The 5 Plants Your Airbnb Needs Right now THAT YOU WON'T KILL

airbnb plants easy plants eucalyptus house plants jade tree lavender plants snake plant succulents zz plant Apr 12, 2024
Furnishing Short term Rental airbnb decorating tips Interior design for airbnb Easy to care for plants Short term rental plants

the image above: Jenna Peffley

If you've been paying any attention to the design scene lately, you'll notice that plants are everywhere.

They literally bring life to a room and can make an otherwise flat design feel complete and photo ready. Plants will make your temporary rental stand apart from your hotel competitors because: HOTEL ROOMS DON'T HAVE PLANTS!

As you're designing your Airbnb, you may want to consider adding some green buddies to your space!

"But Valerie! I can barely keep plants alive in my own home! How am I going to keep them alive when I'm not even there every day to look after them?!" Don't panic fellow plant mom! Luckily for you, I've put together this easy guide for you to follow to make the process less stressful!

And if real plants are not for you, I also gathered up some of the best faux plant options on the market right now! 🪴

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For a beach property, this gorgeous grassy number is a MUST! I love how natural it looks in the space. (Read the whole blog about that beach condo HERE, and shop that faux grass plant HERE.) 

Okay, now...Want to know the scoop on the best real plants for a rental? Let's dive in. 🪴🪴🪴

Step 1: Which Plants to Buy

Obviously, I'll suggest plants that are hardy and hard to kill. It's important, however, to recognize two things. 

  1. It's okay to kill a plant, and then buy a new different kind of plant. Trial and error is a part of the plant journey. And next time, don't buy the same plant to put back in the same spot. Something wasn't working and it was likely not the plant's fault. It probably didn't like the amount of sunlight or water it was getting.
  2. When you're buying plants, try to go for similar types. Don't buy a couple of ferns that like to have their soil stay moist, along with succulents that like for their soil to dry out between waterings. Or maybe some simple ivy in a pot, which is very forgiving. The last thing you need is a complicated watering schedule. 


My list of fuss-free house plants...


1. Succulents

These plants come in a large variety of shapes and beautiful colors and also do great in any ultra-trendy terrarium. Check out this awesome blog for all the info you need and more about succulents: Succulents and Sunshine. 

Care: Generally, succulents need to be soaked, not sprayed, and then completely dried out before watering again. (I do this with mine sometimes. I've been lazy about it lately, and they've suffered. For a rental, this may be too much of a opt for faux ones if so!) 

Sun: 6 hours is best. East-facing windows are ideal as they won't scorch your plants but still provide plenty of light.

Common Mistake: The right type of soil is important to a happy, healthy succulent. Well-draining soil is the best so that plants can fully dry out between watering.

image above: Lifestyle Asia


2. ZZ Plant

Another great choice for beginners, this plant is oh-so-easy to care for. 

Care: The best part about this plant is you can forget it's there! Just like its buddy the cactus, this plant actually does well with little to no water for months. 

Sun: North, east or west-facing areas are best. This plant can handle almost anything but prefers to be out of harsh sunlight from the south sun. 

image above: Plantura Magazine


3. Split Leaf Philodendron

Bring some tropical flare to your space with a split-leaf philodendron. They don't like a compact area for the roots to grow so keep replanting into bigger pots once the roots are balled up and too close for comfort.

Care: Every 10 days is a good rule of thumb when it comes to watering. Fill the pot to the top and let it drain through the soil. Do this a few more times to make sure the soil is thoroughly moist.

Sun: Make sure to keep this houseplant about 3 feet from a south facing window with indirect light so it doesn't get scorched.

image above: Home Designing


4. Snake Plant

Fun fact about snake plants, they are a great way to cleanse the air of formaldehyde which is commonly found in household cleaners and other personal care products. They also release oxygen at night which is unusual for most plants. 

Care: This houseplant is perfect for the perpetual plant serial killer. You can go weeks without watering. There are several different species and they vary in height, leaf shape and color.

Sun: Indirect sunlight is best. 

 image above: Patch Plants


5. Jade Plant

Okay, Jades are actually also succulents too. So the same rules apply, but I LOVE these for an Airbnb. They are super easy to care for, and really thrive on neglect. 

Care: They like to be soaked, then completely dry out before watering again. Don't overwater! 

Sun: 6 hours is best. East-facing windows are ideal as they won't scorch your plants but still provide plenty of light.



Step 2: Easy Care Guide for your Airbnb House Plants

  • Water once per week in Spring and Summer.  I water all my plants every Sunday. This is the simplest rule of thumb. I know, sometimes your place might be booked on a Sunday, which is fine. Just keep a general rule of thumb, and be flexible when needed. Your plants will likely be fine if they skip watering. Just don't skip too many! 
  • Water every other week in Fall and Winter. In the Winter, you can neglect your plants a little more as they will go dormant (ie. stop actively growing). You can reduce watering to every other week, or even less than that depending on the humidity level in the home. It's not a bad idea to cluster plants together in the winter so that they raise the relative humidity of their little microcosm.

 🗝 What if you have guests that stay longer than a week and your plants need water?

Well, you could ask if you can send your property manager or house cleaner in to water the plants. Or go in yourself if that's you! But this might feel like a lot of trouble and may be invasive for your guests. If you follow my guide above for which plants to buy, and why you shouldn't freak out if they die, this shouldn't be a big stress. Your plants will likely survive a little less water for a while. 


When to go faux 

Although I've never been a huge cheerleader for fake plants, it's fair to say that the rules have changed in this category. As I prepare my own home to be a short-term rental while my family travels the world for a year, I've been slowly collecting some nice faux plants to fill the void, as I know I'll need to give my green buddies to friends while I'm away. 

Fake plants have improved over the years, and there is a time and a place to use a few well-chosen faux ones instead of real ones. (Or mixed in with some real!) 

I've rounded up what I think are the best-looking faux plants on the market right now to help you on your journey!


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image above: Ramsay Boutique

My two favorite types of fake plants are...

1. Air plants: Who can tell the difference anyway? Honestly, even when you touch them, it's hard to tell. I have a few of these in my house. Here is my absolute favorite from Target that I've used recently. (Most Vickerman faux plants are winners in my experience!) The quality is amazing! And here's another great one from Walmart.

2. Succulents: These also sometimes look fake even when they're real, so this is an easy choice.  


My favorite dried options

image above: Layered Lounge

 The following all make beautiful choices if you'd like a touch of greenery without any upkeep:

1. Lavender

2. Pussy Willow

3. Eucalyptus

4. Pampas grass

Etsy is a great resource for dried plants!  (Also, local farmers markets will usually have some local sellers with a nice supply.)

I really love what this seller has on offer from Etsy...

My Method For a Gorgeous Dried Eucalyptus Arrangement Every Time

above image: Quill Decor

Since moving to England, I've become an expert at drying eucalyptus. And let me tell you a secret. You can be an expert too because it's very easy. 

The only tricky part is finding large bunches of fresh eucalyptus. You may have to call a local florist if you don't have an open market in your town that supplies this.  I'm lucky enough to have this in Cambridge, and all I do after biking home with a really large semi-embarrassing amount of eucalyptus in my basket is arrange it in a vase and leave it.

That is it. I don't hang it upside down to dry, or add a little water to the vase. However it lands when it's fresh is how it will dry in the pot or vase, and this is what you want. 

Now, over time the color will fade and of course, it will become stiff. You may want to refresh it every so often, maybe once a quarter or every 6 months. It depends on how you like the look as it ages. I keep some in my living room on my large shelves all the time and usually forget about it until I happen to be at the market on a Saturday and my favorite guy, eucalyptus Steve, is there. 

above image: Quill Decor

Best of luck finding some green friends to add life to your space! Please tag me on Instagram and let me know how you do! 

Cheering you on all the way! 

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