Not only is Indoor Gardening the new millennial hobby of choice, but the perfect way to make your house feel like a home. Especially if you’ll never actually own one.

Starting an indoor jungle may seem like a daunting – and expensive – proposition, but it’s not as hard as you might think.

It turns out the biggest mistake aspiring green thumbs make is purchasing plants based purely on how they look. Not that we’d ever be that shallow.

Every plant looks good at the nursery, but once you get home it can be a different story. It’s important to do your research. Look at the plant’s natural habitat and weigh up whether you can recreate that at home. If you can’t, try another variety.

Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

Photo: Edward Urrutia.

What is it?

This was the Fiddle Leaf of the ’70s. Its fluffy finger-like branches can make for a handsome hanging centrepiece. Its leaf colour indicates when it needs watering. If the leaves seem brighter than usual, it needs a drink.

Care instructions

A thirsty plant that thrives in humid conditions, you’ll need to enlist a friend to do the watering if you’re going away. Or, you’ll come home to a crispy-looking version of the fern you left.

Difficulty: 4/5

Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria)

Photo: Edward Urrutia.

What is it?

This is an ideal entry-level houseplant. It’ll add some colour to your home, but also happens to be virtually impossible to kill, which makes it perfect for those born without green thumbs.

NASA recently did a study on common houseplants that could cleanse air in its space station, and it found the Mother-in- Law’s Tongue could remove toxins and carbon dioxide from the air.

What’s not to love?

Care instructions

This thrives in low-to-moderate light, making it a great choice for homes that don’t get a lot of sun. Only water it when the soil is dry. That’s pretty much it.

Difficulty: 1/5

Fiddle-Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata)

Photo: Edward Urrutia.

What is it?

This large, glossy-leafed species is Instagram’s favourite plant. Its leaves need regular dusting to ensure it doesn’t lose its sheen. Talk about high maintenance.

Care instructions

Burns in direct sunlight, so find a position with filtered light and water it only when the top inch of its soil is dry.

Difficulty: 4/5

Burbank Spineless (Opuntia ficus-indica)

Photo: Edward Urrutia.

What is it?

Forget what you saw on Pinterest – cacti aren’t suited to indoor conditions. Nevertheless, if you have a balcony or backyard that receives a lot of sunlight (and you’re hell-bent on owning one) the Burbank Spineless – which looks like it’s been pulled straight from a spaghetti western – makes a great entry-level option when kept in the right climate.

Care instructions

It won’t survive unless it has five solid hours of sunlight per day, so best not to invest if you live in a dungeon. Water sparingly – if it gets too much its roots will rot and possibly even break off. Not good.

Difficulty: 2/5

Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)

Photo: Edward Urrutia.

What is it?

The thing to know about this small sun-loving palm is that it has to be housed in the right pot. It has a bulbous base which can get so big, it splits the pot open.

Care instructions

Monitor its size and keep it in a spot that gets a lot of direct sun. Water sparingly, and make sure the soil dries out between watering.

Difficulty: 2/5