The Only House Plants I Can Not Kill

best indoor plants, fun cactus photo, tips for taking care of a fiddle leaf fig tree - My Style Vita @mystylevita

Recently I’ve been on a mission of adding more greenery to my home. I started a few years back with a succulent here and there, then finally added two snake plants to the mix too. One in my office and one on my new buffet. They’ve been impossible to kill as they require little to no attention. As in, they maybe get water whenever I find a half full water glass around my house. Which means, maybe once a month at most. My home also doesn’t get any direct sunlight since I face directly north in my apartment.  However, I do get really  great indirect light making it ideal for these low maintenance plants.

Since I’ve accomplished keeping TWO whole plants alive for a few years now, I feel like it’s time to add something a little more challenging to the mix. My grandmother always has big beautiful plants in her home. I remember as a kid taking these vintage red enamel watering cans around her house in New York to water them all. Hoping she’ll let me have one now that my plant collection is growing and using left over water glasses isn’t super classy. After some research, I got a little overwhelmed with all the information and types of plants I could buy. Plus, finding the ones I wanted became nearly impossible. Unfortunately big box home improvement retailers don’t carry a massive variety of plants. Especially if you live in an area that the plant won’t survive outside in, they typically won’t carry them. It makes sense, but it sure does make it annoying to find a fun plant to bring home outside of your classics.

After messaging with my friend Jess of Lady Flashback who has an impressive plant collection, she recommended I head into The Victorian Atlanta to find some unique plants and pretty planters to boot. The Victorian Atlanta is located inside Citizen Supply in Ponce City Market, a favorite spot in the city to hang out. They’re tucked into the corner with massive windows as her plants love the light. After browsing and chatting with Libby, I knew I wanted to pick her brain a bit and share some of her tips on the best plants to keep alive indoors. Plus she’s answering the question I feel like so many of us want to know, how to keep those fiddle leaf fig trees alive we see everywhere.

best indoor plants, plants for your home, fiddle leaf fig tips - My Style Vita @mystylevita best indoor plants, plants for your home, fiddle leaf fig tips - My Style Vita @mystylevita best indoor plants, plants for your home, fiddle leaf fig tips - My Style Vita @mystylevita

Libby, tell us a little about your store and how you got started in caring for all these beautiful plants?

I have always been a plant person since as long as I can remember. My mom was always tending to her plants indoors and out when I was a child, so I think it’s something that was just ingrained in me from the start. She was constantly rooting new plants all over the house that she would eventually pot and give away as gifts. I’ve since transferred my love of plants to Cary, my fiancé and business partner, who wasn’t familiar with them at all when we first started dating, but now I think he’s a bigger plant nerd than I am in some ways.

The Victorian Atlanta provides fully potted, healthy, and unique houseplants ranging from all types of cacti to exotic tropical plants. We make our own concrete pots as well as our potting mixes from scratch, using only the best organic ingredients. But, more than that, we want to educate folks about plants and make everyone feel confident enough to start their own green collection! Plants are so important for so many reasons and having them in our living and work spaces is actually vital to our health and well being. Providing people with the knowledge of how to actually keep and grow their own plants is something we hope to provide to everyone who walks through our shop. Our goal is to inspire and educate others to feel confident about having their own green collection. We also offer in home/studio plant consultations and love to design for those who are looking to green out their spaces!

best indoor plants, plants for your home, fiddle leaf fig tips - My Style Vita @mystylevita best indoor plants, plants for your home, fiddle leaf fig tips - My Style Vita @mystylevitaI’m getting ready to start adding some plants to my life, what should I think about?

This is such a great question! The most important thing to consider is how much light that plant will receive in your home. Plus, if it’s the right amount that the plant needs in order to grow happy and healthy. So often, people put plants in places in their homes as a style element without thinking of what light requirements the plant actually needs.  This can cause the plant to not thrive and then you think you can’t keep plants alive. Good news is, there’s probably a plant that will work in that spot, but you have to be careful to choose the right one. Other things to consider are how big the plant will eventually get, how much attention the plant needs and if it is poisonous to pets if you have them.

TIP – Decide where you want to put a plant first before choosing the plant. Plus, if you aren’t home much, a plant that requires a ton of watering won’t work with your lifestyle.

best indoor plants, plants for your home, fiddle leaf fig tips - My Style Vita @mystylevita best indoor plants, plants for your home, fiddle leaf fig tips - My Style Vita @mystylevita

I don’t get a ton of light in my home, but still want to add some real life plants to my life. What are your best recommendations?

The top three easiest plants are pothos plant, snake plant and spider plant. Pothos and snake plants come in several varieties so you could collect multiples of these and they wouldn’t look exactly the same. These guys don’t need a lot of attention or bright light so they are excellent for beginner plant lovers. I think a lot of people think they are more on the boring side, but crazy long pothos vines are still one of my favorite things.  And to be honest, if you choose the right planter you can make any plant look cool.

TIP – These plants don’t require a ton of water or maintenance. Typically you’ll only need to water when their soil is dry. Always check the instructions or ask your nursery expert when purchasing your plants so you keep them happy.

So my house gets some great direct and indirect light, what do you recommend? And how do we keep them happy?

The possibilities are endless for folks with great light! For bright ambient or indirect light, most tropical plants will thrive in those conditions. The best indoor plants for this type of light include monsteras, philodendrons, fiddle leaf figs, bird of paradise, just to name a few.

If your home gets a lot of direct sunlight, then you can go the cactus and euphorbia route. We get a lot of bright direct sun in our loft and shop so we’ve filled them with just about everything.  During the winter when the days are shorter and the sun shifts keep an eye on the light levels. If you feel that something isn’t getting enough sunlight then move it around for a season.

TIP – Direct light means real deal sunshine beating down on the plant (meaning it’s location is facing west or east). This is important for cactus and euphorbias. If you get a ton of great indirect light, (as in many hours of not needing any lights on in your home and there’s no shade) you can probably get away with the other options listed besides the cactus and euphorbias.

best indoor plants, plants for your home, fiddle leaf fig tips - My Style Vita @mystylevita best indoor plants, plants for your home, fiddle leaf fig tips - My Style Vita @mystylevita

While browsing your store, I found so many plants that I fell in love with. Is there a particular one you just love?

Gosh that’s such a hard question. There’s so many! I guess if I have to choose, my favorites at our house are our variegated monstera and also one of our fiddle leaf figs. He was one of my first plants, and I got him when he was a baby and now he’s grown into a monster. My fiancé, Cary is really into weird unusual cactus and succulents especially copiapoa. They are a super slow growing species of cactus from Chile that have a unique coloring and are rare to the States.

best indoor plants, plants for your home, fiddle leaf fig tips - My Style Vita @mystylevita

Let’s get real here, the Fiddle Leaf Fig has been having one serious moment on Instagram. I feel like I HAVE to have one but they’re pretty intimidating. What’s your secret to keeping these impressive plants alive and always Instagrammable?

These guys have definitely had their moment on Instagram for some time now. Even though there are so many more amazing plants I still find them to be one of my favorites. Maybe because I’m partial to ours and how big they are but they just seem to make any room look good. The five easiest things you need to remember in order to keep these guys alive and happy are…

5 TIPS TO KEEPING YOUR FIDDLE LEAF FIG TREE ALIVE

1. Repot It The Right Way

Make sure you re-pot it in a nice ceramic or clay pot that is a size or two up from the nursery pot it came in. This is the most important thing you can do for all of your plants when you get them. You want to make sure you choose a potting soil mix that is organic and for indoor plants. In our shop we mix our own soil and use coconut coir as the base of our mixes. We pot fiddles in our tropical mix which is moisture retaining and rich in nutrients.

2. Location, Location, Location

Put it in a spot that is away from drafts and direct sun but in bright indirect light. Rotate it every now and then if you want it to grow evenly.

3. Water It Properly

Water it thoroughly when the top two inches of soil have dried out. Make sure your pot has a drainage hole and watch for the water to start coming out the bottom. If it hasn’t, then chances are you haven’t given it enough water.

4. Keep em Clean!

Keep its leaves clean and free from dust. You can wipe them down with a clean rag dipped in 2 parts milk and 1 part water and it will make them extra shiny and strong.

5. Trick It With A Spritz

Mist your fiddle leaf every other day or so, especially in the winter when the air in our homes is dry from the heat, with a spray bottle. This tricks the plant into thinking it’s environment is more humid than it actually is and helps keep it happy.

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If you live in Atlanta, I can’t recommend enough heading into The Victorian Atlanta. Even if you already have a plant, she has lots of great unique pots and baskets to keep them in. Her selection is ever changing too. The first time I went in she had tons of cactus, the next time, totally different. I’m keeping my eye out for an Audrey Ficus which is sort of a less overwhelming size and version of a Fiddle Leaf Fig. Libby said she thinks I could handle that one!

Lastly, if you’re local and want to learn more about the best indoor plants for your home plus planting and potting tips, The Victorian Atlanta is having a workshop on February 10th which you can learn more about here.

Photography by Bryce France

Leave a Comment

24 Comments

  1. Laura Leigh wrote:

    Great post! Incredibly informative. I have three house plants right now. One is living it’s best life while the other two are close to death. Not really sure what the problem is as i’m doing everything the nursery said bu I am determined to make them live haha. Going to test out a couple of your tips here.

    xo laura Leigh
    http://www.louellareese.com

    Posted 2.2.18 Reply
    • Jessica wrote:

      I have faith in you! ha!

      Posted 2.2.18 Reply
  2. Ok this literally the cutest shop ever!! It reminds me of Little Leaf in DC, but bigger! OBSESSED!

    Xx Taylor
    http://www.lightscameracatwalk.com/

    Posted 2.2.18 Reply
    • Jessica wrote:

      It’s adorable! The girl who owns it is just as cute too!

      Posted 2.2.18 Reply
  3. Shelby Back wrote:

    I think my green thumb is NONEXISTENT… But I am dying to add some greenery to our home!

    xo!
    Shelby

    Posted 2.6.18 Reply
    • Jessica wrote:

      I love my snake plants, they’re impossible to kill, as in I never water them.

      Posted 2.6.18 Reply
  4. Cathy wrote:

    Oh I have fake plants in my house because I can’t keep them alive to save my life! haha, I need to try your tips, maybe I can keep something alive!!

    XOXO
    Cathy

    Posted 2.6.18 Reply
    • Jessica wrote:

      Start with a snake plant, impossible to kill!

      Posted 2.6.18 Reply
  5. Lacey Faeh wrote:

    I’ve been thinking about adding a plant to my decor but have been too nervous to do it. This post may have convinced me!

    xo
    Lacey
    A Lacey Perspective

    Posted 2.6.18 Reply
    • Jessica wrote:

      Totally possible, I neglect mine most of the time and they’re fine!

      Posted 2.7.18 Reply
  6. CJ wrote:

    I so needed to read this! I’m trying to get more into house plants, but was always nervous about this!

    Cheers,
    CJ

    Posted 2.6.18 Reply
  7. Rita wrote:

    Love thsi post. Thanks for sharing the information and tips. I have many plants in my house. Keeping them alive is a big task.

    Rita | http://www.styleroundtheclock.com

    Posted 2.6.18 Reply
  8. Megan wrote:

    These are all great tips and tricks! I’d love to go pick her brain about plants!

    Megan | http://www.pipmegan.com

    Posted 2.7.18 Reply
  9. Kileen wrote:

    This is such a great and helpful post! I love plants, and love having them in the homE!

    Kileen
    cute & little

    Posted 2.7.18 Reply
  10. Liz wrote:

    I love indoor plants! This reminds me that I need to get more haha!

    Liz

    Posted 2.7.18 Reply
  11. roxy wrote:

    LOL. First of all, best post title ever! And I am right there with you, I adore plants yet I seem to have a black thumb, le sigh. Excited to give these a try!!

    Posted 2.8.18 Reply
    • Jessica wrote:

      I highly recommend trying the snake plant first! Impossible to kill.

      Posted 2.8.18 Reply
  12. Your space is incredible! WE HAVE SOME AMAZING PIECES TO REPOT INDOOR AND OUTDOOR PLANTS IN OUR SHOP, and This is the most helpful guide yet! Definitley bookmarking for refrence.

    Posted 2.11.18 Reply
    • Sorry about the caps lock! didn’t realize it with the font.

      Posted 2.11.18 Reply
  13. Hannah wrote:

    This shop is soooo cute! I kill house plants so fast so I absolutely loved this post! I have clearly been doing it wrong haha

    xoxo, Hannah

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  14. this is so good and so right on! thank you. Believe us when we say, we are the leader of the black thumb society!

    Posted 2.25.18 Reply
  15. Lacey wrote:

    I’m 100% obsessed with plants! This was so spot on! I’m too scared to leap into the fiddle life though…That’s a costly loss if you just murder the thing!

    Posted 3.5.18 Reply
    • Jessica wrote:

      Ha exactly! I’m too scared to give it a go too.

      Posted 3.5.18 Reply

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