Plants have always been an excellent way to brighten our houses and bring a little bit of nature into our homes, but not all of them are well suited for the life under our roofs, after all, our homes are designed for humans and not for plants. If you are interested in growing plants in your living room or even your own bedroom then you have choose one that can adapt to the conditions of light and temperature inside your house. Other thing you have to consider when choosing an indoor plant is the care that you are prepared to give it.
To select the right plant for your house you first need to understand what are it's needs and determine what conditions are you able to give. The three main conditions are light, water and temperature. A little bit less important are soil and drainage.
Before selecting a plant to share your home space with, you first have to consider the light conditions inside your house, it doesn't matter how well prepared it is to live in the indoor conditions, if you keep your house as dark as a cave it will never grow. There are some plants that need more or less light, and that is why I will tell you first the light levels that you should familiarize with before selecting the one that will live inside your home.
Bright light: If you live in the northern hemisphere then it is the light coming in from a window facing south, the light most be able to go into this window for most of the day, so if your window is facing south and there is almost nothing that blocks the light from outside like trees or buildings then this is the light level you have in there. If you live in the southern hemisphere then it is the light that comes from a northern window with the same conditions as above.
Indirect light: This light level is from windows facing east or the interior of a room with windows facing south or west.
Bright, indirect light: If you live in the northern hemisphere the is the light coming in from a window facing north and the light is able to come in through that window during most of the day. If you live in the south hemisphere then is a window facing south with the same conditions as above.
A plant cannot live without water, it is essential for it to carry its main functions. When watering any plant, but specially when they are indoors, its all about balance. If you forget to water indoor plants, since the don't have access to rain water or moist soil (the soil in the pot will dry a lot faster than the soil in your garden), the they will suffer. Overwater your plant and you will have problems since excess water besides it is not good for it (actually it is worst than underwatering!) it will promote the growth of fungi and other infections. A general rule of thumb would be to slightly underwater your plant and see how it reacts, then make adjustments from there.
Soil and Drainage
Earlier I said that this factors were not as important as first three, this is not actually the case, the truth is that they are as important as the others. The reason you need the correct soil is that if you don't have the correct Ph balance in your soil, all the nutrients that the plant need won't be available for it to use. There are plants that need a more acidic soil and others that need a less acidic soil. Soil also plays a part in the drainage the plant needs, if you buy a plant that needs a well drained soil but provide it with a soil that doesn't drain well you might end up with fungi in the roots of the plant and overwatering it very easily.
The reason I said that they were a bit less important is because for indoor plants it is very easy to provide them with good soil and drainage, actually is just a matter of buying the correct soil and pot (pots should have holes on the bottom to allow the water to get out) at the store and that is all there is.
To wrap it up
Having plants inside our house is great, they are decorative and help to purify the air inside our homes but one thing that is important to remember is that it doesn't matter the plant you select, our houses were never designed to accommodate to plants needs, only human needs, so it is important to provide them with the care they need to thrive and share the space with us. If you follow this guide I'm sure that you will have a beautiful plant that will live and look good for many years.
Please comment and tell us what are your favorite indoor plants and where are your favorite places to have them.