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Home » Choosing House Plants

Choosing House Plants

by Elyssa Goins
This article was fact checked.
Helpful: 100%

How many of us have seen a plant for sale and thought how great that would look in my living room, hall, conservatory, etc., and bought it? Then once the plant is home it becomes sick pretty quickly and presents problems. We are here to help you when choosing house plants.

This happens often when we buy a plant based on its appearance, primarily, without considering if the room the plant will reside in is right for it and if we can provide the care it requires.

Choosing House Plants - Guide

Consider Room Conditions

If you are anything like me and forget important points, you may find it easier if you take notes before choosing a plant to take with you.

Lighting: Many plants require bright light without direct sunlight. If your room is south, west, or east facing the sun then you might be in luck. However, if your room is north facing and you want to grow cacti, you are likely to have problems. See more about lighting here.

Temperature: During spring and summer room temperatures within homes are ideal for most plants. Problems arise in the colder months when temperatures fluctuate because of central heating being switched on and off, cold drafts, no heating within the room, or sudden drops when night falls. Most plants survive, but some species react badly and can die. The main thing to do is check how the plant responds to colder temperatures you’re about to buy. More about temperature here.

Easy or/and Low Light Plants

There’s a large number of house plants that are easy to grow and maintain, and some can tolerate low lighting conditions very well. Choosing any one of these makes buying a plant easier, although if it has low lighting needs, don’t seat the plant next to a south-facing window (most likely cause leaf problems).

Many low-maintenance plants prefer neglect rather than too much of something (i.e., water, light). This makes growing for many people, especially busy families easier rather than being a burden on them. Just be careful with overdoing it…


Pets, especially cats love chewing on our house plants. Some plants are mildly toxic while others can make your pet seriously sick.

The issue for those with cats, unlike having a dog, is they can jump up to a plant that is placed out of the way, higher up.

It’s worth checking if the plant you wish to buy is toxic to pets before you bring it home. Don’t let choosing house plants hurt our furry family members.


Cacti and succulents: These are a good choice of plant for those that struggle with watering or have to spend time away from home. Cactus and succulent plants survive without water for a period of time because their leaves are storage organs. Also, they’re generally tough resilient plants.

Children: Consider where to place plants when toddlers will running around. You also need to be aware some plants are toxic to the skin and can cause irritation when handled and damaged.

Costs: Usually the larger the plant the higher the price and the most common plants are the cheapest. Tall tree-like plants are more expensive than most.

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