Hello and welcome to Gardening with Ms. Kate, a series where we learn to take care of our photosynthesizing green friends! Today, however, we won’t be going over plant care tips; instead, in honor of Houseplant Appreciation Day, I will be sharing with you all my favorite plants in my collection! I promise to limit it to 7 along with the names I have bequeathed unto them (please don’t judge, they have great names). 

This has become a favorite because of how it fills the room with emerald green, giving it its simple, but amicable name. They are also pretty easy to take care of; as long as they have bright indirect light and the appropriate amount of water, they grow, grow, grow! The Green Philodendron I own is named Pollux. If you are familiar with Greek Mythology, Pollux was a twin of Castor, but they had two different fathers. Castor was the son of King Tyndareus and Leda, and so he was mortal. Pollux was the son of Zeus and Leda, so he was a demigod or immortal. (I had a philodendron before Pollux named Castor, which I lost due to root rot, so I thought it would be appropriate to name the next green leaf Philo rather than the name of the deceased twin).

A wish list plant forever. They are absolutely gorgeous with their delicate strings laced with marbled hearts. They are a unique succulent that is absolutely fun to watch grow. They even bloom white flowers around Springtime; how cool is that? This fella I have is named Lovelace, and yes, he is named after the plump Robin Williams rockhopper penguin from Happy Feet. It was a good movie! (Notice how I didn’t say series?)

A celebrity in the plant world, the Monstera is an absolute beauty. Any room they are in, they command, and mine takes over the room and grabs your attention. This is my Monstera, Mississippi. I saved her from Lowes this past Spring from the discount section. (If you collect plants, scout out their discount section, it is laden with sickly plants that you are usually able to save!) Mississippi is an example of this. She had greasy black leaves that were from over-watering. I looked her over and moved the dilapidated top leaves to see that ‘Sippi here was actually thriving! She was the best ten dollars I have ever spent and is thriving in my home. Monsteras are so fun to watch, especially when they throw out their famous perforated leaves, and boy, am I so happy to be rewarded every time she throws out a new leaf, showing how happy she is in her forever home. 

Or Satin Pothos, as they are called. Scindapsus has become a personal favorite of mine thanks to my late mother-in-law, who was also a big plant parent. Every time we had dinner together, we would discuss plants (as plant parents do), and she always said she loved Scindapsus. Scindapsus is most notable by their full leaves (which wrinkle if dehydrated), and their silvery green foliage catches anyone’s eye, in good lighting conditions, they even shimmer. How cool is that? Below is one of my Scindapsus, Goliath, and you can see why he has been named this. (Picture features my cat, Gus, for scale).

Pothos has become a new favorite, and you’ll see why in just a minute. Their leaves!! Their leaves are absolutely gorgeous, and boy, are they easy to take care of. They can thrive off of the smallest amount of light (but they love bright indirect the most) and need to be watered when the top 2 inches of soil feel dry. Here is my Marble Queen Pothos, Regina George, or RG for short. Aren’t her leaves just beautiful? You can see why other plants in the community have given her the crown, and here’s the thing, there are more variegations and variations of pothos, not just marble queens, how cool is that?

The very first plant I ever bought myself was a Jade I named Jade Alfred Prufrock (a pun based on a TS Eliot poem).  A symbol of good luck, they bring charm to every home with their bright green leaves. There are other versions of Jade, and my contender in this list is one of them. Meet Angie, short for Phalange, the ET Fingers Jade Plant. I absolutely love Angie and how unique he is with his furled design. It is especially cool when he throws out a new leaf, which is first lime green before it settles into the jade hue. Jade is also a very simple plant to take care of. They just need bright light, porous soil, and water once a week. To check if they need water, just touch their leaves. If they have give, they need a drink, and if they don’t, leave them be! How easy is that?

How could you not love a cactus? They are inventive, indestructible, and stoic. Yes, a plant can be all these things. Cactuses are just a really cool species of plant. They evolved to survive weeks and weeks without water, protect themselves from predators with their nettles, and some even bloom! Mine don’t, but nevertheless, Morning Star, my cactus is on my list. I mean, how cool is he? I also don’t need to say this, but cacti are the perfect plant for beginner plant parents. They just need porous soil, bright light, and water only when very dry.

There you grow – I mean, go, my top favorite plants. Now that I listed my top 7, what are your favorite plants to take care of? 

For more information on the plants listed, check out one of my favorite houseplant books here.