We’ve all seen those deceptively gorgeous houseplants on social media. You know the ones everyone drools over—the glamorous fiddle leaf fig, gem-like string of pearls, elegant maidenhair fern, and cascading rosary vine. They all look amazing in photographs, but there’s a lot more to caring for these plants than meets the eye. If you’ve fallen victim to Instagram plant envy, learn these tricks of the trade and keep your plants alive longer.
Rosary Vine (Ceropegia woodii)
The rosary vine, or chain of hearts, is an elegant addition to any plant collection. Its strands cascade nicely, making this plant a stellar match for hanging pots. Rosary vines have super durable stems that produce delicate leaves in the shape of hearts. But a chain of hearts will give you problems if you don’t give it enough light, or if you over water it.
Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum)
Maidenhair ferns are found in places that are damp, but not always hot and tropical. They were popular during the Victorian age, when terrariums were all the rage. Without the proper attention, maidenhair ferns will crisp up on you. Ferns are non-toxic to dogs and cats, with some exceptions.
String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)
There’s a lot of different advice on how to care for these delicate succulents. The string of pearls is a beautiful plant that, when mature, drapes over the edge of the pot, making it a perfect specimen for a hanging pot. Sometimes plant shops and nurseries market them as “easy to grow,” but if you get a young plant you might have a harder time. Young plants have very shallow root systems, which can be problematic when watering and repotting.
Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus Lyrata)
The trendiest, most sought-after houseplants in recent memory. Once these babies started popping up in design magazines, people went wild for this variety of ficus. But many a fiddle leaf fig has perished over the last couple of years due to incorrect care. It’s native to Western Africa, where it grows in the rainforest. It has beautiful, heavy leaves and can grow quite tall and thrives in the right conditions.