10 of the Best Indoor Plants
Here are a few of the most beautiful indoor plants on the market today, plus some tips on keeping them alive.
Bird of Paradise
It has been prized as a garden plant in New Zealand’s warmer climate, but the bird of paradise (Stelitzia reginae) is also gaining popularity as a houseplant. For these tropical sun lovers to thrive and flower, they require a lot of sunshine (3-4 hours a day is the minimum requirement), although they may take a few years to bloom. A thin layer of mist leaves every couple of days to maintain the necessary humidity. During the winter, the growth of plants slows, so it’s important to water less frequently, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Feeding should also be done in a similar manner; during their active growing season, apply a liquid fertiliser every two weeks.
Repoting too often can stress the roots of bird of paradise, which do better with their roots constrained. As a result, they dislike to be disturbed and will stop flowering.
Snake plant, also known as Sansevieria trifasciata, is a tough, low-maintenance succulent with an upright form that looks good massed in a trough or large pot with a free-draining potting mix. The plants are slow-growing and prefer to be in the sun, though they can tolerate lower levels of light. It is okay to water moderately in the warm weather, but it is not advisable to overwater in the winter. There are a variety of cultivars, all of which exhibit marbling on the leaves.
Bamboo palms (Chamaedorea), rated highly by NASA for their air-purifying abilities, thrive well in low light but require a small amount of moisture. You may want to stand in wet pebbles if the room is hot and the mist is needed frequently. As well as being slightly moist during their growing season (spring and summer), they need a moist potting mix. Plants should be repotted only when their roots have filled all the space in their planter. If your plants are growing in dry conditions, watch out for red spider mites.
Known commonly as air plants (also epiphytes or bromeliads), tillandsias are among the largest genera of plants. The species currently seen suspended in glass globes or attached to walls in on-trend interiors are the medium-to-small types such as T. ionantha or T. cyanea. Although their silvery leaves and magnificent flowers are attractive, the biggest advantage of these plants is that they don’t require soil to grow; they get water and nutrients through the air they breathe. But because their roots won’t thrive in a dry environment, you’ll have to mist them regularly, or occasionally soak their roots in water. In most cases, bright, indirect light is best.
Top tip! Regularly cleaning indoor plants is necessary. If dust covers the leaves, some sunlight will not reach the plant, and its ability to photosynthesize will be lowered.
The ZZ plant, as their Latin name is Zamioculcas zamiifolia, is also commonly referred to as this African perennial. These plants are highly popular because they are able to tolerate neglect and still stay looking fabulous. They need very little water (every month is usually enough). Ideally, the leaves should be in bright to light shade since full sunlight can burn them. The plants grow slowly to moderately, reaching a height and spread of about one metre. During the spring, a dilute mix of liquid feed should be used. Toxic leaves should be kept away from children and pets.
What person doesn’t love the irresistible, deeply cut leaves of Monstera deliciosa, aka the Swiss cheese plant? Fabric designers, Pinterest users, and Instagram users are all big fans of these subtropical climbers, which can be grown indoors or outdoors in warmer regions of the country. Plants will climb the trunks of trees in the wild, so once they reach maturity they need an appropriate support. You may be forced to cut back a large number when they reach a certain height. Light filtered through a window is best, as are normal room temperatures. To keep your monstera alive in a very hot room, mist it and put wet pebbles underneath it. Leaf cleaning should be done regularly with a soft, damp cloth.
Madagascar Dragon Tree
A number of Dracaena species make excellent house plants, but Madagascar dragon trees (D. marginata) stand out for their tall, bare stems covered with clusters of arching leaves. It looks like they are excellent air purifiers, but they can endure low light, and they do not require much water (once a month is usually fine). Rooms that are too cold or too hot turn them off. When the heater is on, the room will be misted frequently throughout the summer. Remove the top of the plant and it will reseed where the cut was made. It is also possible to propagate plants from cuttings.
Adding the maidenhair fern’s (Adiantum) soft, delicate fronds can bring an exotic touch to any room, but it’s not a plant for beginners. Position them in a warm room with filtered light and provide them with regular moisture in the air as well as in the potting mix – bathrooms are ideal for this. Depending on the room, you might need to put them on pebbles in a tray of water. If you are forgetful when it comes to indoor gardening, you should consider getting a self-watering pot for your maidenhair fern.
Fiddle Leaf Fig
There are many members of the Ficus genus that are popular house plants, such as the rubber plant and weeping fig, but the fiddle leaf (F. lyrata) is the top choice for plant lovers. A single stem, with large, puckered leaves, this plant can grow up to 2-3 m in the right conditions, which include a large container, bright, filtered light, ample humidity (misting etc.) and keeps its distance from winds. If you want to make plants branch out and stay at the height you desire, cut off the top of the growing tip.
Top tip! When the leaves of your plant turn yellow or start to drop off, this might be due to overwatering.
Senecio rowleyanus (string-of-pearls) is a popular house plant that has pea-like tendrils that catch the attention of houseplant lovers everywhere, and for a good reason. It’s a cute, eye-catching, low-maintenance plant that doesn’t take up much space on a bookcase and takes up very little space. Moreover, it is easy to propagate new plants by taking a few stem pieces and poking them into well-drained potting soil or succulent mix. During the winter months, water sparingly, and fortnightly during the summer months. Position such that there is a bright light.