EASY GREEN

Choosing a leafy green friend to share your space


Photo by Sidekix Media via Unsplash


Plants, in their lush, green glory have a universal power to add pizzazz to any space. Most claim they are easy on the eyes, to maintain, and on the bank. Okay, the last one is debatable for fiddle leaf owners, but at least they’re not as expensive as faux flora.


But choosing the perfect indoor plant comes down to compatibility! After all, you’re embarking on a

relationship that may last for months or years — so a little research is in order. We’re definitely not going to give you any more of those personality type quizzes (you’re had enough of those from your friends, Karen). Instead, we’re giving you the raw deal from 4 real humans (from different walks of life) to help you pick the perfect houseplant, based on your personality and/or the role you play at home. This is our version of planned parenthood, and you are welcome.



1. WILMER, Interior Designer, Low Rise Condo Dweller


Wilmer’s plants thrive near windows, fueled by indirect sunlight. Photos courtesy of Wilmer Lopez


Have you noticed anything in common about the indoor plants you own?

They are mostly indoor plants like Monstera, Pothos, Philodendrons, some semi-outdoor plants near the windows, and my terrarium.


What do you love most about them?

Aside from they’re low maintenance when it comes to watering, they give life to my spaces, creating a more relaxed atmosphere while bringing life to my home.


How do these plants match your personality?

As I have actually been into plants since I was a kid, I have always considered plants as companions. Like me, they’re great company!


How do these plants keep you sane as a designer?

Plants keep me relaxed. I always enjoy looking at them. I started making terrariums as a hobby and I’ve been doing it for about 3 years now. Staying indoors allowed me more time to create and take care of them. This hobby and the terrariums give me a sense of joy and a feeling of security. Since terrariums are an enclosed environment, I feel that I'm creating a world where I am in control, which makes me calm when I need balance.


How do you keep these plants sane and alive (care tips)?

Different plants need different attention and care. I choose plants that are easy to take care of and I “train” them to work around my schedule, watering them once a week or every three days (they’re mostly indoor plants, anyway). Sometimes, when I leave for several days, these plants don't need everyday care because they have adapted to our “shared schedule” and my own space.


How do you display them at home/in your room?

I place tall plants in corners of the room with a woven, organic container. I make sure they have enough light and are accessible when watering. Sometimes, I place them outside to get more light where I also do some maintenance work like clipping dried leaves. I also have plants displayed on shelves in groups according to species with similar pots. I arrange them by height so all of them are seen properly. With plants where areas don't have enough natural lighting, I use grow lights so they also get enough sunlight with proper monitoring.


Where do you usually get your plants?

I buy randomly wherever I go. I frequent plant fairs in QC Circle and garden stores in White Plains. I also sometimes buy online.



2. COCO, Mom of 2, Single Detached Home Dweller

Coco’s family adores indoor greenery not just for its beauty, but for its power to improve their physical and mental wellbeing. Photos courtesy of Ryan Alimon


Have you noticed anything in common about the indoor plants you own?

Not really! I tend to pick my plants based on how they look and their price tag. I always ask, “sulit ba

‘to?”. I think I have a good mix of ornamental plants but I’ve steered away from certain succulents because they always seem to die under my care!


What do you love most about them?

I love that each plant is unique and that they all add character to our home.


How do these plants match your personality?

I guess you can say they’re like me in a sense that they thrive more when outdoors (in the balcony) and with lots of company (other plants).


How do these plants keep you sane in your daily grind as a mom?

Being in nature has always been therapeutic! Bringing pieces of that indoors, through plants, somehow makes the home more relaxing to my family. How do you keep these plants sane and alive (care tips)?


I have a watering schedule for them, making sure they receive the right amount of sunlight and humidity. I also spray them with a homemade Thieves blend!


How do you display them at home/in your room?

My plants are mostly in clay or terracotta pots which are placed on the floor, side tables, and in shelves. As for my hanging plants, I hang them using iron coconut shell baskets.


Where do you usually place them?

Just around the home; every corner, space, and nook and cranny I could find! Hahaha. I’m honestly running out space but that’s the goal- to fill the home with greenery!

What plant would you recommend for other busy moms out there?

I would recommend a Monstera Adansonii! It’s one of my favorites because of how unique it looks and surprisingly so easy to care of.


Where do you usually get your plants?

Most of my plants are from BM-JOV Garden Center located in Paranaque and EFS Garden in Quezon City. Both stores have Facebook and Instagram.



3. CHELSEA, Working Single Woman, Condo Dweller

Chelsea considers watering and caring for her plants part of her me-time.

Photos courtesy of Chelsea Layson


Have you noticed anything in common about the indoor plants you own?

I like plants with shiny, variegated leaves, and they are all considered “low maintenance.” I’ve so far avoided getting anything in the ficus family because I cannot meet their needs.


What do you love most about them?

The days during lockdown tend to blur but having plants with watering schedules and different care instructions give me routine and structure. There is also a community around plants and it’s fun to share pictures, stories, and care tips with other enthusiasts.


How do these plants match your personality?

They’re pretty low key but quite interesting upon closer inspection (leaf variegation!). Also, they don’t drink a lot of water, haha! How do these plants keep you sane as a single working lady? The air purifying aspect is probably negligible but my plants give me a calming spot to rest my eyes on. It’s also nice to spend the early morning sitting among my plants. It’s important to have a moment just for yourself and disconnect from the internet/ technology. That moment for me is when I’m watering and caring for my plants.


How do you keep these plants sane and alive (care tips)?

I’m very careful not to overwater them, which leads to root rot. I use an app (Vera) to track their schedules.


How do you display them at home/in your room?

I have a wooden plant shelf that I commissioned from a carpenter near my place. I’m not so picky with my pots matching; I prefer to focus on the plants.


"It’s important to have a moment just for yourself and disconnect from the internet/technology. That moment for me is when I’m watering and caring for my plants." - CHELSEA, Working Single Woman

Where do you usually place them?

I used to have all my plants inside my room but I’ve since transferred most of them to my balcony where they can get more light. I keep my water propagations on my desk and dresser.


What plant would you recommend for other single gals?

I recommend a Peace Lily. They’re low maintenance and happy just next to a window, being misted once in a while. They’ll also tell you exactly when they need water: the leaves droop dramatically! After watering, they’ll spring back up. It’s very satisfying. I think most people would recommend a succulent or cactus, but I find that those tend to be boring to take care of because they thrive off neglect. Peace Lilies make you take a more active role.


Where do you usually get your plants?

I’ve bought some plants and pots from Instagram shops like @kookeeforest and @plantpartybyrory, as well as from nurseries near my place. Many of my plants have been gifts, too. When your friends and family find out that you like plants, you tend to accumulate a lot very quickly.



4. CHE, Working Mom, Condo Dweller


Have you noticed anything in common about the indoor plants you own?

I am not a flower person, so it wasn’t a surprise that I was naturally drawn to foliage plants. I first bought small foliage plants, then as they say, it gets addicting after your first purchase and have added big foliage plants to the list. As we live in a high-rise where direct sunlight is not abundant, most of the plants we have are those that need indirect sunlight.

What do you love most about them?

Foliage plants are seriously so easy to grow. When work started to go back to normal, I spent less and less time attending to them (at least not as much compared to when work was halted for a while during the lockdown), but surprisingly, they were understanding enough not to die on me. They are not as needy as other plants and they thrive despite the low attention you pay them. I love that my plants are both forgiving and generous despite my lacking as their plant momma. Every time they show new growths, I can’t help but think I’m doing something right.


How do these plants match your personality?

I have a few plants that I feel are like me in different aspects. Golden Pothos and Monstera Adansonii are very generous plants. They don’t need much, but they give a lot of new growth almost regularly. I have done numerous cuttings on them, and they still continue to grow.


My Monstera Deliciosa is so beautiful despite its uneven and holed leaves. She embraces her imperfections and lets people see her real beauty. I’m definitely not saying that I’m as gorgeous as this beauty, but much like it, I have learned to embrace my own imperfections through time, and let others see them to get to know the real me. My hardy plants – rubber plant, snake plant and fern plant are all so chill and independent. Some plants want to be with others, but these babies are just fine by themselves and can thrive on their own.


How do these plants keep you sane as a busy mom?

The foliage plants I have are all air purifiers. I have a son, so it is important to have clean air at home. It also makes our house less puffy and humid. I talk to my plants in the mornings, when work tends to feel a bit overwhelming. And if I’m super stressed, I water them, and when I see new buddings, they become instant pick-me-uppers for me. On weekends, repotting and trimming them are therapeutic for me.


How do you keep these plants sane and alive (care tips)?

Figuring out the right watering they need is very important. Knowing how much water they need and when they need it are already huge achievements. I also give them plant food/fertilizer once a month. Looking at their root growth also helps in ensuring that they are in the right pot and growing alright. So I usually check if they are outgrowing their pots, I think around once a month. I also experiment on their placement in my house to see if they like one place better than another. You’ll be surprised that some plants are choosy with placement and they either wilt or grow new buds depending on where you place them.


How do you display them at home/in your room?

All our plants are in the living room. We were blessed with quite a spacious living room when we moved to our new place a year ago. They are in planters and some of them are hanging to achieve the indoor garden feels.


Where do you usually place them?

Majority of our plants are in the foyer area of the living room, where we also have our massage chair. I complete the spa feels with humidifier and essential oils haha that area now makes for a relaxing weekend or after work. Because of the work from home set up, I made myself an office area where I added some of my plants. It gave my working area a more relaxed feel, and afforded me an instant cool online meeting background!


What plant would you recommend for other busy moms?

Generally, foliage plants are sturdy and low maintenance. But for busy working moms like me, you can start with Pothos. They are small but they are also so pretty when they grow and start to crawl. Palms, snake plants, dracaena and rubber plants are very flexible and grow anywhere in the house. You can count on them to not die on you if you forget to water them for a week.


Where do you usually get your plants?

I get my plants from local plant sellers and curators in Singapore. My go to places are Rabbit Island (rabbitislandsg.com), Plant & Plant (https://shopee.sg/plantandplant) and Ikea (some of their foliage are actually not bad).


"I also experiment on their placement in my house to see if they like one place better than another. You’ll be surprised that some plants are choosy with placement and they either wilt or grow new buds depending on where you place them." - CHE, Working Mom


WORDS: Lei Panganiban-Duanan