Growing Your Green Thumb

todayApril 22, 2022 172 3 5

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By Hannah Walls
Web Content Contributor

Despite the general aesthetic of having a literal jungle in your living room, plants make great companions that clean your air, brighten your mood, and force you to finally shake the dust off your blinds and let some natural sunlight in.

With the warm weather creeping in, now is a great time to start your houseplant addiction, or, for seasoned plant parents, continue to spend heinous amounts of money on the little green guys.

Although you can find a pretty decent selection of houseplants at Lowe’s, H-E-B and Walmart, I recommend supporting local nurseries whenever possible. It’s also your best option if you’re looking for a plant variety that might be harder to find.

For anyone looking to pick up a new friend, my favorite nurseries are The Green Gate and Wild Roots. Both are a bit of a drive, with The Green Gate in Seguin and Wild Roots in New Braunfels, so I say grab an iced coffee and a friend on the way to make a morning out of it.

The Green Gate carries a pretty wide selection of houseplants in addition to outdoor plants, seeds and garden accessories. Their greenhouse is huge and super fun to walk around even if you don’t end up purchasing anything. If you’re on the hunt for succulents, I recommend The Green Gate, as they have one of the largest selections I’ve seen at a nursery.

Wild Roots is a recent favorite of mine, courtesy of my roommate, and is great to explore even if you don’t pick up any new plants during your trip. This nursery can be a bit tricky to get to, as they’re only open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, but making time to go is certainly worth it. Their greenhouse is packed with a variety of houseplants, and they also have rare breeds scattered around that are just super fun to look at.

A photo of two giant leaves from a monstera deliciosa plant with yellowish-white spotted veriegation.
A giant monstera deliciosa at Wild Roots Nursery.

If you’re not sure what new friend you want to pick up on your visit, here are five of my favorite houseplants to check out, from beginner to expert care level:

Panda Plant

I’m usually not much of a succulent fan, but my panda plant has my heart because of its fuzzy leaves and reddish-brown tips. This plant is adorable, if you can even consider a plant adorable, and also super easy to take care of. I like to call these, “wet-it-and-forget-it,” plants because you can quite literally water them once a month and devote the rest of your time to petting and admiring them. They can also handle dry air, so just make sure they’re getting plenty of sunlight and you’ll be all set!

Raven ZZ

I was finally able to get my hands on a raven ZZ recently, and yes, this plant is definitely as cool as its name. The fresh leaves of this plant grow green, but turn black after a couple of months. If Hot Topic ever decided to expand their market to houseplants, this would probably be their top seller. These plants are also relatively easy to care for since they’re okay with normal humidity levels and several different light levels. They’re also pretty resilient little guys, and can usually be watered about every two to three weeks depending on how much light they’re getting.

Neon Pothos

Pothos plants in general have me in a chokehold because all of the varieties are gorgeous and fairly easy to take care of. However, the neon pothos in particular has been a recent favorite of mine because of their bright, Mountain Dew-esque leaves. These plants require a little bit more attention and will need pretty high humidity and watering about once a week. They can survive in low-light environments, but their leaves won’t be as vibrant, so bright indirect light is probably best.

Tradescantia Nanouk

Despite this plant’s absolute mouthful of a name, it is certainly the Instagram influencer of houseplants. If you thought your heart-leaf philodendron and monstera deliciosa were your most photogenic plants, just wait until you meet this baby. This plant has pinkish-purple striped leaves, which is such a gorgeous contrast to the green. Your tradescantia should be watered about once a week and have access to part sun, part shade. They also like to be misted every few days to increase humidity.

Episcia Cupreata

Commonly known as the flame violet, these plants are definitely drama queens, but are so worth it. They aren’t necessarily difficult to take care of, but do require some special steps since they’re very sensitive. Same, flame violet. Their leaves are hydrophobic, so they must be bottom-watered to avoid any water coming in contact with the leaves. I try to keep mine hung in the window above my other plants as well just to make sure any mist or leftover wetness from watering doesn’t affect it. The flame violet is characterized by its dark, fuzzy leaves, which usually have a purple underside. They also grow bright scarlet or hot pink flowers! These plants, in addition to being watered about once a week, require high humidity and part sun, part shade.

Whether you’re just starting your journey as a plant parent, or are like me and suddenly panicking about how you’re supposed to transport all of your plants to a new apartment this summer, these are just a few of my current favorite green babies.

If you’re looking for a fun weekend activity this spring and summer, consider supporting your local nurseries by stopping by and picking up a houseplant!

Featured Image by Hannah Walls


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