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Snake plant (l.) with Devil's Ivy

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Green House

Houseplants that will bring color and life to your home

A lot of thought is put into the details that go into making a house a home. From colors to textures and fabrics, you want it all to feel cohesive and have some flow. One element that can bring some of those pieces together is a houseplant.

Whether it’s a money plant, with its green vines and leaves reaching toward the sun, or a peace lily, which will reward a caring plant parent with reaching, white flowers to contrast against its dark, glossy leaves, plants can bring new colors and textures and literal life into your home. And they come with unique benefits, too. In addition to being pretty to look at, plants have been shown to improve the air quality in your home, and even NASA – yes, like the astronauts – has studied the air quality benefits of having plants in your home and the organization recommends having as many as 15-18 plants in an 1,800-square-foot home.

But don’t worry, you don’t have to start with a dozen plants. We talked with Cristina Kocsis, owner of Eucalyptus Houseplants and Home in Neptune City, to offer some favorite houseplants, tips on how to care for them, and even one that you might want to avoid.


"I want people to succeed," Kocsis said. "It's all about pairing the right plant with the right person."

One plant that she recommends for success is the snake plant. Despite its foreboding name, the snake plant is a specimen that not only brings color – some can include different shades of green while others have a bright, yellow border around the green center – but also verticality with its narrow but sturdy leaves that can get as high as 3-to-4 feet.

"As soon as I get them, they fly out of here," she said of the snake plant. "Those are great, easy plants. It's one of the plants that purifies the air. Surprisingly enough, it does more work (purifying) than any other plant."

But, Kocsis, cautions, "easy" doesn’t mean "foolproof." Which is why …


Yes, your potted plants need to be watered, some more than others. But their thirst is not always quenched with a splash into the soil. Take, for example, a Boston fern, which in addition to needing regular watering, thrives in humid spaces – like a bathroom – and also enjoys being misted.

Even if your houseplant doesn't require misting, it is still a good idea to give the plant a good washing from time to time. 

"I recommend to wash (your plants) in the sink once in a while," Kocsis says. "If you let a plant get dusty, it makes it more susceptible to pests, like spider mites."

In addition to giving your plants a nice rinse with water, homeowners can also dampen a paper towel and wipe down the leaves to remove dust or any other harmful debris. Kocsis also recommends using either neem oil or botanical oil to improve plant health and ward off insects and mildew from taking up residence in your plant.


One of the trendiest indoor plants over the last few years is the Fiddle-Leaf Fig. You have probably seen it in every home magazine you’ve thumbed through. With its woody stem and large, eye-catching leaves, it's no wonder it’s sought-after by many. But, be careful. The plant is notoriously difficult to care for.


Sometimes, your plant is going to outgrow its home. Knowing the signs of when it's time to move is important.

Maybe you're noticing roots coming up through the soil surface, or out through the drain holes at the bottom. Or maybe your plant just isn’t doing well in its current planter. These could all be tips that it’s time to re-pot.

When you decide it’s time to re-pot, it's important to only go up by one size. Don’t go from a 4-inch planter to an 8-inch planter; move up more gradually. If you have an exotic plant – like a hibiscus – and are a little intimidated by the process, Kocsis offers repotting services at Eucalyptus.

"It's recommended that if you can, to wait until the spring to re-pot because in the winter, we have less daylight hours, and the plants need more sunlight to adjust to a new planter," Kocsis said.

Eucalyptus Houseplants and Home is located at 116 3rd Ave. in Neptune City and you can find them on Instagram @eucalyptusnj

"I want people to succeed. It’s about pairing the plant with the right person."

  • Snake plant (l.) with Devil's Ivy
  • Having plants in your home can purify air quality.
  • An 1,800 square-foot home could have 15-18 plants.
  • Put plants that like humid environments in the bathroom.
  • In addition to purifying the air, plants bring texture to a room.
  • Know the signs for when to re-pot.
  • A snake plant (r.) does a lot of work purifying the air.
  • Peace Lily
  • Boston Ferns