter. They like a potting mix with great drainage as they are used to being dry.
Snake plants are available in a huge range of sizes, shapes, and color patterns. They are incredibly resilient to all kinds of lighting situations, though they prefer brighter light when available. This plant and the ZZ plant appear nearly artificial because they are so structural and unchanging except for occasional growth.
It’s a wonderful plant for beginners, for those looking to have a real plant that isn’t going to change dramatically in appearance over time, and for the rest of us plant lovers.
#4 Monstera adansonii (Swiss Cheese Vine)
Monstera adansonii is a very exotic looking plant that can be grown as a trailing plant or as a climber. It dons many holes or fenestrations in its leaves, setting it apart from many other houseplants. While this plant was once harder to obtain, it is now readily available in most garden centers at a reasonable cost.
Monstera adansonii likes bright, filtered light, to be watered when dry, and a nice well-draining mix so it doesn’t stay wet for long. It also benefits from some humidity, making it a great bathroom plant if you have the light in your bathroom to support it.
#5 Trailing Philodendrons
Trailing philodendrons (Philodendron hederaceum) are beautiful, delicate trailing plants with heart-shaped leaves. The plants are available in many different varieties, most of which are easy to find. The easiest to source is the green, glossy heart-leafed variety, but I’ve seen all of the others come and go from my garden centers as well.
Like all of the other plants on this list, trailing philodendrons prefer bright, filtered light, a well-draining potting mix, and to be watered when they’ve dried out completely. They will reward you well for meeting this simple requirements with lots of fast growth and beauty.
Bonus Mention: Tradescantia (Wandering Dudes)
Tradescantias are fast-growing and reasonably priced even for the more colorful varieties. You can find them in many striking colors, from bright green leaves with sparkling stripes to cream and white variegated leaves to leaves that are primarily a bright pink-purple. They regularly produce clusters of small flowers, adding an extra pop to the overall beauty of the plant.
Tradescantia thrives in bright, indirect light, well-draining potting mixes, and receiving water when completely dried. They are also often easy to find because many of them aren’t as highly sought after as some of the other common plants, making it a wonderful plant for someone who wants to add a houseplant to their home without needing to do a lot of legwork to find it.
Click to read last week’s article: How to Care for a Venus Flytrap