If I Could Only Have 10 Houseplants…

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I have stolen this shamelessly from makeup YouTube and I highly recommend you give it a go. I honestly had no idea I was so attached to my peace lily, but there you go.

1 – Monstera deliciosa

monstera deliciosa albo

I mean, she’s a staple of any plant collection. I’d hate to have to pick between the three I have. I love my Thai, I love my HUGE one, but I also have a soft spot for the one that lives in my bathroom because she’s perpetually covered in thrips. Out of all the plants, she’s the one I’ve showered with the most.

Also, they’re so easy to care for. They’re very forgiving of being underwatered and won’t complain if you only fertilise them annually.

2 – Marble Queen Pothos

marble queen pothos in self watering pot

The only one of the heavily variegated Pothos that is no trouble. My others are forever shriveling up, or refusing to grow or similar, but my marble queen is just chill.

I also love the one I have in my terrarium. She is starting to get big ass leaves which is exciting, but also, the terrarium is full. Like, she needs to come out of it. She’s too big. I think I’ll need to chop and prop soon.

3 – Peace lily

variegated peace lily

I, controversially enough, think that these are suuuper easy to care for. They’re one of those plants that you’ll either get on with or you won’t, which is why I don’t think they’re a great plant for funerals.

People feel so guilty about funeral peace lilys not making it, but often, if they don’t like your home environment there is little you can do about it.

4 – Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma

rhapidophora tetrasperma

I think mine’s ill. The stem is going black. Its never had a great root system (it was a rescue) but I daren’t look at the roots, even though a brown stem usually means a chop and prop job. I’m just hoping the sunny weather will change its mind (I’m aware that this is not exactly a foolproof plan).

I do have another one in the terrarium that I can chop and prop if necessary.

5 – Monstera adansonii

monstera adansonii

I respect a plant with fenestrations on the lower leaves. Prouder plants will make us wait until they’re more mature, but adansonii have holey leaves from the get go.

They’re also pretty chill, but with the added benefit that they go yellow when they’re hungry, rather than suffering in silence.

6 – Pilea peperomioides

Pilea peperomioides

I adore plants that are very strange looking but because they’re so common we forget how weird they are.

So many people comment on it (ok, not actually a lot, because no one comes in my house, but everyone that does comments on it!)

This is one of those plants that I didn’t get for SO LONG because I couldn’t seem to make it happy. It wasn’t until I put it under grow lights that it really started to take off.

If you’re struggling with yours, I have a full care guide here.

I don’t currently have my lights running, but it’s in a south-facing window and loving life. It does have a bit of a bare stem, but the babies should bulk up and fill in that space.

7 – Hoya bella

hoya bella in bloom

It requires very little attention and grows the most incredible blooms.

Also weirdly cold tolerant (though obvs I wouldn’t put her outside in cold weather) – happy to spend the winter in my freezing kitchen, hanging in a north-facing window.

8 – Schefflera

Another one that wants nothing from me, AND did a fabulous job of shifting thrips. I helped (regulars sprays down with diluted castile soap), but she’s got rid of them MUCH faster than my thrips lovers: Monstera deliciosa and Anthurium Clarinerveum.

I’m actually finding it difficult to articulate why I love my schefflera so much. I just do.

Look at her cute leaf that she grew after her thrips-related pruning ordeal:

schefflera leaf

She’s back onto seven-pronged (??) leaves now, but this three-r was a great effort.

9 – Philodendron golden dragon

Oh Smaug. I love you so much, even though you have, hands down, the WEIRDEST growth pattern I have ever seen.

I had to chop him back because he was just growing…weirdly.

Like, growing a really long vine, and then branching. No consistency with leaf size. Sometimes two (smaller) leaves from the same node. Mad. But cool. And very easy to care for.

By the way, this is a growth pattern thing, not a care thing.

I’ve tried him in so may different spots and many care regimens and whilst I can get him to grow faster, I can’t get him grow less strangely.

I also can’t control leaf size.

Monstera grow bigger leaves as they get older and get more light, but Smaug just…decides. Sometimes it’s one big leaf, but more often than not it’s two small ones.

Do you know what? It’s none of my business.

10 – Philodendron Florida ghost

we sacrifice the leaves to save the plant

I’m actually not that attached to this yet (I’ve not had it long) but I wanted one for so long and always assumed I’d never have one because there are many other things I’d rather spend £150 on (food! Electricity! Pens!).

I managed to snag one for £16.99 and kept it alive over winter in the terrarium.

I fear the light was a bit bright for it though, so I have barely any green on the leaves. Oops. I’ve take it out since the weather has warmed up a bit, so hopefully, it’ll feel better (and be less covered in gecko poop).

Let me know the plants you’d get if you had to start over! One will do, you don’t need to write me an essay – this isn’t homework. Though tell us about as many as you like.

Caroline Cocker

Caroline is the founder and writer (and plant keeper) of Planet Houseplant

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