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This is a SUPER common article idea and for good reason. And to be fair, it did a decent job. ChatGPT simply scours its database and creates an answer compiled from what it found. So basically, it’s given me an average of all of those ‘top 10 easy care house plant’ articles.
I’m 99% sure that snake plants will be number one.
So this is what I inputted:
Please could you give a list of the top ten easy care house plants
Always say please to ChatGPT. It’ll remember who was polite when the revolution comes.
I also asked for a few care tips, but they were incredibly generic. It won’t be stealing my job any time soon.
And here’s what it said:
Sure, here are ten easy-care house plants that are great for beginners:
- Snake plant (Sansevieria)
- ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
- Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
- Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
- Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema)
- Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)
- Rubber plant (Ficus elastica)
- Aloe vera
Whilst most of these plants are pretty easy to keep alive, a lot of them are actually quite difficult to grow well.
For example, snake plants need a LOT of bright light to grow well. They’re not particularly fun to propagate, which is something I look for when recommending plants for beginners.
It’ll take them a LONG time to deteriorate if you keep them in a dark corner somewhere, but they won’t thrive. The same goes for aloe vera, but I have other issues with recommending aloes.
The problem with aloes is two-fold – they’re quite specific about care, and will easily rot if you get it wrong.
If you provide enough light and warmth to grow it properly, you’ll end up with a HUGE, spiky plant that menaces you in your own home. They grow in every direction, and very quickly become unwieldy.
When I’m recommending plants for beginners, I try not to recommend plants that will bully their caregivers if treated well.
Also, just as warning, raw aloe gel is INCREDIBLY sticky. And it dies my skin orange. I’ll just stick to buying it from the drugstore in future.
All of the other plants are fine, but I tend not to recommend peace lilies because they are FICKLE. I also love that it included Philodendron, which is an entire genus.
To be fair, dracaena is also a genus (to which snake plants belong), but I think they mean a dracaena marginata, which is a great shout for a beginner since they can take a lot of abuse and most lighting situations.
Some Philodendron are great for beginners, others…less so. I would 100% recommend a Monstera deliciosa over a Philodendron, because they have hardiness bred into them. A lot of Philodendron are fine, but you get the odd one that can be a fickle, such as verrucosum, which can be a bit funny about humidity.
I’m actually having some success with my new spider plant, and it’s growing well. It’s a common recommendation because it’s non-toxic, but if you have cats, just be aware that they’ll get high if they eat spider plants. I’m not judging the cat’s choices, but you’ll end up with no plant left.
I think the problem with these lists is that they’re a bit…dull?
I have a few recommendations of plants here that are super easy to care for, but are a bit different. They’re all easy to get hold of and available for under £30:
Extremely chill to care for, but also…so cool. The mature ones have huge leaves with big splits in them. They grow on a single vine so they won’t take over your whole house.
It has pretty flowers. Give it bright light, water every other month, and you’ll get flowers. DO NOT MOVE IT WHEN IT HAS PEDUNCLES. And that’s it. You get these gorgeous, sweet-like blooms that smell like perfume.
Big, heart-shaped leaves. Silver veining.
SURE, thrips love ’em and the flowers smell like bin juice, but this anthurium is HARDY. The roots are fucking terrifying though:
And of course, Peperomia hope. The number one plant to get for house plant beginners, because they’re just so rewarding if you grow them well, but are patient as you’re learning what growing them well actually consists of.
I also asked ChatGPT for care tips for these plants and they were SO generic – like it had read them of the back of those plants labelled ‘house plant’ or ‘green foliage’. A lot of talk about bright, indirect light and watering sparingly.
I don’t think chatGPT is particularly useful for house plant care, purely because there is SO MUCH generic information on massive home decor websites.
I was kind of hoping it would throw out a wildcard, but alas, it was not to be.