The ideal way to understand your plant's needs is to do a bit of research on where the plant originates from and the conditions it will need to thrive. A lot of the favourite plants at the moment come from tropical areas of high rainfall, e.g. Monstera, Philodendron, Peperomia, Spathiphyllum and Devil's Ivy to name a few.
Most plants are incredibly tolerant and forgiving of our inept treatment of them. Find out what the plant needs and it's easy after that.
Obviously we can't create glasshouse/rainforest conditions in our apartments and houses, but we can try to provide the closest thing.
LIGHT: A high proportion of the plants grown inside are understorey plants. This means that the light that reaches them is filtered through the canopy of taller plants so they receive a gentle dappled light. This is why the varieties mentioned above and many others are so suitable for using inside. The light provided is similar to what they would have in their own environment.
Just a quick mention regarding windows. East is great, north excellent as long as care is taken in summer that the heat is not too much, West is best kept for more heat tolerant plants like Draceana spp, succulents and cacti. I use the rule if it's too hot for your skin to be pushed up against a window on a 40 degree day then it's way too hot for your plant. Same goes for cold window surfaces. If it's too cold for your hand to be comfortably left against the glass on a freezing winter day/night, then it's way too cold for that delicate maidenhair fern to tolerate. Keep plant material off glass window panes.
WATERING INDOORS: Smaller plants can be carried to the kitchen, laundry, bathroom for a thorough watering, left to drain and returned to their spot. Larger plants pose a more difficult problem in how to water thoroughly (so the water comes through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot) without flooding the polished floor or carpet. Plants need to have water reach the bottom of the pot which is where the bulk of the roots are but they then can't sit in a saucer full of water without it adversely affecting their overall health. I have a really tall Rhapis palm in my house and the way I manage the watering is to use an oversized saucer with the pot elevated on pot feet. When I water I watch the bottom of the pot for the water coming out and stop at that point. You can use largish stones in the saucer and this also helps to create a humid environment which they will love.
Below is a list of tolerant indoor plants we usually have in stock all year round.
Howea forsteriana (Kentia Palm), Chamaedorea varieties (Parlour Palm, Bamboo Palm), Ficus elastica (Rubber Tree), Monstera deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant/Fruit Salad Plant), Philodendron varieties, Aechmea fasciata (Bromeliad/Vase Plant), Aspidistra (Cast Iron Plant), Maidenhair and Nephrolepis varieties of ferns, Sansevieria varieties (Snake Plant), Schefflera amate (Umbrella Tree), Hoya carnosa, Devil's Ivy, Sedum varieties, Ceropegia varieties, Cymbidium orchids, Euphorbias, many cacti and succulents (e.g. Gasteria and Haworthia).
Medium warmth required
Pilea varieties, Oncidium orchids, Phalaenopsis orchids, Ficus lyrata, Ficus benjamina, Zamioculcas (Zanzibar Gem), Dieffenbachia varieties, Aglaonema varieties, Peperomia varieties, Fittonia varieties, Philodendron cordatum, and some Hoya species.
*Refer to our Watering Pots care sheet to understand the process that enables contained plants to be adequately watered.