Picking the perfect plant for you
We’ve created a simplified “Jungle Map” infographic which helps you decide what plants suit your living space and lifestyle based on their light and maintenance requirements.
Growing your indoor jungle can seem like a daunting challenge with so many different varieties of plants to choose from. The process of finding your perfect plant can sometimes feel overwhelming...and then there’s the fear of killing your new plant baby...that’s a given! It’s something you will not be able to avoid, as even the most experienced plant parents can have an accident now and again. Plant parenthood is a journey and there is no surefire way to a green thumb - it takes patience and practice...
If you’re new to plant parenthood there is a tried and tested way of ensuring you give your plants the best possible chance of survival and being successful in their new home.
How? By choosing the right plant for you based on light and maintenance levels.
There are some general rules of a green thumb to follow, which we will outline below:
You’ve always heard, plants need light to live. Plants feed themselves through photosynthesis, using light, water and carbon dioxide to create food. Oftentimes the mistake is thinking all your plants will benefit from abundant amounts of bright light. On some plants, the effect is the same as when you overestimate the amount of time you lay out in the sun on holiday…a burnt disaster. To help you navigate, our jungle map is sectioned in three different colours which represent the categories of light conditions:
Low to moderate light levels: tolerant of shady conditions, can thrive in bright indirect light.
Bright, Indirect light to medium light levels : enjoys a position that receives diffused bright light. Cannot tolerate direct light
Bright, direct to bright, indirect light levels : enjoys bright light. Will appreciate direct sun, but also tolerate bright, indirect light.
Like people, plants enjoy conditions that are similar to the environment they originated from:
- Most foliage plants and jungle cacti enjoy bright indirect light. Placing them at a north facing window is your best bet, that way their leaves don’t burn from direct sunlight.
- Desert cacti and succulents thrive in the brightest light. Placing them on a windowsill that gets loads of morning light will keep them healthy.
- Flowering plants need more light to bloom, oftentimes flowering plants fail to bloom indoors due to much lower light levels than their natural environments.
- Variegated plants require light as part of their beauty routine, as their unique mutation can disappear if they cease to get enough light.
Light in Wintertime
When dreaded wintertime arrives, plants can suffer just as much as we do. The limited amount of daylight can leave a plant hungry. This is a good time to reposition your plants to make sure their needs are still being met. A plant stand is a hero in this situation, because it will give good versatility to plant positioning and height. Cleaning the leaves every month by wiping them down with a cloth, or a mixture of milk and water is useful to give them full exposure to light.
Whether you’re a plant novice or guru, things can go wrong. Dealing with nature, a lot of things are beyond our control. Each troublesome experience adds to your knowledge of plant parenting and will only help you improve.
Our Jungle Map shows from left to right the easiest plants which can handle quite a lot of neglect, to those which require more attention.
The snake plant and ZZ plant for example are incredibly forgiving when they are left untouched for a while. They don’t need a lot of watering sessions or pruning. Despite this, they both love their leaves being wiped down every now and again with a damp cloth to remove dust. You can go up to 3 weeks without watering the Snake Plant or ZZ - so if you are new to plant parenthood, or travel a lot...these plants are best for you.
The Mini Monstera and Monstera Deliciosa are easy growers, and can survive a forgetful plant parent. However, too irregular watering sessions will slow down growth dramatically, and if you then get over-enthusiastic with your “one-off” watering session - the Monstera will most likely suffer moisture shock and you will start to see yellowing leaves.
Typically the peace lily is defined as an easy care plant, which is true! Apart from the fact that if you do forget to water it for a while - it’s leaves will droop dramatically, and some leaves will most likely go brown. You may not be able to revive the peace lily again if you neglect it too much. So, it’s best to keep on top of your peace lilies foliage to ensure it’s optimum growth and flowering.
The higher maintenance plants include the Begonia Maculata since it requires high humidity and to be pruned often to remove any dry ends off the leaf. The Fiddle Leaf Fig and Kentia Palm require higher light levels and humidity. They don’t like being underwatered or overwatered and due to the fact you have to better understand the plants’ optimum growth environment and monitor your care regime with that plant - they are classified as higher maintenance.
The Alocasia genus can be fussy, especially in winter time. They tend to get dry quickly and require misting regularly, however it is best when misting to not leave the leaves wet to touch. They require loose, porous, well-drained soil, and if overwatered will quickly deteriorate - losing leaves. That being said, if the Alocasia has been healthy and thriving all year, but in the winter everything is dying back. It could be that it is entering a normal die-back dormancy. Everything above the soil will deteriorate, however keep caring for your otherwise empty pot, since the rhizomes below ground will still be alive, and will shoot back up during spring time.
Using our Jungle Map
Feel like a plant expert after absorbing everything above? Use our plant map as a guide when plant shopping with us in order to know what plants will be happiest in your care. If you have a dimly lit home and can barely care for a cactus, by all means don’t purchase a Fiddle Leaf Fig or a Polka Dot Begonia. Stick to something manageable, like a Snake Plant or ZZ plant. If there is a bright corner in your home where you want to add some green and you want something in between for maintenance, go for a Rubber Tree or Chinese Money Plant.
Our mission is to make plant parenthood simple. We’re here to help you every step of the way, so you can grow your indoor jungle of dreams. We hope this guide will be helpful to start off your journey, and you can pass your passion for plants along to the ones around you. Let’s make our world a greener, healthier and happier place together.