17 Tips for Finding Your Perfect Plant Match, According to Apartment Therapy Readers

published Mar 25, 2021
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Black woman holding small green potted plant with white backdrop
Credit: Shutterstock/Syda Productions

It’s no secret that the Apartment Therapy community loves their houseplants, so we turned to our Instagram followers and asked: what tips do you have from personal experience on finding the perfect plant match? 519 responses later, we may have found the best answers to share with the rest of our readers.

From observing what thrives in your local outdoor community, to heading to FB Marketplace for the best propagations in your area, here are the best plant-hunting tips when searching for “the one.”

1. Check on your fave plant shop(s) often.

“Follow your favorite plant stores on social media! Many post daily updates on new arrivals!”

— @ylime1201 via Instagram

2. Look for signs of new life.

“When you’re looking at plants, look for one that’s showing new growth!”

— @raychobird via Instagram

Credit: Sarah Crowley

3. Prioritize lighting over everything else.

“Shop based on light not on location. Once options are narrowed then think about growth.”

— @ishmaelnunez via Instagram

4. Turn to Facebook Marketplace.

“Facebook Marketplace! So many plant parents sharing their propagations!”

— @kristengaraffo via Instagram

5. Swap cuttings with friends.

“Ask friends for cuttings of their plants to propagate! The plants will then also remind you of them.”

— @maddie.plr via Instagram

6. Be honest with what you can take on.

“Be honest about your caretaking abilities. I know now I need low maintenance plants.” 

— @kathleen.gullion via Instagram

Credit: Vijay Nathan
Woman in backpack

7. When it doubt, go to Costco.

“Costco!!! I’m telling you the price and quality is crazy!!!” 

— @lifeisagiftliveit via Instagram

8. Observe your outdoor surroundings.

“The ones you see locally thriving in your neighborhood/city are the best to start with.”

@geetika_lal via Instagram

9. If you have a pet, beware of toxic plant species.

“Use ASPCA website to make sure your plants are safe for your pets.” 

— @mike_and_rachelle via Instagram

10. Buy based on your own watering habits.

“Know your watering style! I like plants with leaves that droop when they need water!”

— @em.ludington via Instagram

11. Become a member of your local plant swap on Facebook.

“Join your local FB swap group! Amazing people willing to share advice about all things plants!” 

— @rachaelcpowell via Instagram

12. Log your dream plants as you spot them.

“Stay focused with a running list of dream plants on your phone!”

— @caitlindean via Instagram

13. Don’t be afraid to go weird.

“Sometimes the weird looking plants are the best ones!! They’re like living sculptures.”

— @francesisokay via Instagram

14. Find what species work for you, then keep it going.

“I like to stay within the same family when one thrives!! Calatheas.”

— @breanna.harmerr via Instagram

Credit: Bloomscape

15. Make sure to consider hanging plants, too.

“When you’re in a plant store, don’t forget to look up (hanging plants, higher shelves full of [plants].”

— @soraya___p via Instagram

16. Check the health before you buy it.

“I look for any root rot, leaf discoloration, insects/pests on plant before buying it.”

— @dreamcatcher_raz via Instagram

17. Base your choice on feeling.

“Honestly which one makes your heart happy?! Who cares what’s ‘trending’.”

— @haishouseprojects via Instagram