How to Start a Jungle

Hello my plant lovers!

Ready to start your very own jungle but feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the different types of plants out there? Don't worry, we've got you covered.

Starting off with the right plant can instill confidence and bring success in your plant journey. Here are some key points to keep in mind when choosing plants for your space and lifestyle. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to starting a jungle in your own home.

Start With the Basics

First things first, it's important to choose plants that fit your space and lifestyle. Bringing home a plant that requires constant care and bright light when you have a dark space is a recipe for disaster.

Instead, start with a plant that matches your care style and environment. Your first plants will give you the confidence to bring home new plant families and experiment with various tools and care techniques. Here are some key points to consider as you shop for plants:

Let There Be Light

All plants need light, but some are more tolerant of lower light. Consider the available light in your space to determine which plants will thrive. You can also use the compass tool on your phone to determine which direction your windows face. East-facing windows get morning light, south gets direct sun, and west windows will have stronger afternoon rays. A north-facing window will not get any direct sun and is the least bright.

If you have a space with direct sun, bringing home a cactus or succulent will be a great choice. A bright ambient space will be great for philodendrons and ficus, and if your space is a bit darker, snake plants, ZZ plants, or dracaenas might be a better fit.

What's Your ~Vibe~

Are you a hands-on plant parent (you love to water and fuss over leaves!) or more hands-off (think set it and forget it)? Do you travel often?

This will help determine the type of plant that's right for you. If you're able to give your plants constant love and attention with watering and misting, calatheas, ferns, or anthuriums might be a good choice. If you're away from home frequently or simply don't have the time to devote to your plants, snake plants, cacti, or ZZ plants might be a better fit.

Pawsome Options for Pets

It's important to consider the safety of your furry friends when selecting plants. While most houseplants are non-toxic, some can be harmful to pets. Determine whether your pets are likely to interact with your plants or tend to leave them alone. Some pet-friendly plant options include spider plants, most ferns, or African violets.

When you visit us in the store, you’ll find some plants are tagged with a paw print sticker to indicate that plant is pet-safe. If you’re ever unsure, we’re happy to help you find a great pet-safe option for your space!

(Choosing pet-safe plants are made easy by referring to our paw print stickers found throughout the store.)

Size Matters

Consider the size of the plants you want to bring into your home. Do you have a big space to fill or do you just want some small pops of green? A large plant can serve as a showstopper, while smaller to medium-sized plants can do a great job of filling in spaces and creating that lush, jungle look. Keep in mind, caring for mature plants can be different than caring for young plants.

Sprinkle in some small plants with succulents, spider plants, or pothos, and go big with larger options like a ficus, monstera, dieffenbachia, or bird of paradise.

(A 9ft  Ficus bengalensis 'Audrey' in front of a southern facing window pictured on the left. A variety of smaller tabletop plants pictured on the right.)

How's It Growing

Different plants have different growth habits, and it's important to consider this when selecting plants for your home. Do you want a plant that’s a fast grower? Are you looking for something upright, or something that trails? An upright plant will visually fill a vertical space well, while a vining plant lends itself easily to that jungle-y vibe.

Some quick-growing options include pothos, raphidophora, and spider plants, while vining options include pothos, scindapsus, hoyas, and some philodendrons. For upright plants, consider an upright philodendron, snake plant, or ficus. If you’re on the hunt for a flowering plant, African violets, orchids, and anthuriums can be a great choice.

(Choose plants suitable to your space. An upright-growing Firestick Cactus is pictured on the left, while a variety of vining plants such as Pothos, Hoyas, and Philodendrons are showcased in the picture on the right.)

Ready to Start Your Jungle?

With these key points in mind, you can narrow down your choices and ensure that you bring home plants that will thrive in your environment. Remember, starting a jungle should be a fun and rewarding experience! It’s okay if something doesn’t work out how you thought it would; it’s all a part of learning what type of plant parent you are.

Plus, we’re here to help you along the way. If you have any questions about what plants are right for your space, our team is happy to advise. At the end of the day, we hope that your plant journey is a fulfilling one! Don't be afraid to try new things and see what works best for you and your space.

From our team to you this spring - happy planting!