Last week we told you about things you should consider if you are interested in becoming a plant parent.  This week we are going to tell you about six plants you can consider “adopting” when you are starting out.  Remember to check your lighting conditions before you decide which plant would be best for you.  We also recommend you start out slow with one plant and then add to it when you think you have mastered the first one.  All of the plants we selected go under the category, they thrive on neglect.

Here are our six suggested plants to start with:

Aloe Vera – This plant is a succulent and has plump leaves that can provide a soothing gel for cuts and burns. It needs very little watering. You will need a location that provides bright, indirect sunlight or use artificial sunlight.  It does not do well in direct sustained sunlight as it dries out the plant and will turn the leaves yellow.  Depending on the humidity of your home you might only have to water it every 2 to 3 weeks.  Aloe Vera emits oxygen at night, which helps you get a good night's sleep so you might want to consider having this plant in your bedroom. It is one of NASA’s top air-improving plants.  This plant is not pet friendly.

Lucky Green Bamboo - Chances are you’ve seen this plant growing in a glass container with water and just pebbles to keep the roots in place. Several of the stems may be curved in addition to some that grow straight. This popular low-maintenance houseplant is technically not bamboo but it sure does look like it! Lucky bamboo requires no fertilization and little to no pruning. Just keep it out of direct sunlight and water it once every two weeks and you’ll have a distinctive plant that will last for years. It thrives on low light or indirect sunlight.  It almost falls into that “can’t be killed” category!  This plant is pet friendly.

Parlor Palm – If you are looking for a tropical-looking plant, try the Parlor Palm.  This slow-growing compact palm does well in a variety of light situations.  It is perfect for a desk or tabletop and is often a choice for commercial businesses.  These plants will not grow taller than 4 feet. It grows best in bright, filtered light but can also adjust to growing conditions with low light.  I once put one in direct sunlight and burned the leaves.  I was lucky it recovered with some TLC.  This plant removes formaldehyde from the air. It is not toxic for cats and dogs.

Philodendron – As I previously mentioned this was one of the first houseplants I grew.  When you go to buy this plant you will see there are many different varieties that come in different sizes, colors, and shapes.  You can have this plant grow off a trellis or also have it in a hanging basket. These plants can take full sun or shade if watered properly.  The plant grows best in locations with medium to bright light, but will also do well in low light spaces.  When you see the soil is dry, water the plant.  They are easy to care for and don’t mind if you forget to water them every so often.  Just make sure you do not overwater your philodendrons. They will rot if they're kept too wet. This plant also purifies the air but is toxic for cats and dogs.

Snake Plant – This succulent plant is also known as Mother’s In Law Tongue or Sansevieria.  It is considered one of the easiest houseplants to take care of and is great for beginners.  The plant can be negatively affected by too much water or freezing temperatures. Snake plants prefer bright indirect light but will tolerate some direct sunlight.  They also grow well in a low-light corner of your home.  Just keep the plant in a warm spot that is above 50°F.  During cooler times of the year keep it away from drafty windows.  The snake plant emits oxygen at night while simultaneously taking in carbon dioxide. You will have better air quality and a better night's sleep with this plant in your bedroom.  It also filters out some not nice but common household toxins – formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene. This plant is not pet friendly.

Spider Plant - This plant is very easy-to-grow and also produces little babies or small "pups." Each of these plantlets can be rooted in potting soil or water to start a new plant. They also make a great hanging plant. Grow your spider plants in bright to moderate indirect sunlight.  Spider plants will not do well in direct, hot sunlight which can burn their leaves. The spider plant is a champion air cleaner. NASA tests indicate the plat removes 90% of cancer-causing chemical formaldehyde from the air. It also absorbs odors and fumes which help keep the oxygen level high and even promotes better sleeping.  This plant is pet friendly.

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