How to buy houseplants on a budget

Flowers & Plants

In studies, live plants have been shown to reduce stress.

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Buying houseplants on a budget

Buying lots of houseplants to create an “indoor jungle” is a social media trend that seems here to stay. With all the touted air-purifying, stress-reducing goodness of plants, owning some not only beautifies your space but can be beneficial to your health.

Some people find that once they start buying plants, it’s hard to stop: One plant becomes two, which soon becomes four, which can quickly turn into an indoor greenhouse.

Unfortunately, the cost of all those plants can add up. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to buy houseplants without emptying your wallet.

Plan for your houseplants

Budget

If you’re on a budget, plan things out before you buy. In particular, decide which kinds of plants you want and where you’d like them to go. By planning, you can make efficient purchases. An excellent way to start is to make a wish list.

Consider plant care

While you’re making your list, do a little research on required care. Depending on the types of plants you choose, care may be more complicated than you’d like.

Choose plants with common features

Once you have a sizable wish list, determine which plants have common features. Buying plants with similar needs makes it easier to care for them. For example, if you notice your list contains many succulents, you’ll learn they can likely all be watered around the same time. Likewise, succulents need similar soil and containers.

If you like a wide array of plants, prioritize them and buy your favorites first. If you have a few plants you’re deciding between, choose plants that are easy to care for.

Choose easy-care plants

Since many plants live so long, they sometimes cost more upfront. However, they’re more likely to grow and less likely to die, saving you time and money. Some notable plants for inexperienced gardeners include air plants, ponytail palms and ZZ plants.

  • Air plants are relatively small plants that are easy to incorporate into décor. Air plants only require indirect sunlight and occasional water misting. 
  • While ponytail palms may look high-maintenance, they’re easy to take care of. With proper care, these hardy palms can live to be 100 years old. 
  • ZZ plants are notoriously hard to kill. Their water-storing roots make them especially good if you’re prone to forgetting to water. 
  • If you’re looking to bring some color to your home, begonias make a great addition. As long as they have full light, begonias will usually bloom all year and don’t need much water. 
  • Flowering bromeliads are colorful flowers that add a quirky pop to any home. 

Pick common varieties of houseplants

By choosing tried and true kinds of plants, you can save money while still buying beautiful greenery. If you’re on a tight budget, you can usually find or ask for cuttings of common plants. Snake plants, spider plants and pothos are all popular and easy to propagate.

Christmas cactus

Christmas cactus

Christmas cactuses selectively bloom, and they require minimal care. They live long enough to be passed down from generation to generation. 

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Snake plant

Snake plant

Snake plants are simple to care for and can even survive in dark rooms. They’re also sharable, as you only need a small leaf cutting to propagate. 

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Golden pothos

Golden pothos

Pothos are extremely popular, easy to care for and relatively easy to propagate. All they need is water and indirect sunlight.

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Spider plant

Spider plant

Spider plants are hardy and straightforward to care for and propagate. However, if you live in an area with a temperature of 40 degrees or below, then a heat pack is recommended. 

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Aloe vera

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a hardy plant that enjoys being root-bound. While it doesn’t propagate quickly, it’s widespread and useful. 

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Buy the right soil for your houseplants

Healthy plants start with good soil. Choose soil that has good drainage and suits your plants’ needs. In particular, look for soils that contain a lot of organic matter.

If you know you want to have multiple plants, it’s best to buy soil and containers in bulk. On the other hand, if you only want a few plants, go for quality over quantity.

Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix

Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix

This soil is specifically formulated for indoor plants. It contains coconut coir, which helps the soil to rehydrate.

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The Succulent Cult Organic Succulent & Cactus Soil Mix

The Succulent Cult Organic Succulent & Cactus Soil Mix

Many popular houseplants come from the tropics or deserts and need loose, free-draining soil. This soil mix works well for houseplants, vegetables, and herbs.

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Miracle-Gro Houseplant Potting Mix

Miracle-Gro Houseplant Potting Mix

This houseplant soil is specifically formulated to be resistant to bugs and provide nutrients. The ingredients ensure that the soil is less prone to gnats and conducive to grow indoor houseplants.

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Enhance the soil of your houseplants 

If you already have soil and want to improve it, there are several things you can add. In general, adding organic matter will enhance any soil.

  • Earthworm castings offer various nutrients and organic matter, making them perfect for supporting any soil type. 
  • Coarse pearlite can be added in small amounts to your soil to improve water regulation. Succulents and other desert plants benefit most from the addition of perlite to the soil. 
  • Coco coir, also called coco peat, aids in water retention. Coco coir is a handy addition to the soil if you often forget to water your plants. 

 

Jackalyn Beck is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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