Still looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift?
We turned to houseplant specialists Annette Goliti Gutierrez, co-owner of Potted, an Atwater Village store devoted to houseplants and pots, and Jessica Lawrence, a horticulturist and indoor plant care instructor at Fig Earth Supply, for suggestions for gift-worthy houseplants that can thrive in almost any home (even if Mom is a little horticulturally challenged).
Also known as nerve plants, so named for the fine contrasting veins running through their oval leaves. The veins come in many colors — red, pink, yellow — and the plants grow compactly, making them great for table tops. Gutierrez calls them resurrection plants, because if they get too dry they wilt, but miraculously revive after they’re watered.
More commonly known as snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue, sansevieria’s striped, sword-shaped leaves rise dramatically out of the soil in a range of greens. They look handsome in all kinds of decorative pots and are relatively tolerant of low light and neglect, Lawrence said. Just don’t overwater them because they rot easily if they get too wet.
This handsome, easy-care plant has broad variegated leaves that come in “gorgeous colors,” Gutierrez said, including pinks, yellows and reds. They like bright indirect light but don’t mind being a little thirsty, she said.
The popular spathiphyllum (peace lily) is a good plant for worriers, Lawrence said, because it prefers to be more wet than dry. “It’s far more forgiving of having too much water,” she said. The leaves look too green and glossy to be real, and bonus: It produces lots of showy white blooms.
All philodendrons are pretty bullet-proof, said Gutierrez, but she’s a particular fan of this variety because of its beautiful variegated leaves and tendency to trail. “I have one that’s like 5 feet long on top of my cabinet near a north-facing window,” she said. “When it needs water, its leaves curl a little bit, which gives a good visual aid without it being at the critical stage.”