Plants for Every Expertise Level

If you’ve ever made the comment that “I kill every plant,” it’s likely because you’re unaware that every plant has different care requirements. With intricate root systems, house plants are very different than cut floral, or a plant you might have in your home garden. The first step in choosing the right plant for you is identifying your level of expertise, and environmental lighting conditions where the plant will be living. When you enter the Garden Shoppe at fleurdetroit unsure of what to get for that special person or for yourself, we can walk you through a variety of options, so you get the right plant tailored to your needs. As a plant destination, we offer a variety of plants for every level of expertise, and every light situation.

Beginner Plants

If you’ve never had a plant before or you have a low light situation, ZZ and Sansevieria, or snake plants, are great options for the beginner. These classic plants are some of our favorites, and we always keep them in stock.  

ZZ or Zamioculcas zamiifolia is a fabulous plant that can tolerate low light as well as bright light. It has rhizomes that store water so it can also handle being forgotten. We are always on the hunt for specialty cultivars of this plant and currently have some of the ‘Raven’ cultivar.

There are around 70 different types of Sansevieria so there is a shape and size for everyone. We always carry may types in many varieties—we currently have ten varieties in the store in three different sizes. We love them so much we made a journal entry about them!

Plumosa fern is a false fern in the asparagus family. It’s a fleur favorite! It wants bright indirect light but can tolerate less light as needed. It likes to dry between waterings, and has soft delicate foliage. Their leaves make great additions to floral arrangements as well.

Pothos and Scindapsus are wonderful beginner plants that like to dry between waterings and can tolerate low light conditions. Normally displayed as a hanging plant, these can also be grown vertically on a support, or trimmed to produce a tight, low foliage plant.  

Peperomia obtusifolia, commonly known as a “baby rubber plant,” is not in the Ficus family at all. It is quite easy to grow and remains compact, making it a great tabletop plant.

Intermediate Plants

The intermediate plant group are less of the “set it and forget” plants and require a little more time and plant knowledge. After understanding these plants’ needs, they can thrive nicely in your home or office setting.

Dracaena is a great plant genus with many varieties and growth patterns, from the tree-like D. marginata to the bright citron ‘Limelight’—there’s one for everyone. They can tolerate lower light conditions and like to dry between waterings.  

Aglaonema is well known for its patterned foliage. Aglaonema is a bushing plant. Mature species can be around two feet in height but will continue to spread horizontally like a hosta. Most species are tolerant of lower light conditions to a point, but prefer brighter diffused light when indoors.  

Philodendron is a large family of plants with beautiful foliage and growth patterns. Philodendrons usually are not very shade tolerant and need bright indirect light. The soil needs to dry slightly but not completely. These plants react negatively to over watering, which is why they have made it into the intermediate category of care. These beautiful plants are worth the extra effort and once you get the hang of it, they are a pleasure to keep.

Monstera deliciosa is a close relative of Philodendron, but I have found it to be a bit more forgiving. It climbs up trees in the wild, and the more mature the leaf, the larger the leaf. More holes will also appear on new leaves, because in the wild they allow more sunlight and water to travel to the base of the plant. Monsteras are also quite easy to propagate.

Advanced Plants

The advanced plant group are a finicky bunch. They are sensitive to change and require a keen watering schedule, as well as specific lighting and air requirements. Once mastered, these plants make quite an impact in any setting.

A palm can add beautiful drama to any space; however, they can be sensitive to impurities in the water, are prone to leaf yellowing and sometimes it is hard to tell whether or not they need water. They tend to be best suited for people that already have other plants, and each variety may require different care so adjustments and plant variety knowledge is needed before caring for a palm … and even then, they can bite the dust. Kentia palms seem to do the best for us. It is also quite fine to swap out your palm as needed if you really like the look but know it won’t last. Those who have great luck with palms usually have green thumbs, great water, and good light.  

Ficus is another beautiful tree that looks great in a home, but watering can be tricky. It is best to let the top two inches of soil dry completely before watering. Adequate drainage is also vital, as they are prone to root rot. These plants are also sensitive to both hot and cold drafts so they should be placed away from vents. They like bright light but not direct sun, and they don’t like to be moved and will experience some leaf drop. We find the Ficus elastica, or rubber fig, to be the most forgiving, and fiddle leaf figs to be the most difficult.  

We receive houseplant shipments bi-weekly—stop into fleurdetroit and let our talented team guide you with perfect plant selections!