Turns out, the fiddle-leaf fig tree is incredibly finicky, and keeping it alive requires an alchemical combination of good natural light and regular watering (whoops). My apartment didn’t have the former and—well, the latter wasn’t happening.
But then I discovered the glory and wonder of the monstera. A member of the same family as the philodendron (Araceae), the monstera—also known as the Swiss Cheese plant—is hardy, leafy, and has a wild beauty that says “I’m fun-loving and bohemian” with a leafy greenness that says “I’m responsible,” even if, in reality, you’ve gone a couple of weeks without watering it. Trust us: Give it a cup or two of water and it’ll perk right back up. And, clippings of the leaves last about two weeks on their own, in water.
If you pay attention to #trends on the ’net, you’ve likely seen a monstera or two. They’ve caught fire on Instagram and become a hit with the pinners of Pinterest. We chalk it up to their low-maintenance nature: Put them in or near a window and water them about once every seven days and they’ll reward you with their good looks and general vivacity.
You can pick up a monstera at your local gardening store or at plant shops online, including the picks below in various sizes.