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Bring a new houseplant home — what to choose and how to take care of your new baby!

Master gardener Ciscoe Morris shares a few favorite plants to add to your plant family. #newdaynw

SEATTLE — I can't imagine life without houseplants. Indoor plants enhance the overall appearance of our houses and studies show they boost moods, increase creativity, reduce stress, and eliminate air pollutants. How can anyone resist anything that does all of that for us. Indoor plants don't just look good — they can make us feel good, too.

The key to having beautiful, healthy houseplants is to put them where they want to be. A houseplant will tell you where they are happy. If they aren't doing well, try moving them. Once you find the right place for your plant, it won't take much work to keep them healthy and looking good.

Still some houseplants are easier to grow than others. The following is a list of some of my favorite, easy to grow houseplants with advice on how to keep them happy and looking great.

Easy to grow, yet beautiful houseplants:

Pilea peperomioides (Chinese money plant): Pilea peperomioides is a popular houseplant thanks to its attractive coin-shaped foliage and ease of care. This flowering perennial in the nettle family (Urticaceae) is native to southern China, growing naturally along the base of the Himalayan mountains. Provide your pilea peperomioides with bright light out of direct sun-light. Give semi-regular watering, and some light feeding in the spring and summer months and it will thrive. Plus, chinese money plants are easy to propagate, and a healthy plant will produce plenty of offshoots which you can separate to create more plants.

Maranta Leuconeura 'Lemon Lime' (lemon lime prayer plant): Maranta are called prayer plants because they fold up their leaves at night as if in prayer. Sometimes I even see them move out of the corner of my eye! They open their leaves in the morning to catch daylight, then fold them upwards in the evening to preserve water. Give your prayer plant bright light out of direct sunshine. Let the soil dry out between waterings but do not let it sit dry for long. Fertilize every other week with a soluble houseplant fertilizer in spring and summer and your plant should thrive.

Calathea lancifolia (rattlesnake plant): 
This member of the Marantaceae family is called rattlesnake plant for its striking patterns. Long and narrow, the leaves have ruffled edges that are unique to this Calathea species. They are bright green with alternating dark-green markings down each leaf. The underside of the leaves are purple. They also fold up at night just like prayer plants. Repot in spring, every year or two to give your plant more room and also to give it fresh potting medium. Use a pot only 2 inches larger than the old one. It's biggest problem is that the large leaves tend to be dust-catchers. Wipe them off occasionally so they'll get the sunlight they need for photosynthesis. Hold your hand under each leaf to support it, while wiping off dust with a soft, moist towel. Give your Calathia bright, indirect sunlight, but no direct sun. Keep the potting mix lightly moist; never allow it to dry out.

Scindapsus pictus (satin pothos): is one of the easiest houseplants to grow. Both are members of the Arum family. They are evergreen tropical vines. The heart-shaped leaves have silvery grey splotches, which makes them look almost shiny and adds to the visual appeal of the plant. Satin pothos is a low-maintenance houseplant. In addition to the routine care of watering and fertilizing, an extra step you can take to improve its appearance is snipping off any damaged or dead leaves and pruning when the vines are growing too long and becoming sparse. Cutting back the plant will encourage new leaf growth and make it fuller. Pruning is best done in the spring when the growing season starts. This plant does well in low light situations. Water only when the top two inches of the soil feel dry to the touch — poke your finger into the soil to check. Water slowly and deeply with room-temperature water until you see water seeping out of the drain holes. Misting scindapsus pictus to increase humidity is not recommended because the aerial roots also absorb moisture so it might result in overwatering. From March to the start of September, fertilize the satin pothos about once a month with a complete, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer.

Dracaena Malaika:
This colorful low maintenance plant features striking stripy green and cream leaves. It is a good choice for people who think they have a brown thumb. It does great in low light situations. Water only when you notice the leaves droop. Fertilize with half-strength soluble fertilizer one per month in summer. They enjoy a good soak, but need to dry out mostly between watering.

Begonia rex hybrid ('artic twist'): These plants are easy to grow. When watering, give them a good soak, but allow the soil surface to just dry out between watering. Rex begonias prefer moist but not soggy soil so make sure the soil and pot are well draining. They like warmer temperatures and should not be subjected to under 60 degrees. Although rex begonias like humidity, they do not like being misted. Because of their textured surface, molds and mildew can form if the plant leaves are overly wet. Begonias prefer bright, indirect sunlight. Feed once a month during the growing season with half-strength liquid fertilizer.

Oreocereus celsianus (old man of the Andes):
Oreocereus celsianus, or the "old man of the Andes" is a columnar, cactus growing in clumps that, in the wild, may reach and exceed 3 feet in height. It is difficult to see the shape of the ribbed stem, as it is thickly clothed with silky white hairs. It's one of the easiest of cactus to grow. Plant it in cactus soil. Give it as much sun as possible and water only sparingly in summer. Don't water at all in winter. Fertilize once or twice in spring and summer starting in April.

Segment Producer Suzie Wiley. Watch New Day Northwest at 11 a.m. weekdays on KING 5 and streaming live on KING5.com. Contact New Day.

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