Whether you realize it or not, there's a winning formula for designing a perfectly balanced living room. You need a couch, a coffee table styled with designer books and a gorgeous candle, no doubt, a couple of accent chairs, a TV for bingeing your favorite series, and a cozy throw blanket to keep you warm and make your couch look extra inviting. Add a rug and some frames on the wall, and you have a space worthy of its own Instagram appreciation post, right? Well, almost.
If there's one thing missing from your carefully curated space, it's a touch of greenery. As you know, it's a jungle out there, and when you're caught between a fiddle-leaf fig and bird's nest fern, it can be difficult to decide which plant works best for your living room.
To make things a bit easier, we tapped an expert for the rundown on houseplants that work best for your lifestyle and lighting situation. Scroll through for 15 varieties you might consider adding to your living room ASAP.
Meet the Expert
Renée Christensen is a Plant Stylist at Léon & George, a plant delivery service that offers a wide variety of indoor plants to your doorstep.
Best for Natural Light: Bird of Paradise
"With enormous, glossy leaves, the bird of paradise is a great plant for those looking to add a lush yet elegant feeling to their living room," Christensen explains. "Best for living rooms that have plenty of natural light, and in most environments, only require water once per week."
Best for the 'Gram: Fiddle-Leaf Fig
The fiddle-leaf fig is the "darling of the interior design world," and we agree. Often seen on Instagram, Christensen says, "this plant serves as the focal point in any room it's placed, living room included. The ultimate statement plant, its large violin-shaped leaves are some of the most popular in the houseplant world."
Keep your fiddle-leaf fig in indirect sunlight and water once every one to two weeks.
Best for Minimal Light: Snake Plant
"For living rooms with minimal natural light, we recommend the snake plant," Christensen tells us. "The snake plant can thrive with little to no light, and its attractive variegated leaves will brighten up any space." Water sparingly and watch your snake grow.
Best for Shelves: Cascading Pothos
If you have shelves hanging on your living room walls, Christensen says that the billowing leaves of the cascading pothos make it the perfect plant for you. "Lush and fast-growing, this plant is perfect for styling shelves with greenery," she says.
This plant does well in low, medium, and bright indirect light. For a healthy cascading pothos, water once per week or whenever the plant looks droopy.
Best for a Moody Vibe: Rubber Plant
"The rubber plant is a popular choice for those looking for a unique, moody plant for their living room," Christensen says, presumable for its dark-colored leaves. Ironically, it's best for bright, indirect light and only requires water once per week or when the soil feels dry.
Best for Humid Locations: Kentia Palm
"For large spaces, we recommend the kentia palm," Christensen says. "This large indoor palm does well with plenty of space, humidity, and medium to bright indirect light." Water once a week for healthy leaves.
Best for a Trendy Look: Monstera Deliciosa
The monstera deliciosa is a popular plant of the art-deco era but has found its way to many an Instagram-living room. The monstera is great for trendy, eclectic, or colorful living room spaces, and for a healthy plant, Christensen says to place it in bright indirect light and water it once per week.
Best for Compact Spaces: Dracaena Compacta
For tighter spaces, Christensen recommends the dracaena compacta, a whimsical plant that grows narrowly and vertically. Medium to bright indirect light is best, and it only requires water once per week.
Best for Coffee Tables: Calathea Medallion
"In lieu of a bouquet of flowers on the coffee table, we often suggest a colorful prayer plant like the calathea medallion," Christensen explains. "These plants bring a welcome pop of color to any living room décor and work best in medium to bright indirect light."
Water your calathea medallion one to two times per week or whenever the soil feels dry.
Best for Tree Types: Braided Money Tree
"Many of our customers love the idea of a real tree in their living room," Christensen says. This indoor-friendly braided money tree requires medium to bright indirect light and water once per week. Fun fact: the braided money tree is known for bringing good luck and prosperity to its home.
Best for a Pop of Color: Golden Petra
"The golden petra is the perfect colorful addition to living room shelves," Christensen says. "Its unique orange, red and yellow leaves make it one of our most popular plants." The popular plant requires plenty of bright light and water once per week.
Best for High Ceilings: Fishtail Palm
If you have a living room with high ceilings, consider the towering fishtail palm. Christensen confirms it can grow up to 8 ft tall indoors with bright light and water once per week or when the soil feels dry.
Best for Air Purifying: Dragon Tree
If you're looking for a stunner with additional benefits, the dragon tree has your name written all over it. Christensen tells us, "it's an excellent air-purifier and requires very little care."
Medium to bright indirect light works best and water once a week or when the soil feels dry.
Best for Any Lighting: Silver Evergreen
"For those looking for something lighter in color for their living room, we recommend the silver evergreen, a variegated low-light plant with sage and silver tones," Christensen says. The best part is it can thrive in any light and only requires water when the soil feels dry.
Best for New Plant Parents: Bird's Nest Fern
"The bird's nest fern is an adorable, easy-care fern that brings a feeling of lush forest surroundings to any living room it graces," Christensen says. Place it in medium to bright indirect light and water once a week or when the soil feels dry.