Indoor Plant Ideas: Helpful Shopping Advice

Plants have literally been around since the beginning of time, but in the last few years, we think they've become more beloved than ever. With "plantfluencers" like Justina Blakeney and Hilton Carter filling our Instagram feeds with green goodness, it's no wonder that people have begun weaving houseplants into their home decor.

If you're hoping to add a much-needed dose of nature to your interiors — plants are proven to boost mental health and filter the air — you'll need to get shopping for a few verdant houseplants.

But it's not as simple as popping into a nursery and bringing your plant babies home. You'll need to consider some things even before you even walk out the door. For instance, where will you be placing these plants? Will they receive proper lighting? How big will these plants grow? Do you have time to keep them alive?

You can always talk to a plant pro at a greenhouse, but it can help to come prepared with some know-how before your shopping trip. Start with these tips and your home will be green in no time.

Things to Consider Before You Shop for Indoor Plants

It can be exciting to bring new plants into your home, but if you're a newbie, you'll need to think through a few things before diving in headfirst.

Start by taking a look around your house, and spot the best areas for your indoor plants to live comfortably. Even though you might have your heart set on outfitting a bookshelf with some greenery, it might not receive the ideal amount of sun and humidity that some houseplants prefer.

If conditions are conducive to the indoor plant ideas you have in mind, we recommend options that are less than 3 feet tall for tabletops and over 3 feet tall for floor plants. And keep in mind that certain plants do particularly well in specific spaces. For example, ferns and tropical greens like pothos thrive in bathrooms because of the humidity. A spider plant is good for an office that might not receive a lot of light. Snake plants are good pretty much anywhere because they filter out toxins from the air.

In addition to placement, you'll also need to consider lighting. Which room or rooms get tons of sunlight? Place your sun-loving plants there. Some species prefer north-facing windows while others prefer south-facing windows — check the care tag to create the best home for your new addition. Be sure to pay attention to the location of your heat vents, too, so you can avoid placing plants anywhere near them.

Here's another important question: How much time do you have to devote to your indoor plants? If the answer is not a lot, turn to low-light, low-water options that require very little maintenance, like rubber trees and ficus plants. Also, be aware that something cute turns into a gigantic plant one day, so be sure to read up on that as well before you commit. For example, a parlor palm might be small when you purchase it, but it can grow to be 3 or 4 feet tall, which might not be best if you're intending it for a desk.

If you have pets or little ones in your home, you'll need to be super careful and make sure that you don't purchase a toxic plant. There are many lists available to help you navigate which options would work best for everyone in your home, but you should know that aloe plants, Easter lilies, and jade plants are poisonous to your furry friends and philodendrons, peace lilies, and English ivy is no-good for kiddos.

But if you must, you can always consider putting these plants in hard-to-reach, up-high places, but we advise simply foregoing them altogether if you're concerned and opting for pet- and child-friendly plants instead.

Most Popular Indoor Plants

Just like any other trend, indoor plants have their place in the world of trends as well. One of our favorites is the fiddle-leaf fig. Often sold as faux versions through popular retailers, the real-deal plant requires bright light, occasional waterings, and well-drained soil. A ZZ plant is fairly resilient, only needing to be watered if the soil is dry. A ponytail palm is definitely adorable and just needs to be watered every three or four weeks.

We also see aloe plants, snake plants, pothos plants, monsteras, and cacti frequently making their way into today's interiors, too.

Where to Shop for Indoor Plants

Now that we've piqued your interest in all-things-green, you can get inspired by some indoor plant ideas provided by a few of our fave online destinations.

Presented through clean, modern styling, The Sill is much-loved for its helpful information, plethora of on-trend indoor plants that can be delivered right to your door, and even faux plants that look surprisingly like the real thing.

If you'd like to skip the greenhouse, another online option is Léon & George. Here, along with ceramic pots and stands we adore, you'll discover plants divided into convenient categories, like "Air-Purifying Plants," "Pet-Safe Plants," and "Low Light Plants."

For indoor plant ideas served with a side of the most gorgeous bouquets you've ever seen, head to UrbanStems. They offer options for sending flowers and houseplants to friends and family, and you can also pick up a few green babies for yourself, like succulents or cacti.


Shelby Deering

Shelby Deering

Shelby Deering is a lifestyle writer who contributes to national magazines and websites, including Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Well+Good, and more. When she's not writing, you'll find her shopping flea markets, hiking, and going for walks with her corgi.