October 25 // Houseplants

Our Favorite Houseplants

A couple weeks ago, we asked our Hardy Plants and Plant Care teams to tell us about their favorite trees and what makes each so special. This time, we’re heading into the greenhouse to talk with the team there about the plants we bring into our homes and interact with every day. We asked the team to tell us, of all the different houseplants they take care of in the store, which ones do they keep in their own homes and why? The answers were surprisingly varied – it seems just about every group of plants in the greenhouse has found a home with someone on our team.

Tropical buyer, Jasmine Osten collects plants in the genus Hoya because they’re classic plants and come in a wide variety of styles – currently, she has eighteen of them.

Custom Potting team leader Angie Phillipp likes dracaenas. She has two right now that she’s fond of, a Dracaena warneckii ‘Gold Star,’ and another Dracaena cultivar called ‘Rikki.’ Angie says they’re great houseplants and do well in indirect light – a light level that’s easy to find near the windows in most homes. She also enjoys the variety of leaf shapes and colors you can find among the Dracaena cultivars. Her plants aren’t picky about water either and will tolerate dryer soil until Angie finds time to give them a drink. It’s this kind of easy-going plant personality that Seasonal Plant team member Patty Daily enjoys about her Schefflera amate too. Schefflera species like S. amate and S. arboricola object to sitting in damp soil, so Patty’s plant is perfectly happy being ignored for a couple weeks or more.

Succulents are a popular choice among the Seasonal Plants team, and for more than one reason. Barb Marsh said she’s fascinated by how complex their structure can be, yet how clean and simple they look in your home.  And she can’t get enough of the different shapes and colors you can find in this wildly varied group of plants. “They grabbed a hold of me,” she says, “and they haven’t let go yet.” On a different note, Pat Williams collects succulents because, although they seem pretty quiet – some don’t do a whole lot for months at a time – they often have tricks up their sleeves. “Out of the blue, one will flower or shoot up something weird and take me by surprise,” she said, “It’s fun to wait and see what they might do.” Pat’s succulents also thrive out on her deck in the summer, just like she does.

Tropical buyer, Jasmine Osten collects plants in the genus Hoya because they’re classic plants and come in a wide variety of leaf shapes, growth habits, and bloom styles. Currently, Jasmine has eighteen examples of Hoya at home ranging from little ones in three-inch pots to larger twelve-inch pots and hanging baskets. “They all have their own character,” she says. Plants in the Sansevieria and Philodendron genera have devoted collectors for the same reason. Greenhouse team member, Kaitlyn Barth also enjoys plants with unusual forms and shapes. One of her favorites at home is her devil’s backbone, a Euphorbia with a striking zig-zag stem. She also loves her Pilea peperomioides with its long, slender petioles each topped with a thick, circular leaf. Kaitlyn says her Pilea started out as a tiny thing and in just one year, has grown into a lovely houseplant producing new little baby plants of its own. And Mick Mulhall speaks of his houseplants in the same way one might describe agreeable roommates. Mick says he gets along well with a “very strange” Euphorbia drupifera he adopted from a friend and has worked out an understanding about personal space with a rather large variegated Monstera deliciosa. He also has an Alluaudia species that just joined the family, so they’re just getting to know each other, but the relationship “shows a lot of promise.”

Ease of care, variety, and compatibility aren’t the only reasons to love our houseplants. Sometimes it’s nostalgia that draws someone in. Ashley Waltemath, on our Plant Care team, has an aloe that reminds her of the one her grandma always had. She used the soothing gel in the leaves to treat minor cuts and burns on all the grandkids, so to Ashley, her aloe will always be “the medicine plant.” She also has two different spider plants that remind her of her seventies childhood, and these days, they promote goodwill too. Ashley’s spider plants are always making spiderettes that she easily propagates and shares with friends. And, Bob Ewing, who you may know as our backyard bird expert, has another reason yet to enjoy his favorite plants, his orchids. “It’s pride,” he said. His orchids bloom like crazy for him, and seeing all that gorgeous color makes him smile.

These are just some of the houseplants our team has come to love through years of experience both at home and in our greenhouse. If you’re looking for something green and growing to bring a little variety, nostalgia, or pride to your own space, just talk with one of us. We’ll help you find a great plant that works best for you.