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Some houseplants thrive when planted together—here are some winning combos

People and animals tend to do better with company, but did you know that the same is also true of plants? Some plants share well with others, and some even thrive in specific pairings! If you want to find out what the best plant combinations are, and how to find the best pot-mate for your plant, you’ve come to the right place.

Peace lilies and pothos

Peace lilies and pothos both enjoy consistent watering and nice, indirect light. Peace lilies can get quite tall and require occasional repotting. Pothos, meanwhile, is a vining plant, and it can get pretty long. Caring for a pothos plant is relatively easy as it is, quite frankly, difficult to kill, making it an excellent plant for combinations in general.

Several peace lily plants growing outside

There are different varieties of pothos with different leaf patterns, so it’s easy to find one that fits your general aesthetic. Peace lilies have very distinctive white flowers, which fit well in any room. An added benefit of peace lilies is that they help with allergies.

If you’re feeling adventurous, or at least want to look like you are, you can even add a third or fourth plant to this combination provided you have the room! There are a lot of compatible plants, including peacock plants, calathea, episcia, arrowhead, and spider plants.

Fig ivy and caladium

These are both foliage plants, but don’t think that means they’re boring! These plants both come in a stunning array of colors and patterns. They enjoy a lot of indirect light and consistently moist, but not soggy, soil. Both of these plants can grow quite big, depending on the variety, but also have smaller, more reasonable sizes available.

Close up of caladium leaves that are mostly red with a little bit of white and green edges

Fig ivy is a vining plant, and it’s great for hanging baskets. It can also be trained into a frame, giving your planter a living sculpture sort of feel. Caladium, on the other hand, grows large, heart-shaped leaves. This combination can make for a very interesting visual. You could even create a lovely, low-hanging basket for them!

What does it mean for plants to be compatible?

There are a couple ways for plants to be compatible. First of all, plants are compatible if they have the same needs. For example, two plants that both need shade, mild temperatures, lots of water, and stay fairly small are compatible and can be easily grown together.

Plants are also compatible if they provide for each other’s needs. If one plant needs a lot of nitrogen, and the other is a nitrogen fixer — taking nitrogen from the air and putting it into the soil — then those plants are compatible. Likewise, if one plant is tall, with big leaves and a need for sun, but the other plant is smaller and likes shade, the first plant can provide shade for the second plant.

A large stone planter with several brightly colored spring flowers, mostly red, blue, and purple.
Ken Schulze/Shutterstock

Scientists have discovered that plants can and do communicate with each other, albeit differently than people or animals do. Plants communicate through chemical signals sent through the air and soil. In the wild, most plants grow with other plants. If nothing else, having compatible plants means giving your plant a conversation partner!

How can I find a good match for my plants?

A good place to start is by researching your plant’s particular needs and looking for plants with similar preferences. You might look for plants that are native to the same regions as your plant, and see if there are plants that would be a good fit for your home, as well. You can also look to see if there are common combinations involving your plant.

Keep in mind that you may have to repot your existing plant in order to replant it with its new friend. Repotting can be a stressful time for plants, so be sure to be gentle on its roots. Make sure that your new pot is big enough for both plants, too! As any college student can tell you, there’s nothing quite like being forced to share a space that’s too small!

Some pairings you might consider, beyond those in this post, include:

  • monstera deliciosa and philodendron
  • snake plants and ZZ plants
  • sansevieria and and green hoya
  • ferns and prayer plants

Whether you’re looking for a new companion for a plant you already own or considering starting a combination planter from scratch, now you know the basics! Start with thinking about your own requirements, your home’s environment, and go from there. You can’t go wrong with pothos and peace lilies, or caladium and fig ivy, but there are plenty of other plants to mix and match!

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