Houseplants are usually tropical to subtropical plants adapted for use within the home. Growing houseplants in the home has as much to do with the gardener's skill as it does with finding the correct houseplant for the environment. Not all houseplants will live in all houses, and it is important to understand what the plants' requirements are. Some plants are easy to grow in the home and require little to no care, while others require masterful skill to keep alive.
Locate the area in the home you wish to place your houseplant and write down the environmental conditions, including the direction the windows face, humidity level and amount of light, recommends the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Inspect the houseplant label to determine the humidity requirements. Choose low humidity plants, which only require 25 to 30 percent humidity for most homes. Choose medium humidity (30 to 50 percent) or high humidity (50 percent or above) for homes with an attached greenhouse or homes in a high humidity region of the county.
Study the plant label to determine the light requirements. High light requirements require setting the plant directly in front of a sunlit window facing west or southwest with 8 to 12 hours of light. Medium lights require direct or filtered light 4 to 8 feet away from a window for 2 to 4 hours a day. Low light plants require very little light to thrive.
Select plants according to their moisture requirements. Choose "M" (Moist) labeled plants if you have plenty of time to water, because the soil needs consistent moisture. "I" (Intermediate) labeled plants need soil to dry between watering. "D" (Dry) labeled plants need soil to completely dry out and stay dry for periods before watering.
Inspect the plant for disease or insects before taking it home. Look at the foliage for any signs of discoloration, wilting or other signs of stress. Look for visible fungi in the soil.