The Plant Penthouse: Favorite Houseplants

Even in the dead of winter, Lakeville native and powerhouse plant mama Shayla Owodunni is growing—she shares her Northeast Minneapolis condo with more than 80 houseplants, all beautifully styled to create a lush, tropical oasis in the middle of a frozen city. Shayla shares her passion for plants and interior styling in The Plant Penthouse, her lifestyle blog full of growing and design tips. Want to surround yourself with green all winter long? We asked Shayla to share her three must-have houseplants.

Shayla in condo with houseplants

Shayla Owodunni in her plant-filled condo.

“My top three houseplants also happen to be the first trio I successfully nurtured as a new plant parent. They each reign from tropical environments, so I'm here to tell you that you can curate your own vacation oasis during the winter months—no travel required. Without further ado, here are my favorite plant children, accompanied by a few quick tips to get you going!”

"How special is this sprawling split-leaf philodendron! When caring for a Monstera deliciosa, if you want to see those splits, make sure you are maximizing development potential by placing your plant in bright, indirect light (a location where they can sunbathe for 6 to 8 hours)!"

Bird of Paradise
"This majestic beauty instantly brings the tropics indoors. Because your Royal Highness likes to dry out in between watering, I do a weekly check to determine if she’s thirsty. If the soil is dry up to my knuckle (an inch deep), it’s time to water. Still moist? Then your plant is hydrated," says Shayla.

pothos one of the favorite houseplants

Pothos plant, photo courtesy of Dinish Valke, Creative Commons

"Who could say no to a pothos (or Epipremnum aureum if you’re feeling fancy)? They are easygoing in that they do not require any special soil, will not panic from pruning as needed and can tolerate low-light conditions (although variegated pothos do tend to show off more with bright, indirect light)," she says.


This article originally appeared in the January/February 2020 issue of Northern Gardener. Follow Shayla on Instagram for more gorgeous houseplant photos and ideas.

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