Popular San Diego Houseplants + Care Tips
A New Generation Discovers the Benefits of Living with Plants
Indoor plants have made a big comeback these days, taking over homes, offices, and social media, making the trend hard to miss. In this blog post, Popular San Diego Houseplants + Care Tips we strive to help you choose an ideal plant for your home or office. If you decide on a plant, you can order houseplants online and have our drivers deliver your plants to your door. We deliver plants and flowers in San Diego County.
For years, plants resided primarily in the homes and apartments of those obsessed with plants. That fact is true no more. Millennials are driving a new wave of popularity for houseplants and learning that plants not only make your home more inviting and interesting, but some indoor plants are useful for detoxify our air, and others, like the aloe vera, are used as ingredients in beauty and health products.
Plants can bring style and color to any room in your home, be it a living room, kitchen, home office or bedroom. There are even indoor plants, like the Pothos, that will thrive in low-light hallways and in bathrooms. Tips to Style Your San Diego Home with Plants provides tips on how to add style to your home with indoor plants.
We Offer Free Plant Advice (and carry excellent plant reference books for purchase)
We invite you to visit our Hillcrest flower and plant store to visit with one of our plant specialists. Our team can help you decide what plant and pot combination works for your home or office. We also stock various plant books that cover everything from plant varieties and care instructions to the use of plants to add style to your space. We wrote a blog that profiles the popular plant books we carry to help you know how to choose the right plant book for your needs.
Ravenea rivularis, or the Majesty Palm, is a popular tall indoor houseplant with long, elegant fronds that resemble a palm tree. Originally from Madagascar, it grows to about 6-8 feet tall indoors, so make sure to position in a place that it has the room vertically to grow. The Majesty Palm has multiple stems shooting from the base and arched leaves. Indoors, the palm does not bear any fruit. Because the Majesty Palm is a tropical, it likes moist air and 6-8 hours of bright light daily to thrive, so find it a sunny home near a window. A more humid environment will also help prevent spider mites.
Majesty Palm Care Instructions:
Water - Water regularly, keep the soil moist in spring/summer months and slightly dry in fall/winter months.
Light – Plenty of bright indirect sunlight. Avoid bright, intense sun which can burn the leaves.
Temperature – The majesty palm is native to tropical regions, so keep the temperature between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. As the plant excretes plenty of water itself, the humidity does not have to be high for it to thrive.
Overall Maintenance – The Majesty requires a moderate amount of maintenance. Fertilize every three months during spring and summer using a general, slow-release fertilizer. Don’t forget to re-pot if it outgrows its current size.
The Take-Away: The Majesty Palm is an average maintenance plant that prefers plenty of light and water with moderate temperatures.
The ever-popular tall houseplant Ficus lyrata, commonly referred to as the Fiddle Leaf Fig or Fiddle Leaf Ficus, is known for its broad lyre-shaped leaves and height. In its native African habitat, the plant can grow as tall as 100 feet, but indoors the Fiddle Leaf grows in the range of two to ten feet tall. The Fiddle Leaf is one of the most popular green houseplants and thrives indoors. Their height contributes to their role anchoring a room, and their fan-shaped leaves are beautiful and a little poetic.
Fiddle Leaf Ficus Care Instructions:
Water-Water regularly during spring/summer months but avoid overwatering. Water your Fiddle Leafless in the fall/winter months. Only water when the topsoil feels dry to touch.
Light – The fig requires part shade to flourish and should be in indirect bright sunlight to thrive. Don’t place near windows that get hot, afternoon sun.
Temperature – The Africa-native plant prefers relatively dry conditions and higher temperatures. Keep a low in the 50s and highs in the 70s.
Overall Maintenance – Low Maintenance. Dust the leaves as needed with a soft cloth. Fertilize every month during spring and summer, then once in February and again in March. Pruning the fiddle leaf when it is young is an excellent way to encourage growth.
The Take-Away: The low-maintenance Fiddle Leaf Ficus likes regular watering in part shade with average temperatures. It is one of the more popular tall houseplants.
Another tall houseplant perfect to help anchor a room is the Giant Bird of Paradise. A common plant in San Diego, the Bird of Paradise is a stunner in its natural landscape and can be a prime specimen in your houseplant collection. The Bird of Paradise looks like a fountain, with its blue-green leaves sprouting from the center. The flowers have white leaves and blue centers, or tongues. Birds of Paradise are sensitive to frost, so make sure to keep them inside during colder months.
Bird of Paradise Care Instructions:
Water-Water regularly and more often in extreme heat if kept outside and choose a pot or planting location where the soil drains well.
Light – The plant requires full sun and bright light.
Temperature – The plant grows natively in a tropical climate, so temperatures should be kept at a low of 50 and thrives at temperatures above the 70s.
Overall Maintenance – Fertilize every three months during the spring and summer. Prune away dead or broken stalks.
The Take-Away: The average maintenance Giant Bird of Paradise needs regular watering, full sun, and temperatures above 70 to thrive.
4. Dragon Tree
The Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata), houseplant has narrow, architectural green leaves with cream and yellow colored stripes running through each. The plant can reach fifteen feet tall and grows fast for the first few years. If you're looking for a plant easy to maintain and care for, then consider the Dragon Tree. One note, the plant is toxic to cats and dogs, so keep out of reach if there are pets in the house.
Dragon Tree Care Instructions:
Water – Only water when the top one inch of soil is dry and never allow the roots to sit in a puddle of water. Ensure your pot has good drainage.
Light – The plant needs bright but indirect sunlight. Too much sun will cause the leaves to develop brown spots, and not enough will pale the leaves.
Temperature – Dragon trees need a constant temperature and thrive at temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Overall Maintenance – Low Maintenance. Fertilize in spring and summer. Do not fertilize in winter months.
The Take-Away: The low-maintenance dragon tree doesn’t need a lot of watering, requires indirect sunlight and constant temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees.
5. ZZ Plant
The ZZ plant, (Zamioculcas zamiifolia), is often mistaken for an artificial plant due to its waxy coating, oval-shaped leaves, and the way the stem starts off thick at the bottom and tapers to a point at the top. It used to be found only in commercial settings such as office buildings or malls because it can take months of neglect and still look amazing. If you’re looking for a beautiful green plant that won’t suffer from your brown thumb, the ZZ is the one.
ZZ Plant Care Instructions:
Water – Only water when the soil is dry.
Light – Will do best in indirect sunlight and will even grow well in window-less places such as bathrooms.
Temperature – An average temperature of 60 to 70 is best for this plant.
Overall Maintenance – Low Maintenance as the ZZ does not require fertilizer as often. Once every four months is plenty to keep them happy.
The Take-Away: The low maintenance ZZ plant thrives in indirect light, average temperatures, and only watered when the soil is dry.
6. Ponytail Palm
The Ponytail Palm has a deceptive name because it is not related to palms and is, in fact, part of the succulent family. The scientific name, Beaucarnea recurvata, honors the man that first collected flowers from the plant, Jean-Baptiste Beaucarne, and also refers to its curved leaves. The shape of this tree is unique, starting with the trunk bulge at the bottom, used for collecting water. The trunk rises and becomes narrow before exploding at the top with an umbrella-like canopy of whorled leaves.
Ponytail Palm Care Instructions:
Water – Being part of the succulent family, the plant does not require a lot of water and likes it best semi-dry.
Light – Bright light is best, but it will do fine in the light half the time too. Placing them outdoors during the summer and in during winter will keep it happy.
Temperature – A moderate temperature fluctuation is allowed, but nothing too cold, it prefers room temperature year-round.
Overall Maintenance – Low Maintenance but does require fertilizer during spring and summer months. Don’t fertilize in winter when growth is slow.
The Take-Away: The ponytail palm is a low maintenance plant that likes bright light, semi-dry soil, and moderate temperatures.
The Calathea Makoyana, or Peacock plant, is the kind of plant that people talk about when they see one — visually striking with leaves that are striped green and white with green spots emanating from the center of each leaf. The Calathea prefers plenty of humidity. It does well next to other plants that transpire, such as the areca palm, because it will provide enough moisture for the peacock plant to thrive.
Peacock Plant Care Instructions:
Water – The plant needs lots of water. Plant in a pot with a saucer for proper drainage. Mist it to add some love.
Light – The plant does well in low to moderate light.
Temperature – The Calathea plant likes it warm but not too dry. Tropical-like temperatures are best.
Overall Maintenance – High Maintenance. Fertilize during the growing season of April-October following directions on the fertilizer label.
The Take-Away: The Calathea plant is a high maintenance plant that requires regular water and humidity, moderate light, and warm temperatures.
The Sansevieria, also known as a Snake plant, got its name from the tall and narrow shaped leaves, spotted with white and yellow stripes or shapes, that grow from the center of each plant. Keep out of the reach of pets, as they are toxic. On the plus side, they help detoxify the air! Often seen in contemporary or modern design settings, the snake plant is easy to care for and thrives with limited care.
Snake Plant Care Instructions:
Water – Snake plants grow in dry soil naturally, so they don’t like to be overwatered and are prone to rot if they are so.
Light – The plant likes light but will grow in indirect light and even with little light as they adapt well. Avoid areas with hot, afternoon sun.
Temperature – Moderate temperatures, between 60 to 70 degrees.
Overall Maintenance – Average Maintenance and generally don’t require fertilizer.
The Take-Away: Snake plants are an average maintenance plant, like only a little water, indirect light, and moderate temperatures.
9. Aloe Vera
Part of the succulent family, the Aloe Vera plant is not only beautiful but also functional! Having one of these plants helps to clean the air, and the gel found inside the leaves can be helpful for a myriad of things, such as beauty do-it-yourself and after-sun care. The leaves of the plant can grow relatively tall and taper at the end. Each blade also has small spikes along the edges and is about a quarter to half-inch thick.
Aloe Vera Care Instructions:
Water – The plant requires well-draining soil and only to be watered when the top one to two inches of soil is dry, usually once every two-three weeks.
Light – Aloe needs bright, indirect sunlight but will thrive in artificial light as well.
Temperature – Aloe is also part of the succulent family, so it likes humidity and bright light. Aloe is quite hardy able to tolerate a wide temperature range, but it prefers temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Overall Maintenance – Low Maintenance and generally don’t require fertilizer.
The Take-Away: Aloe vera is low maintenance, well-drained soil and occasional watering, bright but indirect sunlight, and temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees.
The Pothos is often the first plant recommended by plant experts for anyone just starting to collect houseplants. Nearly impossible to kill, the Pothos grows in a wide variety of conditions. Pothos will grow in soil as well as a vase of water and in bright, indirect light as well as low-light conditions. The broad, variegated, heart-shaped leaves run the length of the vine-like plant that can extend for many feet if left to grow in the right conditions. The pothos is poisonous to cats, dogs, and even children if ingested. The sap of the pothos can cause allergic reactions in some people.
Pothos Care Instructions:
Water – If potted in soil, water regularly but not too often. Make sure that the top half-inch of soil is dry before watering again.
Light – The plant can grow in low to moderate light conditions and even does quite well in windowless rooms such as bathrooms.
Temperature – The plant needs an average temperature in the 55-70s range to survive.
Overall Maintenance – Low Maintenance and generally do not require fertilizer.
The Take-Away: Pothos plants are low maintenance that requires regular watering, low to moderate light and average temperatures.
The Monstera Deliciosa (Araceae), also known as the Split-leaf philodendron or Swiss Cheese plant, is one of the most majestic houseplants with its large, broad split-leaves that can grow to be more than a foot wide. The Monstera rivals the Fiddle Leaf Fig in popularity as its size can help be a focal point in a room or anchor a collection of plants. When fully grown indoors, it can reach more than 3 feet tall and range from 2-3 feet across. Native to Central America, avoid the Monstera if you have pets as it is toxic to cats and dogs.
As a rule, the Monstera prefers bright, indirect sunlight and thrives in temperatures that range between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Be careful not to place your Monstera in direct sunlight or it may burn. As with most plants, the Monstera prefers well-draining soil so be sure to pot it in a container with a drainage hole and saucer to catch excess water. Misting your Monstera will make it happy as it increases indoor humidity. If the leaves are turning brown, it likely points to the soil being dry. Try to maintain a regular watering schedule one a week in the growing season, and twice a month in the fall and winter. The soil should dry out between waterings.
If you are a budding grower of new plants using propagation, the Monstera is a plant that easily propagates.
Like many houseplants, wiping the leaves of dust with a damp sponge will not only keep it clean but it will help diminish pests, including mealybugs, aphids, thrips, scale, and spider mites. If you notice any of these pests, wash your Monstera’s leaves with an insecticide soap.
Monstera Deliciosa Care Instructions:
Water-Water regularly during the growing season and less so during fall and winter. Misting the leaves every so often mimics its natural habitat and will keep it happy.
Light – Bright, indirect sunlight works well for this plant. Direct sunlight might damage the leaves.
Temperature – The monstera requires relatively constant temperatures, between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and enjoys humidity.
Overall Maintenance – Average Maintenance. Fertilize once a month with a diluted solution during the spring and summer growing season.
The Take-Away: The average maintenance monstera deliciosa needs regular watering, bright, indirect sunlight, and constant temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees.
The humble cactus has become a favorite houseplant recently due to the easiness of care and the fact that they can come in all sorts of different sizes and shapes. When first buying a cactus, it is most likely a small one and comes in a small plastic pot known as a "growers pot." It is essential to the health of your cactus to transplant it into a larger pot with new soil rich in nutrients.
Cactus Care Instructions:
Water – A potted cactus only needs water about once a month. To determine whether to water, take a pencil and insert it to the bottom of the pot. If it comes out wet even a little, hold off on watering.
Light – The cactus needs bright, indirect sunlight to flower in a pot. Direct sunlight may burn it.
Temperature – Outdoor cacti resist large fluctuations in temperature, but it is best to keep your potted plant at a constant temperature, around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Overall Maintenance – Low Maintenance. Fertilize once a year.
The Take-Away: The low maintenance cactus needs only occasional watering, bright and indirect sunlight, and average temperatures.
The Phalaenopsis orchid, or “moth” orchid, is indeed a spectacular flower ideal for a variety of different home décors, making it a great gift. While not classified as a houseplant, they serve similar purposes, so we added it to the list. They come in a colorful mix, including hot pink, deep orange, vibrant yellow, yellow cream, and white. The bloom’s broad, flat pedals can be solid-colored, speckled, or striped and last 8-10 weeks. The Phalaenopsis will bloom again if cared for appropriately. It is a favorite orchid that is relatively inexpensive and easy to care for in general with long-lasting blooms.
Moth Orchid Care Instructions:
Water – The plant should be watered approximately three times per week with a simple ice cube. The soil should be damp, but not soggy. Replant once the bloom has finished with a fresh orchid mix. Trim flower spikes after blooming.
Light – The phalaenopsis requires medium to bright light to thrive and does best with bright light but not in direct sunlight.
Temperature – Average day temperatures should range from 65-95 degrees, with night temperatures no colder than 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Overall Maintenance – Low Maintenance. Fertilize twice a month with orchid fertilizer during the spring and summer months, once a month in the winter months.
The Take-Away: A low maintenance phalaenopsis orchid should be watered approximately three times a week with an ice cube, given bright light and kept in temperatures ranging from 65-85 degrees
The succulent family has a variety of different plant shapes and styles, but most have a few things in common. The leaves of succulents are thicker and can be waxy to the touch. They come in many colors, including green, blue, purple, yellow, and red. Some of the most common succulents are Haworthia and Gasteria varieties but take care to pick one that is suited for indoor growth such as those that require low to moderate light. A good rule of thumb is that the more brightly colored they are, the more sun they need.
Succulent Care Instructions:
Water – Succulents don’t need water daily, but they do need plenty of it. An excellent way to keep them happy is by soaking the pot they’re in than letting it dry out completely before watering again.
Light – Green varieties of succulents will do the best indoors, but still require as much sunlight as possible. Your plant is not getting enough light if you see it starting to stretch out and space out its leaves.
Temperature – Most prefer a minimum of 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Fertilize once in the spring or summer when watering.
The Take-Away: Succulents are simple to grow and will thrive as long as you don't overwater them. They come in a variety of shapes and colors. They are ideal for the busy professional who has limited time to care for plants.
Looking for a particular plant? Let us help.
We pride ourselves in providing outstanding customer service and we employ staff that are indoor plant specialists. If you can't find what your looking for online, reach out to our Hillcrest shop at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if we have what your looking for in our store inventory. We are more than happy to add it to our list of plants to find for our next visit to the local nurseries.
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