Intermediate Care Plants that will Test your Green Thumbs


While there are many low-maintenance indoor plants perfect for beginners, some houseplants can be quite challenging to grow due to their specific care requirements, sensitivity to changes in their environment, or susceptibility to pests and diseases. If you are ready to take your gardening game to the next level, however, the rewards can be amazing. While these plants might take a little more care and consideration than your “beginner-friendly” species, we are sure they would be a source of pride in any plant enthusiasts’ collection.


Calatheas, also known as prayer plants, are known for their striking, patterned leaves. However, they are quite finicky when it comes to care. Calatheas need high humidity, well-draining soil, and consistent watering to prevent leaf curling and browning. They are also sensitive to temperature fluctuations and cold drafts.


Gardenias are popular for their fragrant, beautiful flowers. However, they can be challenging to grow indoors due to their specific care requirements. Gardenias need bright light, high humidity, consistently moist soil, and acidic soil conditions. They are also prone to pests like aphids and spider mites.

Fiddle Leaf Fig

The Fiddle Leaf Fig is a popular indoor tree with large, dramatic leaves. While it can make a stunning statement in your home, it can be challenging to care for. Fiddle Leaf Figs are sensitive to changes in light, temperature, and humidity. They need bright, indirect light, well-draining soil, and consistent watering to thrive. Overwatering or underwatering can lead to root rot and leaf drop.


Orchids are highly coveted for their stunning, exotic blooms, but they can be challenging to grow indoors. Orchids have specific care requirements, including bright, indirect light, high humidity, well-draining soil, and careful watering to prevent root rot. They also need a specific temperature range and regular fertilization to encourage blooming.

Boston Fern

Boston Ferns are popular indoor plants due to their lush, feathery fronds. However, they can be difficult to maintain because they require consistently high humidity, evenly moist soil, and bright, indirect light. Boston Ferns are sensitive to dry air and temperature fluctuations, making them challenging to grow in some indoor environments.


Crotons are known for their colorful, variegated foliage. However, they can be quite sensitive to changes in their environment. Crotons need bright light to maintain their vibrant colors, and they are sensitive to fluctuations in temperature, humidity, and watering. Inadequate light, cold drafts, or inconsistent care can cause leaf drop.

These plants may be more challenging to grow, but with careful attention to their specific needs and a bit of patience, they can be rewarding additions to your indoor garden. If you need a little help, PlantVine has partnered with the plant care app, Greg, to offer our customers a free month of plant care guidance.