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Perfect Pair: Find the Best Plant for You (Part 2)

Welcome to the second part of our article! You can read more about the beginner-friendly plants, air-purifying plants, and low light plants here.

Choosing your next plant doesn’t have to be a daunting task. All you have to do is to take time to consider how it will fit into your life—do you have pets? Do you have insects at home? Do you want to grow your own food? Just a spin around your space will give you the answers you need. You’ll be rewarded by not just an aesthetically pleasing addition to your home, but also a plant that gives you a reason to love and care for it daily. 

PET-FRIENDLY

Plants and pets both bring joy to the home. But what if your plants could possibly harm your pets? Choose pet-friendly plant options, for a happy, healthy home. 

Money Plant

Money plants are beloved indoor plants, because according to the practice of Feng Shui, they bring good luck and prosperity in the home. They are easy to grow and pet-friendly, cited by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) as being non-toxic to cats, dogs, and even horses! As a bonus, they are also air purifiers!

Care: Money plants prefer medium to bright indirect light, but are adaptive to low and fluorescent lights. Water when the top 2 inches of your plant is dry. Prune to promote growth.

Calathea Illustris

Calathea Illustris is a striking addition to the home, with leaves often described in reference to a canvas. Deep green, reds, and white paint the leaf from stem to leaf edges. Native to Brazil, Calathea is a genus that comes from the family of Marantaceae. According to the ASPC, they are non-toxic to cats, dogs, and horses. 

Care: The Calathea needs a lot of humidity, so they will do well with a humidifier. Daily spraying with a fine mist spray or placing their pot on top of a pebble tray are also great alternatives. They thrive in medium to bright, indirect light.

Peperomia Gemini

Contrary to popular belief, Peperomia Gemini plants aren’t actually succulents (despite what their fleshy leaves have you thinking). They’re native to Brazil and belong to the Piperaceae family. They are pet-friendly and durable, able to withstand bumps and bruises from playing with pets. Best of all, Peperomia and their family are non-toxic to pets and young children.  

Care: They prefer bright, indirect light. They can also tolerate low light, but their leaves may burn under direct light. Water every 1-2 weeks, when the top layer of soil is dry. 

INSECT REPELLANT

There are plants that naturally keep the bugs away! Plants with pungent scents are among the most effective insect deterrents and most of these are herbs. 

Mint

The secret to insect-repelling plants is choosing those with a pungent aroma, like Mint. Houseflies and mosquitoes generally keep away from mint plants, so keep them where those pesky insects would likely enter. Thankfully, humans can enjoy Mint as another useful addition to our indoor herb garden. Simply plucking off a leaf to instantly elevate a drink  drinks(like hot chocolate or tea) and garnish desserts.

Care: Mint plants enjoy medium indirect light and thrive in rich soil. Water when the top soil is moist. In direct sun, mint plants will produce smaller leaves. 

Rosemary

Add a pot of Rosemary to your indoor garden or herb corner to protect plants from a variety of bugs and insects. The woody scent of Rosemary keeps mosquitoes, cabbage moths, and carrot flies away. 

Care: Rosemary grows best in hot and dry climates with 6-8 hours of full sunlight daily. Water when the top soil is dry to touch and take care not to overwater. 

Basil

Basil is another favorite among the herb-loving community that is also an insect repellent. Keep mosquitoes and houseflies away by keeping your basil by the door. Another bonus for basil is that they are another pet-friendly herb. Chopped basil added to dog food can boost antioxidants, prevent cancer, and ease arthritic pain!

Care: Water consistently and regularly and keep under full sun. Harvest big leaves to encourage new growth.

EDIBLE GARDEN

If you love puttering around your kitchen as much as you do the garden, maybe it’s time to choose these edible plant options for the home!

Lavender

A fragrant, edible herb native to Europe, Lavender can be used similar to rosemary. Both flowers and leaves can be used in cooking, in seasoning and marinades. Throw freshly pruned lavender into a hot grill to infuse its aroma into meat and veggies to instantly elevate a meal. Leave a pot by your windowsill and enjoy the sweet floral aroma of the space. 

Care: Like most herbs, Lavender enjoys full sun and well-draining soil. They’re fairly easy to maintain, and just need to be watered when the soil is almost dry. 

Italian Oregano

Best for tomato-centric recipes like pizza, pasta, and minestrone, Italian Oregano is one of the most versatile herbs out there. They instantly elevate a savory dish and can even substitute basil or thyme. Oregano grows well indoors, and is a good starting herb because it’s low-maintenance. 

Care: Encourage a bushier plant by pruning lightly when the plant reaches about 4 inches tall. Oregano thrives in full morning sun, but keep it in the shade when harsh afternoon sun is out. Water thoroughly when the top soil is dry to touch. 

Citrus Tree

Growing as both an ornamental plant and for its fruit, the Citrus Tree is a hybrid of the kumquat and mandarin orange. It takes about a year for the calamondin fruit to ripen, so the tree maintains its ornamental value for much longer. The fruit is seedless, sour, and quite acidic. When in bloom, a distinctive citrusy aroma will perfume the home. 

Care: The Citrus Tree is a small, bushy evergreen that loves the sun and is moderately drought-tolerant. Keep it in your patio or lanai, and allow the soil to dry out between watering. 

By the end of this extensive list, we’re sure you’ve found a plant best suited for your home and lifestyle. Missed a plant you’re interested in? Send in your questions, we’re happy to assist you. Our team is available from 8AM-5PM, Monday to Saturday on Facebook and Instagram.

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