Is It Expensive To Own Houseplants?
First, let’s dig into some different aspects that can factor into the cost of a plant.
Some plants are very expensive to buy. It is important to understand that big, beautiful, mature plants are often more costly than young plants. Plant lovers who are willing to be patient and nurture their own plants to adulthood can often save money that way. In addition, there are plants that are simply very costly, and their popularity has caused the price to further skyrocket. Some enthusiasts sell cuttings of ultra rare hybrids for thousands of dollars.
Part of having indoor house plants includes having to repot them occasionally as well as finding pots or planters that will match nicely with your house decor. The good news is that there are pots and planters for every budget.
Another tip when searching for inexpensive new plants is to research the plant care. You want to choose plants that aren’t picky about the water they receive so you can water them with tap water. Also worth considering is how often the plant needs fertilizer because those costs can add up. Low-maintenance plants mean fewer expenses.
What type of natural light is in your home or apartment? This is important because if you don’t have a lot of natural sun, you should not choose high-light plants that will need expensive supplemental grow lights.
Most Affordable Indoor Plants To Buy
Young plants will always be more affordable than large, mature plants.
It is also worth noting that purchasing a plant from a discount retailer like WalMart or a home improvement store like Menards or Home Depot is less expensive than a plant from a plant nursery, greenhouse, or flower shop.
Sometimes you can locate inexpensive plants at rummage sales or online through personal sales like Facebook marketplace. You can even find cheap plants on Amazon; however, you do pay more for expedited shipping when purchasing plants online.
Regardless of where you shop, here are some of the most widely available, and thus most affordable, indoor plants.
Air plants are epiphytes. These novel plants are not grown in potting soil. Often, people choose to plant them in wall planters or sculpture planters to save on counter space. They are also very small plants which is another perk for those living in small spaces. You can find a 6-pack of air plants to start your collection for around $15.
Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe plants are super easy to grow and also handy to have around for their medicinal properties. A succulent characterized by the long, thick leaves containing the gel aloe, they can be found everywhere, from nurseries to grocery store floral departments. Baby aloe plants can be bought for around $5, while larger plants in decorative planters run $20 and up.
Cacti are cheap and easy to grow due to their unique ability to go long periods of time without being watered. Tiny neon varieties look stunning grouped together in a large shallow pot or terrarium, and you can pick these little guys up for a few bucks each in the garden center of your local home improvement store.
Pothos, Epipremnum aureum, or devil’s ivy, is a great starter plant. They prefer bright, indirect light and can handle a bit of neglect, making them fairly easy to grow. Like other tropical plants, they prefer some humidity, so they make great hanging basket plants in a bathroom or kitchen. Baby Pothos in 3-inch pots can be found for around $5, while a more established hanging plant runs $15-20.
Fiddle Leaf Fig
One of the trendiest “it” plants of the last decade, a decent sized fiddle leaf fig can easily be found in garden centers for around $20 these days. These plants can get quite large and can live for 25-50 years, so that’s a consideration before bringing one home.
Like many we have mentioned, this is a hearty plant that is easy to grow. They do like bright, indirect light but will also thrive under an LED grow light. An easy plant that only requires watering every couple of weeks, they are pretty plants that are said to being good luck a prosperity to a home. They’re widely available in garden centers, nurseries, and even grocery stores for as little as $10 for small plants.
Peace lilies have large, glossy green leaves and beautiful white flowers that can bloom multiple times a year if properly cared for. They’re a popular gift for funerals and usually available in grocery stores and indoor garden centers year round for around $20.
Tropical plants that do well in bright, sunny homes, the Philodendron can be a climbing or a non-climbing type. Characterized by large, heart or arrow-shaped leaves, they are a staple plant for many beginner plant owners. Depending on the variety and size, you can find a young plant for under $20.
Known by many names including mother-in-laws tongue and Sansevieria, snake plants are known for their air purifying quality. A plant that grows upward rather than out, they are excellent space savers. Most snake plants can be left alone for long periods since they only require monthly watering.
Small snake plants can be found in garden centers for around $8 each. They’re usually available in grocery store floral departments in decorative planters for $15-20. Since these plants prefer to be root bound, you can usually leave it in its original planter for a couple years to save even more money.
The spider plant is another easy to grow plant that looks beautiful in a hanging planter or basket, which makes them excellent for apartment or small space living. The long, thin leaves can be solid colored or variegated and they are very easy to propagate so you can grow your collection without spending a lot of money. A quart-size spider plant can usually be found in garden centers for under $15. More established plants in decorative planters and hanging baskets can go up to $50 or more.
There are many, many types of succulents. A succulent plant is one that stores water in its leaves and has adapted to survive on very little water. Whether you are looking to add some greenery to a low light apartment or a sunny kitchen window, these versatile little guys might fit the bill. Individual plants run around $5, while you can find a 20-pack of mixed varieties for around $30 at a big box garden center.
Also known as Zamioculcas zamiifolia, this plant is an easy care plant that prefers bright, indirect light but can do well in low light. A slow growing plant that is great for beginners, it has bright green, shiny leaves. You can find a small starter plant for around $15, but since these are slow-growers, expect larger, established plants to be quite pricey.
Monstera - While some varieties are rare and expensive, a basic Swiss cheese plant runs around $20-30 at a garden center.
Ficus - Mature ficus trees can cost hundreds of dollars, but you can sometimes find small ones for around $30. They can be finicky to get established, which is why many people buy established plants. But if you have a green thumb, growing one from a small plant is achievable.
Calathea - Also called prayer plants, these tropical beauties have striking variegated foliage, but can be tricky to grow. Baby plants can be found for around $20.
Chinese money plant - Also called pancake plant, UFO plant, this variety of Pilea has large flat green leaves and is considered easy to grow. You can get a small plant for under $15.
Orchids - Once considered a rare houseplant, Phalaenopsis (moth orchids) are not widely available everywhere—even your local grocery store for around $20. While the blooms will sometimes last for weeks, getting a grocery store orchid to rebloom can be tricky for beginners.
How To Get FREE Houseplants
If you are new to the world of houseplants you might not know that there are ways to get plants for free. Friends or relatives who are plant lovers can propagate you a new plant from their mature ones. In fact, some of the best indoor plants can be propagated from a simple leaf clipping and water.
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