Seattle, WA

My 2019 Houseplant Collection

I’m so happy to see results coming from one of my plant polls on IG-stories that so many of you enjoy my plant content so much! I’ve recently done a plant giveaway where I share with one of you my baby Pilea peperomioides to local peeps, and I definitely will do another one pretty soon since that is so much fun.

Now, without further ado, let’s take y’all on a tour of my houseplants, and don’t forget to read until the end for my plant care tips.

*Please note I have a west-facing window from a balcony pointing to the courtyard, and I get very little morning and some afternoon light reflected from the other building. And most of these plants are mostly foliage and widely available in the PNW area. As much as I want to add cacti and tropical plants to my collection, I have learned to wait until my next apartment move where I will get much better light than I currently have.

1. Monstera deliciosa

I got this monstera plant about 1/3 this current size from Plant Shop (Central District, here, for $35) last spring. The pot is from West Elm.

If you live in Seattle, I highly recommend going to Swanson Nursery or Molbak’s in Woodinville for larger leaf monstera (those leaves that you can cut and decorate your house with) at a very affordable price! Even though my Monstera is growing so fast, the leaves do take a very long time to grow big. They seem to not really splitting as much, and they’d rather produce more leaves than making them bigger. Perhaps I got a sister monstera of some sort or that I just don’t feed them the right amount of light and fertilizer.

  • Other names: Split-leaf Philodendron, Mexican breadfruit due to its edible seed pods, Swiss Cheese Plant, Hurricane Plant.
  • Light: low to medium (bright, filtered-light areas such as an east or filtered west-facing window.)
  • Water: low
  • Soil: well-draining, cactus or succulent mix (part sand)
  • Attributes: Dramatic new foliage, easy-care tropical plant, evergreen, air purifying, a semi-climbing plant with opening giant heart-shaped green leaves, accented with holes. Aerial roots add texture, perfect for warm, humid spots.
Monstera deliciosa
My first pot which contains a lot of cuttings – too crowded looking, so I repotted and split these up into 4 smaller pots.

I remembered seeing these growing big and wildly in Hawaii. I know that I will also eventually need a trellis or a moss pole, but it will not be for a while for me. I water and fertilize it once a week with all of my other plants in the warmer months and do so less often in the winter. In addition, I occasionally wipe their leaves with a damp cloth or paper towel, and this is supposed to keep their leaves shiny and help them ‘breath.’

I have made a lot of cuttings and propagated my monstera, hence you see the mama (in the while West Elm pot with legs) does not have a lot of big leafy stems anymore. I’ve overdone it (I know), but pretty sure it will grow more leaves in no time. Now, I have four 6 to 8-inch pots with 2 to 3 cuttings in each of the pot.

Here it is, looking much better! Pot is from an old orchid.
The terracotta pot is from Crate & Barrel.
A few cuttings with new roots just after a few weeks

2. Pilea peperomioides

Pilea peperomioides (Pilea)’s stems are strong even though they don’t look like so. You’ve got to be careful because you might knock the leaves off by accident because I’ve done that a few times. It grows fast and sends so many plantlets up through the soil ever since I’ve got it just a couple of months ago. At this point, I have about 7 baby plants, and it is still making more babies.

If you live in the Seattle area, it might be worth it to drive to Molbak’s for this guy (I got mine for $32). Make sure to call in and ask in advance for their stock because I’ve been there when there are not many plants on sale at all. Their plants are very healthy and well-taken care off, affordable prices, too!

  • Other names: Chinese Money plant, UFO plant, friendship plant, pancake plant
  • Light: High to medium (bright indirect-light areas such as an east or filtered west-facing window.)
  • Water: Low, water when leaves are droopy.
  • Attributes: Easy care plant, a succulent-like plant with rounded leaves and strong stems that spring from a central stalk.
  • Propagation:  Use a clean, sharp knife (or scissors) to cut the baby plant free about an inch down the soil. Plant in a new pot with moist soil or let it rooted in water since new roots develop in less than a week. Super easy!
Pilea peperomioides

My mama Pilea is currently potted directly in a self-watering pot, here, and some of its babies are in plastic and terracotta pots. What I really love about growing Pilea is that they are incredibly easy to grow and propagate. They grow roots within a few short days either in water or soil. I’ve also noticed that the babies like to be watered more, and the easiest way to tell is to touch and feel the leaves. Softer leaves and lighter in weight pots mean your plants need water!

The middle guy now has a new home. Thanks Elaine!

3. Philodendron Lickety Split

This might be my most favorite foliage plant in my entire collection because I love big architectural plants! It keeps reaching higher and further, so stunning, captivating, and easy no-fuss type of plant. I got this Philo plant from Molbak’s for $40, and I’m pretty sure I saw it being sold at another plant shop in Seattle for twice at much!

  • Other names: Split-leaf Philodendron
  • Light: Low (Fluorescent light to bright, indirect, too much light will cause browning.)
  • Water: Low (likes to go dry so wait weeks)
  • Soil: Well-draining, cactus or succulent mix (part sand) – prefer DRY CONDITIONS!
  • Attributes: Tropical glossy green, deeply split leaves to create a beautiful accent for any decor. Easy to grow. It can take low humidity in the air, low soil moisture, as well as low light.
Philodendron Lickety Split

I have not done much in terms of care (besides watering and fertilizing) nor had no plans to propagate the Lickety Split yet. All I’ve done is just switching from its nursery pot which was really root-bound to a self-watering pot which was about 2 inches bigger. I also like to move and rotate the plant, so that its leaves are getting even sunlight as much as possible. For larger foliage plants like this, I like to wipe off the leaves with a damp cloth or paper towel and mist them often, all to help them get a clean, pest-free, and easy happy environment to live in.

Check out Nick Pileggi‘s video about his Aroids which belong to the Araceae family (notably Philodendrons, Monstearas, Syngoniums), possibly my most favorite type of plants up to date, here.

4. Sansevieria trifasciat

I got this snake plant for $40 from a plant shop, called Miroja. It is temporarily closed, but they’re reopening in the fall (said September 30, 2019, on Yelp). Mine is a combo of two types of snake plants, as you can see: one has yellow stripes lining the leaves (a variegated cultivar, 
Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’ and one with its dark green variegation (Feral Sansevieria trifasciata). Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong ID-ing these names as I am still new to this plant world.

  • Other names: Ceylon Bowstring Hemp, Devil’s Tongue, Snake Plant, Zeylanica Snake Plant, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, viper’s bowstring hemp, Saint George’s sword, tiger’s tail orchid, pike’s tail.
  • Light: Medium indirect, can tolerate low indirect light
  • Water: Low (likes to go dry so wait weeks)
  • Attributes: Extremely low maintenance. Does well in narrow spaces since they grow upright/vertically. Can withstand droughts. Known for their sharp architectural shape with long sword-shaped dense leaves, and have the added benefit of cleaning air indoors.

I’ve repotted it once adding more soil. Knowing its incredibly high drought tolerant character, I do tend to water it much less compared to the rest of my plants in my collection. As you can see, some leaves prefer to outgrow others in its shared pot, so my goal is to move out of this apartment by next year mainly is to give my plants more chance of light.

Snake plant

5. Platycerium Bifurcatum

Staghorn is the easiest name for me remember. I got this guy in a 4-inch pot for $7 sometimes last year at Plant Shop, the Capitol Hill location. As you can see, it has outgrown it’s 4 in pot size so much ever since.

Staghorn Ferns are Epiphytes, meaning they grow on other plants or trees naturally. Just like air plants, these absorb water and nutrients through their fronds/leaves. I’m especially excited to see how massive it will grow. Look at its crazy crawling fronds! So pretty!

  • Other names: Stagforn fern, Elkhorn fern due to its elongated, uniquely shaped forked fronds just like the antlers.
  • Light range: bright and indirect light. 
  • Water: Likes to stay moist, mist often to promote a humid environment.
  • Attributes: Pet-friendly, spear-like shaped leaves with wavy edges resembling deer antlers rather than feather or palm-like fronds. epiphytic fern, which means in the wild it typically grows on other things, like tree trunks or buildings. 
Staghorn Fern
Cubed white pot is from Miroja, similar from CB2, here

6. Hoya carnosa ‘Compacta’ 

Hoya is my current obsession, and trust me, it is a favorite species of many plant Youtubers. I’m influenced by Summer Rayne Oakes and her hoya video, here and here. Betsy Begonia’s hoya collection is pretty cute as well, here. As tempted as you could tell, I had to really reserve myself from getting more plants this year, especially hoyas since fall is quickly approaching.

Hoyas are known for their beautiful and fragrant blooms, called umbels, which can happen rarely for some species. The umbels which contain round clusters of flowers (about 20 small flowers) that extend on a short stalk from the tip of the main flower stalk called peduncle or spur. For many hoya enthusiasts, they enjoy hoyas for their foliage as well.

  • Other names: Hindu or Indian Rope plant, Krinkle Kurl, porcelain flower, and wax plant.
  • Light: Fluorescent to bright indirect
  • Water: low (soaking the dry soil in a small dish or saucer can be a useful way to ensure soil gets enough water, avoid watering the foliage)
  • Attributes: Cultivar of Hoya carnosa. Twisted, contorted, waxy leaves that emerge on cascading rope-like vines, making this Hoya perfect as a hanging plant. Produce beautiful clusters of star-shaped pink and white flowers as it matures. 
Hoya carnosa ‘Compacta’ 

Terracotta pot and disk are from Indoor Sunshoppe, a local shop in Ballard, Seattle.

7. Ficus Elastica 

My apartment used to have two of these rubber plants that were about 8 feet tall. Every single day when passing through, I couldn’t help but touch or stare at their beautiful leaves, low-key wishing they were mine. I found this baby on an Amazon shop for less than $20 as I remembered. It’s doing great and loving its self-watering pot as well. Just a few months ago, I found out the two big rubber trees were replaced by the two fig trees and it got me so sad. I’ve killed one fig before, so no way I’m getting a fig in my tiny apartment anytime soon.

  • Other names: Ficus Ruby, India rubber plant
  • Light: Low light to bright indirect
  • Water: regularly to keep it healthy (Leaves that turn yellow and fall off: overwater  However, it’s perfectly natural for older, lower leaves do this. )
  • Attributes: Tough, can reach staggering heights within a few years. Oval shaped leaves that are outlined with a strawberry-cream colored margin.
Ficus Elastica

Similar plant on Amazon, here, Etsy, here. My rubber plant might be a mix of two types, and one is the ‘Ruby’ since there’s some pink on its new leaves. I love this guy so much, again for its water-colored foliage. I know it’s a super slow-growing plant, so wish me luck in keeping its alive through the years.

8. Philodendron hederaceum Heartleaf 

I got a few cuttings from the plant downstairs at my apartment and tried to see if I could propagate it successfully. And as you could see, I did. Just like pothos, Philo is another easy plant to propagate and grow in any homes.

  • Other names: Sweetheart Plant.
  • Light: Medium indirect sunlight.
  • Water: medium, occasional misting since it likes humidity (Brown leaf tips are a symptom of dry air ) keep- soil lightly moist spring through fall. Allow surface to dry out between waterings in winter. Yellow leaves are caused by overwatering.
  • Attributes: Will thrive in a small pot for years with little care. Disease resistant. Drought tolerant

This guy is currently sitting in my wall-planter, and I just cannot wait to see how long and how fast it will trail. I simply love its heart leaf shapes and its evenly green foliage. Easy and non-fuss plant that requires minimum care, really!

9. Philodendron scandens ‘Variegata’

I picked up this gorgeous trailing plant from Swanson Nursery for $23 along with the String of Pearls, featured below. This type of philo is well-known as the easiest, fool-proof and highly tolerant, and best beginner’s plant, either this variegated version or the plain green heartleaf version above. Have you seen the ‘Lemon Lime’ one? They are so adorable!

  • Other names: Variegated Heartleaf Philodendron, Philodendron hederaceum Philo Brasil.
  • Light: Part Sun, Filtered Shade, Shade, Morning sun
  • Water: Medium
  • Attributes: Hardy, drought tolerant and a low maintenance air purifier houseplant which does not require to be fed or watered frequently and does exceedingly well in low light indoor conditions. Beautiful leaves with different shapes and shades, capable to clean several types of airborne pollutants.
Variegated Heartleaf Philodendron

Philodendron name derives from the two Greek words Philo + dendron, philo meaning in english is love tree. How cute! Mine has tips that are curling up assuming it’s been grown on the ground at the nursery before I got it. I’m not sure I need a pole for it to climb up, but it’s currently sitting on the wall-planter, hopefully it will trail down in a few months.

Green and yellow variegated heartleaf Philodendron in a hanging pot next to String of Pearls

10. Senecio Rowleyanus

This beautiful trailing String of Pearls or Beads is a succulent plant, and it is the most fragile and worrisome for me at my apartment. Hence, I only got a tiny $10 plant. Swanson Nursery has a lot of these smaller sizes, perhaps they know these will not survive in the gray and rainy Seattle winter?

  • Other names: String of Peals or String of Beads
  • Light: Bright indirect light, partial shade.
  • Water: Typical amount for a succulent, but too much the pearls will burst. Only water when soil is completely dry.
  • Attributes: Easy to care for and grow quickly. White flowers with colorful stamens bloom in spring.
String of Pearls

After my August road trip, I’ve discovered a few dead stems layering underneath of the ones on top of String of Pearl’s pot. There is a clear sign that these were over-watered or that water was sitting on top of the pearls after watering. I cleaned the dead ones and rearranged the stems a bit so that the other smaller roots would reach the soil soon. Now, I’m just praying the rest of them to survive. Regardless, I love and adore these baby peals so much! The String of Hearts is on my to-buy list next year, for sure!

11. Miscellaneous of cacti and succulent plants:

Left corner: Haworthia Zebra
Sand Aloe Vera
Pot is from West Elm.

MY 2019 PLANT COLLECTION:

My propagation station with 3 cute little test tubes.
Ikea watering can and brass plant Mister

HOW I CARE FOR MY PLANTS

How to determine which direction your window is facing: simply observe the sun direction or brag a compass when standing by your windows at your place. Sunrises in the east and sets in the west. So, see how the light moves throughout the day in relation to your windows.

Grow light: Winter is coming, so I’m planning to get an indoor grow light for my plant for sure very soon! https://www.guide-to-houseplants.com/indoor-grow-lights.html

Watering tips: During the growing season from March to October, water thoroughly and allow the surface of the soil to dry before watering again. In winter months, water thoroughly and allow the top half of soil in the pot to dry before watering again. Pour off any water that has accumulated in the saucer.

Fertilizer: Indoor houseplant fertilizers fall into two groups: water-soluble, liquid quick release, and granular, slow-release fertilizers. I have this water-soluble fertilizer that I dissolve with water before watering all of my plants. This liquid fertilizer is another addition that I’ve been trying out, and it’s been good so far besides its stinky smell and brown color.

My Soil Mix: 60% peat moss or regular Soil mix and coco coir, 40% worm casting and perlite.

SoilMix: The best soil for houseplants is a well-balanced mix of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite that dries some between watering but takes a long time to compact. I’ve recently discovered coco coir to add to my soil mixture, and I think it’s another great way to add texture and air to a normal soil mixture. Plus it’s natural (from coconut) and recyclable as well. Worm casting (worm’s poop) provides a great nutritional source for plant roots. Regular potting mix with sand mixed in works well for plants potted in containers, otherwise a cactus potting mix would work. The cactus potting mix already has sand and other ingredients to encourage drainage.

Tools: Some essentials include a garden shuffle, extra plastic and terracotta pots and disks for drainage. If you want to use a decorative container without drainage, use it as a cachepot — just slip your plain nursery pot into the cachepot. I like to cover the bottom of a cachepot with pebbles to keep the plant above the drainage water or dump the excess water asap to avoid ‘wet roots’ situation. Watering mister: Haws Brass Mister. Watering cans: Ikea BITTERGURKA and Gold stainless steel can with a long spout. I’m also attaching some of my planters below:

When to propagate: If the roots of your plants are growing out of the bottom of the pot, or water just drains quickly through, your plant may need to be repotted. Try to do this in spring, before your plants start to push new growth. I have this very cute test tube propagation station, here.

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I hope you’ve found this post helpful and that you’ve enjoyed scrolling through my plant collection. I will write up a list of all of my favorite plant shops in the Seattle area, so stay tuned for that as well! Have a fantastic start of September and productive day, everyone! Thanks again for being here!

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Photos taken and edited by yours truly. <3

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An Trieu

Currently based in Seattle, Style & Senses is my digital life and style journal of all things that inspire my senses and beyond. Hope you stay inspired, as always! - An Trieu.

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