Houseplants are not living indoors by choice. Ever since Victorian plant collectors brought home exotic tropical specimens, we’ve been coaxing warm-climate natives to thrive inside our homes.
The secret to keeping a houseplant alive is to replicate its natural growing zone by giving it the amount of humidity, light, and water it prefers. Most houseplants fall into two categories, tropical (including ferns, palms, vines) or succulent (such as varieties of aloe, aeonium, and echeveria). The most popular houseplant of this decade, the fiddle-leaf fig, would rather be living in a West African rain forest than in your living room, so prepare to coddle it.
Where to start when it comes to houseplant care? Our field guides and expert posts offer tips and advice useful to both the novice and the veteran. Two rules of thumb for houseplant care: tropical plants like humidity (think: steamy bathroom) and succulents like dry warmth.