As the days get longer and the sun burns brighter, spring is the perfect time to freshen up your space with something lush, clean and green. House plants are nature’s air filter, removing toxins from the air we breathe. Plus, they bring color and life to your décor. We visited with black-owned business owner and floral designer Parnel Lettunich of @cedarhouseflowers for her favorite plants, with some tips to help them thrive.
“Most prefer a houseplant that is beautiful and simple to care for; you water it once a week and you’re good to go. But some green thumbs really enjoy regular pruning or spritzing plants that benefit from a little more love and attention.”
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1. SANSEVIERIA / Snake Plant
The beautiful snake plant has South African roots and boasts long, sturdy, sword-like leaves that come to a point between six inches and six feet tall. The snake plant’s sleek lines have a masculine, modern vibe, and make an excellent pick for contemporary design schemes.
2. SCINDAPSUS PICTUS / Satin Pothos Plant
Similar to the traditional pothos, the satin pothos has long, trailing foliage with a sparkling leafy sheen. It looks great as a hanging plant, or crawling across a surface. Variegated leaves provide contrast, making them a striking addition to a terrarium. Satin pothos like humidity — whether from climate or occasional misting.
3. MONSTERA DELICIOSA / Split Leaf Plant
A native of South America, this species of flowering plant has dark green foliage with a natural sheen. It grows up and out with lush, full or split leaves — making a statement in any room. If you’re looking for a plant with scale, that’s easy to maintain and just might impress your friends, this is it.
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4. MONSTERA ADANSONII / Swiss Cheese Plant or Monkey Mask
Deliciosa’s playful little sister, Monstera adansonii has long, tapering leaves with enclosed leaf holes that have earned it the nickname swiss cheese. Curling foliage gives it personality and spunk in hanging planters.
5. BEAUCARNEA RECURVATA / Ponytail Palm
This happy, fun plant from the Agavaceae family is technically a shrub, but it looks like a miniature indoor tree that brings both height and personality into your home. Foliage plumes from the center and playfully curls outward. It’s a favorite of felines — especially cats drawn to curly ribbons.
6. ZAMIOCULCAS ZAMIIFOLIA / ZZ Plant
This double-Z darling features emerald green leaves that grow in an alternating pattern on long stems that reach for the ceiling. When full grown, it's about two feet tall, so you may start on a shelf and move to a coffee table. For something sleek, check out the “Raven” variety with chartreuse green foliage that slowly turns shiny black.
7. FICUS ELASTICA “BURGUNDY” / Rubber Tree
This handsome, robust plant has deep red/burgundy foliage with thick, leathery leaves. The large, shiny surface of the leaves reflect light in the room, making a bold statement. The rubber tree is a native of the tropics and prefers warmer temperatures.
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8. STRELITZIA NICOLAI / Bird of Paradise
Considered the queen of indoor plants, this gorgeous native of Africa has woody stems reaching a height of 20 feet in nature. It’s unlikely to bloom one of its fantastical flowers in an indoor setting, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying its dramatic, deep green foliage.
9. LEMON MARANTA / Prayer Plant
Marantas are lush, beautiful houseplants for pots or hanging baskets. There are several varieties, but we prefer the lemon Maranta for its vibrant leaf pattern. At night, the leaves fold together like hands in prayer, earning the nickname: prayer plant.
10. ALOCASIA / Dragon Plant or Elephant Ear
We love all the Alocasia genuses, including African Mask, Regal Shield and Zebrina. Known for their unusual markings and veined leaf patterns, Alocasia plants are exotic, aerial and elegant. Their natural habitat is subtropical Asia and eastern Australia. They do well in humid climates, so keep a mister on hand for regular spritzing.
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