No longer in the tropics, my orchids live indoors now and thrive in the high desert climate of Albuquerque, which shows how adaptable they are. They are treated like my other houseplants (African violets, Christmas cactus, etc.). I water them once a week and keep them near a shaded south-facing window where they get early morning and late afternoon direct sun. Different orchids have different humidity and light requirements, so I have learned to choose those that fit into a low-humidity, good light regime.
Focus on Houseplants
The houseplant I always recommend to beginners is Philodendron hederaceum (heartleaf philodendron). The No. 1 reason I recommend heartleaf philodendron to beginners is because it is extremely forgiving and thrives in a variety of conditions. Simply put, you probably won’t kill a heartleaf philodendron while you learn the ins and outs of caring for houseplants.
At the end of a long winter indoors, houseplants often become spindly and tired-looking. You can renew your plants by moving them outdoors for the summer. Finding the right spot for their “summer vacation” is key.
Lina Rodriguez has been keeping houseplants healthy for ten years and has over 50 in her home. Only four of them are succulents. Because here’s the secret: succulents are easy, low-maintenance houseplants if you have the perfect conditions for them. But a lot of people don’t.
If you’re looking to introduce indoor plants to your home, Tradescantia pallida (purple heart) and Chlorophytum comosum (spider plant) are two good choices for starter houseplants. Following are growing basics for each plant.