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Looking For The Perfect Spot For Your Houseplant? Plant Kween Has A Trick For That

Emma Loewe
mbg Senior Sustainability Editor By Emma Loewe
mbg Senior Sustainability Editor
Emma Loewe is the Senior Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us."
person smiling in plant shop filled with greenery
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The first decision any new plant parent has to make is where to put their fresh greenery. Looking for the perfect placement can get prickly: If you put a plant somewhere that doesn't have the right amount of humidity, sunlight, and space for its needs, it won't grow to its fullest vibrant, verdant potential.

That's why Christopher Griffin, aka @PlantKween on Instagram, does some experimenting before settling on a spot.

How to find the best spot for your houseplants.

Griffin, who has amassed over 300,000 followers for their joyful, loving approach to caring for plants (or as they call them, green gurls), opts to place similar plants in different parts of their apartment to see how well each one does. "The one that does the best, I'll bring the other plants to that particular spot," Griffin tells mbg over a recent morning Zoom, with a smile more infectious than a plant pest and a laugh more energizing than a well-rounded fertilizer.

Once the plants are placed, Griffin will wait two to three months before gauging which spot reigns supreme. "You want to give her time to adjust to the new environment," they say. "It takes time, patience, and a dab of curiosity."

During those months, Griffin monitors for signs of health: green leaves (though a few yellow ones are no big deal), quick growth if it's spring or summer, and full foliage. Once the acclimation period is up, Griffin has a better sense of the needs of that plant species and the conditions that can best serve them.

From there, plants that have the same care needs can be moved to thrive alongside the rest of their green family.

Clustering similar houseplants together in groups will also look beautiful, make watering day easier, and help your plants share moisture with one another.

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Some starter plants to throw in your cluster.

For the newbie planter, Griffin loves these low-maintenance options that are easy to keep happy and will reward you with a lush look, fast growth, or in some cases, homemade nut butter:

  • Pothos: This quick-growing variety was Griffin's first plant purchase. "If you're a plant parent who likes the immediate satisfaction of new growth, I encourage the pothos plant as one queen to invest in," they say.
  • Snake plant: "She's a queen that is so resilient and hardy," says Griffin, whose apartment is home to 26 of them. "The snake plant kind of thrives anywhere."
  • ZZ plant: "This is another queen that doesn't have to be watered often," says Griffin. Thanks to a root system featuring bulbous rhizomes that store liquid for the long haul, ZZs can go weeks without water in some cases.
  • Peanut plant: Yes, you can grow peanuts indoors! Through a partnership with the National Peanut Board, Griffin has started cultivating the legume and found it to be surprisingly easy to grow and fascinating to watch. After buying raw peanuts online or from a nursery, you simply place them skin-on in a pot with well-draining soil. Then 130 to 160 days later, after the plant starts growing yellow flowers, you'll have a small nutty harvest to show for it. "The yellow flowers wither away and drop back into the soil, and that's what grows into the actual peanut," Griffin explains. "It's a fun little process."

The bottom line.

Houseplants, like us, require certain conditions to reach their full potential. Once you find the ideal location through some trial and error, placing similar houseplants there can help them all thrive, together.

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