Feb 25, 2013

Ten Top House Plants

Did you know that indoor gardening is just as fun as having an outdoor garden?  Plants help clean the environment and serve as focal point, especially  when lit with up-lights, act decorative accessory when your planter or pot coordinates with your design, and fill empty voids and corners where adding a collectible is not appropriate.  Here are 10 hardy indoor house plants that anyone can keep alive and thriving. If you've got kids or pets, be aware that ingesting some of them is toxic. 

Pothos: This plant has an air-purifying quality that can absorb and strip toxins like formaldehyde from materials in the home like carpet.  It has trailing stems and works well in a hanging basket or as a climbing plant with some training onto a trellis or whatever object you like that will support it.   It's a easy care plant whose stems can trail eight feet or longer;  cut them back when they get too long and your plant will continue to look full and healthy. It thrives in an array of lighting conditions, but low light may diminish the leaves' variegation. Allow soil to dry somewhat between watering. 


Aloe:  An architectural plant in the succulent category, this can be a show stopper since it can grow three feet high. Its leaves have medicinal properties you probably have seen on product labels. Smaller varieties like the popular aloe vera, work well in small, sunny indoor spaces. Aloe likes room temperatures around 70 degrees and a lot of sunlight. As you might expect for a succulent, this indoor house plant prefers dry soil, so avoid frequent watering for the best result.

Spider Plant: These unusual-looking indoor plants add visual interest to a room, are as good as pothos in cleaning the air. Spider plants come in a number of varieties, and work well as hanging plants. Spider plants do well with evenly moist soil and bright or medium lighting conditions. Room temperatures of 60 to 75 degrees keep them thriving.


Jade plant: A jade plant offers thick, lush leaves and visually interesting branches. It grows slowly and can be trimmed to the ideal width as it grows.  It also looks great in a terrarium or other pot when paired with other succulent varieties. Jade plant does not require a lot of water, so keep soil somewhat dry. It prefers bright light and ordinary room temperatures.

Rubber Tree:
 This easy-to-grow indoor house plant will grow into an eight-foot-tall tree for a large display of greenery in a room. If you prefer a smaller plant, just make your rubber tree into a shrub shape by pruning any long stems. The dark green leaves have an attractive shine to them.
 Allow the surface of the rubber tree's soil to dry out in between watering. It thrives in lighting conditions from medium to bright, and a range of room temperatures between about 60 and 80.

Diffenbachia: The leaves of this pretty indoor plant can grow to a foot long, and provide a tropical-looking accent to home decor. The whole plant can grow six feet high for a cheery room focal point. It thrives in normal room temperature not colder than the mid-60s. Keep the soil evenly moist, and provide medium or low lighting conditions for the best result.

Snake Plant

Snake Plant: It doesn't get much easier than this indoor house plant - sometimes known as mother-in-law's tongue!Fabulous when you have modern decor and want a tall, thin plant.  It has variegated leaves that grow upright, and some varieties' leaves have yellow or white edges. It has small white flowers that bloom although rarely since it needs to be root bound.  This indoor plant grows well in a whole range of lighting conditions. The air should be somewhat dry, as should the soil. Any normal room temperature should suit it just fine.


Ficus: This indoor tree has shiny leaves to add cheer to any indoor space. Its stems can be braided for a tidy topiary effect.
It likes full sun, or at least bright filtered light. Most varieties prefer several days of dry soil in between thorough watering. Room temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees work best.


Pepperomia: A whole array of small indoor house plants with textured, shiny, often colorful leaves fit into this category. Some popular and attractive -- and easy-to-manage -- indoor varieties include watermelon, red-edge, and ripple peperomias. This plant favors indoor temps from about 60 to 75 degrees and medium or low lighting conditions. The surface of the soil should dry out between watering.

Areca Palm: This palm is a great inspiration if you're dreaming of tropical climates -- or just trying to conjure the look in your home decor. It can grow to about seven feet for a dramatic touch in a room, but a smaller pot will keep it contained if you'd like it to stay smaller. It likes bright light and, in warm weather, to be near a breeze.