Plant 101: How to Choose an Indoor Plant for Each Room

By: Lively Root
January 21, 2022
Plant 101: How to Choose an Indoor Plant for Each Room
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We think adding a little bit green to every room is key, but it can be hard to know what plants go where. With lighting considerations, air quality, and all sorts of other factors, it can be daunting. So how do you pick which plants go where?

Where to Put Plants Based on Space

It’s best to take this room by room. Depending on the design of certain spaces, you may want to use plants to add more modern lines, add movement with vines, or depth by hanging from the ceiling or shelves. When you look at the room, consider where you’d like to add green: sitting on the table, a window sill, the floor, hanging, or adding interest to a shelf? Look around, take it in, and think about where it would add joy to see a little more life reflected in your space.

Placement: The Shelf 

A classic for shelves, Golden Pothos is a favorite for its hanging leaves and dangling lines. Requiring medium light (eastern exposure) and low water, it loves to grow green leaves that spill over, adding lots of beautiful vertical interest to your space.

Placement: The Floor

Larger plants are one of the easiest ways to fill empty floor space with interest, texture, and layers.  A Money Tree is perfect for a beginner in a space with high, indirect light. If you have a lot of space and are a little more experienced, we like the Fiddle Leaf Fig for filling in corners and drawing attention with its lush, broad leaves.

Placement: Table Top 

Creating a green space can be as easy as adding a plant to your coffee table. Doing double duty as decoration and an air purifier, table top plants give you a lot of options. If you’re looking for color without a lot of effort, start with the vivid Peacock Plant. It has a purple underside, is native to Brazil, and is happy with moderate light. Another wonderful (and easy!) tropical table-topper is the Croton Petra. Great for brightly lit rooms, its colors stand out, adding yellow, red, green, and orange to the space.

What Plants to Pick Based on Light

Light is vital for plants and one of the first things any plant owner should start to learn is what plants work where. Light exposure can be confusing - direct, indirect, low, medium, high, eastern… - so first start by knowing what the light is in the space you’re looking to put your plants. Take note of where the windows are and where they’re facing (try using the compass app on your phone!). As a rule of thumb, low light plants will thrive best in northern window light; indirect light to filtered sun plants need a southern exposure; partial shade, moderate daylight or medium to low light plants would be the morning light or eastern exposure. Sounds confusing, we know, but you’ll start to see how your plants respond, we promise!

If you have Northern Light: Cyclamen, Peace Lily, ZZ Plant, Variegated Snake Plant, Golden Pothos, Peacock Plant


If you have Southern Light: Crotons, Money Tree, Bromeliads, Pineapple Plant, Echeveria

How to Factor in Humidity + Air Flow for Your Plants

First, locate where your HVAC vents are in proximity to where you want to place your plants. Constant airflow, heating, cooling can dry out a plant’s soil much faster than normal, causing lower humidity. You can quickly test by sitting where you want to place your plants or reaching a hand up to feel whether or not there is a breeze or constant air flow in that area.

Some areas you can just know are going to be high humidity — yeah, we’re talking about your bathroom here. A good choice is the Red Leaf Dracaena Collection, or you could go with the Snake Plant Fernwood. Fortunately, they are both good air cleaners! 

Of course, this is just a general guide, but it’s enough to get you started and to get you thinking about where your plants might do best. Check out this infographic for a little more and let us know how your plants are looking. We love to watch your green spaces come to life! 

Did you enjoy this article? Try another in our Plant 101 series!