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The Best Plants to Grow Indoors

By Edited Feb 25, 2014 0 0

Having indoor plants is great, they look fantastic, brighten our space and in top of it all they help to purify the air in our homes, but not all plants are well suited for the life indoors. The conditions that exist inside our houses are not ideal for all our green friends, fortunately there are some that can adapt to this life.

Choosing a plant for your indoor space might be a little difficult depending on what you want to accomplish, maybe you just want a decorative plant with beautiful flowers or maybe the reason you want it is because you heard that there are some plants that help to purify the air. Well because there are a wide variety of reasons why you would want to have more green (or a little bit of color) inside your home or office, I have put together two lists with 5 different plants each, the first one contain blooming plants while the second one contain plants with no flowers.

Top 5 blooming plants

African violets

This beautiful flower is one of the most common house plants, and the reason is easy to see, the flowers are beautiful plus it is well suited for the indoor life. It is a compact plant with dark green leaves. The most common colors are pink, fuchsia, white and of course the traditional blue-violet variety.

Light: Light is one of the most important factors to have a healthy african violet, in fact, one of the most common problems is the lack of sufficient light. The lack of light will provoke the violet to stop flowering and its leaves will change color, turning into a not desirable yellow. If the violet receives too much light, it can be also harmful, producing brown spots in the leaves. You should be able to provide plenty of indirect sunlight, such as the light from a north or east facing window.

Water: Water is obviously of vital importance for plants. The soil for the african violets should be kept dry but never soggy, if the soil is allowed to get soggy, then the plant will be susceptible to fungi and other diseases. On the other hand, if the soil is allowed to get dry for prolonged periods of time the leaves will start to brown, it will stop flowering and the growth will be slow.

Temperature: One of the reasons that the african violets are so well suited for the life indoors is because the temperature they need to thrive is around 70F which is a comfortable temperature for humans to. In general you shouldn't allow the temperature to decrease lower than 60F nor allow it to rise more than 80F, although there are some varieties that need some temperature variations. If the temperature is too warm you will notice that the leaves will look shriveled and the flowers will drop cold off the plant. While warm temperatures might be harmful, cold temperatures are far worst, when the effects are mild the violets will stop flowering and the growth will be slow. On the worst cases, your plant will rapidly begin to wilt.

African voilet

Soil and drainage: Soil for african violets should provide good drainage to avoid water on the surface to decay and damage the plant, also a good balances Ph. A good mix for this flowers is 2 parts loam, 1 part peat moss and 1 part sand or perlite. You can also find soil already prepared for violets in the store, this is a great option since it is already prepared with the correct Ph and drainage for the violets.

Peace Lily

This is a very popular house plant and with just reason, it is easy to grow and to care for, also it was recognized as one of the best plants to purify the air of toxic gases such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. This beautiful plant have oval pointy leaves and beautiful and elegant white flowers. They come from the rain forests of Central and South America.

Light: Peace lilies prefer more shady locations, indirect sunlight is perfect for them, place them away from south facing windows, around 5-10 feet or a little closer of north facing windows. If you see that your plant displays brown or yellow leaves or streaks, it might mean that it is getting to much sunlight, try moving it to a shadier location and see if that fixes the problem.

Peace lily

Water: One of the things that make the peace lilies so easy to care for is that the usually tell you when they need water, if you can see the signs. Generally when you notice that the plant starts to sag a little it is time to water. If observe the behavior of your lily then you can water it one day before it generally starts to sag. Water them once a week and mist them during the warmer months to provide them with enough water.

Temperature: Peace lilies like temperatures between 65F and 80F which is one of the reasons they make such a good indoor plant. One thing to keep in mind is that cold temperatures can be very harmful for them. Keep them away from cold air drafts and screen doors to prevent any damage due to cold air.

Soil and drainage: Peace lilieas are susceptible to root rot, that is why it is important to supply them with a pot mix that drains well such as a mix of perlite or sand with composted bark. Also is important to choose a pot that allows excess water to run out of it to prevent fungi and other diseases.

Crown of Thorns

 The crown of thorns is a succulent plant, this means it stores water in its stems. The main reason this plant is sought out for an indoor plant is because it is capable of blooming almost all year, provided that it has enough light and care. Its flowers can last an entire week and generally you can find them in pink, red, white and yellow. One thing that is important to mention about the crown of thorns is that the milky sap is toxic so the use of gloves, is strongly recommended when handling this plant.

Light: This plant is used to bright spaces so it is better to put it in a window where it can get plenty of bright light. If you want your crown of thorns to be blooming all the time then you have to put attention to how much light it is getting, if you give it a lot of natural light youcan be sure to have a blooming crown of thorns all year round.

Crown of Thorns

Water: This is a semi - desertic plant, it means that it doesn't like to be watered too much or too often. As a general rule allow the top 1 inch to dry before considering to water it again. If you start noticing curly or yellowish leaves, it probably means it is time to water it again.

Temperature: The crown of thorns like room temperatures between 60 – 75F during almost all year, but if you provide slightly cooler temperatures during winter, around 55F, this will promote even more flowering during the spring and summer.

Soil and drainage: As a desertic plant it will prefer sandy soil that is very well drained and does not retain as much water, also a pot that provides a good drainage is important. You can buy potting soil prepared for cactus from any gardening store.

Hibiscus

 The hibiscus is a tropical plant that is well suited for the indoor life. They bloom during a long season and the beautiful flowers come in a wide range of colors and most spectacular is the actual size of the flower, reaching up to 6 inches.

Light: Being from tropical region, it is necessary to place your hibiscus plant in a place where it can get a lot of bright or direct sunlight. A south facing window that let the sun come in is probably the best place for a hibiscus to thrive. If the shrub is not getting enough light you will not get as much blooms and your plant will look leggy.

Hibiscus
Water: Hibiscus most be watered thoroughly but not too much, allow the first inch of soil to drain between waterings to prevent soggy soil and fungi. If you live in a very dry place is better to mist the foliage to prevent excessive water loss from the leaves.

Temperature: The ideal range of temperature for the hibiscus is between 65- 85F during the growing season, this will help the shrub to flower in full. During winter it likes temperatures of around 60F. If the temperatures are too low all growth and flowering will stop.

Soil and drainage: Hibiscus like well drained and loamy soil, a regular potting mix with some leaf compost added to it is the perfect choice for this plant. Remember to choose a pot that has holes on the bottom to allow the water to flow outside and not get trapped inside the pot to prevent infections a root rot.

Anthurium

 The anthurium is a very ornamental and beautiful plant that will add color to your home. It has dark shiny foliage but probably what is the most striking characteristic is the glossy “plastic” appereance of its flowers that vary in color from red to pink to white. Most of the time it is associated with Hawaii but interestingly enough this plant is actually from the tropical rain forest of South America.

Light: This plant need all the indirect light you can provide. Try to avoid direct sunlight since it will damage the foliage and the flowers. It is better placed in a south facing window. With low light levels blooming will slow down or it might even stop completely. If you see this happening try moving it closer to the window.

Anthurium
Water: When growing indoors, this plant need to be watered regularly, trying to let the soil dry a little between waterings. An important part is to mist the foliage once a week since this plant like high levels of humidity and in general our homes have a dryer atmosphere.

Temperature: This plant likes the warmer temperatures, thriving in day temperatures of 80 or 90F while preferring a slight decline in temperatures during the night of around 70F. Warmer temperatures might result in shorter life of flowers or faded color. If your Anthurium starts having yellow leaves or slow growth, it might be a sign that it needs warmer temperatures.

Soil and Drainage: Anthurium prefer well drained soil with organic content. A good soil mix might be one part peat moss, one part pine bark and one part perlite. To help the soil to drain better you might choose to put a bed of rocks below the soil, this will help the water to move out of the pot faster.

Top 5 non-flower indoor plants

Aloe

 Aloe, specially the aloe vera variety is one of the most popular plants to grow indoors, and one easiest to. Almost everyone know the medicinal properties of this plant so this gives you one more reason to want to have this beautiful plant in your home.

Light: It is true that the aloe needs a lot of light but actually, direct light might be harmful and the leaves might start to brown as a result. Bright sun light, as one from a south facing window is better for this plant since it still bright enough but not so much as to damage it.

Aloe
Water: Aloe is a plant that is doesn't need constant watering to thrive, actually is better if you water it only once every 2 weeks, letting the soil dry between waterings, this way you will avoid the danger of overwatering.

Temperature: This plant comes from a hot dry environment, so is to be expected that it likes warm temperatures. When exposed to cold your Aloe might suffer, so be careful to place it away from cold drafts in winter and keep it as warm as possible

Soil and drainage: Your Aloe will live happy if you provide it with a soil that is coarse and sandy that provides good drainage to prevent danger of root rot. Your plant should be ok if you buy any soil mixture prepared for cactus.

Rubber Tree

 The rubber tree is popular as an indoor plant, but you have to take in account that even when planted in a pot, this tree can grow up to 5 or six feet, so you have to choose a place where to put it that has enough space. This tree is beautiful with big oval leaves and non edible fruits in form of a fig.

Light: Rubber trees need bright light, it is recommended to place them near a window facing south where they can get enough bright light but not too much direct sunlight. If the tree receives too much heat from direct sunlight, it might get burns in the leaves.

Rubber tree
Water: When it comes to watering rubber trees a general rule of thumb can be followed, you should let the first inch of soil to get dry before watering. If you water your tree once a week is probably ok but be careful to check the condition of the soil to prevent over watering. If water your tree to much the roots might start to rot and the tree will eventually die.

Temperature: One of the reasons why this tree lives so well indoors is because it likes pretty much the same temperatures humans like. If you keep the temperature of the room where you have this tree between 65 and 80F then you rubber tree will live happy and give a lot of years of it's beauty.

Soil and drainage: Fortunately the needs of this tree regarding soil and drainage are easily met, if you buy normal potting soil and add a little bit of sand to improve drainage you will be in the correct spot for this beautiful tree.

Philodendron

 This heart shaped vine is actually one of the plants that actually can grow better indoors than outdoors, one of the reasons for that is that they love shade plus they are very adaptable to the conditions inside houses. It is very easy to take care of this plant and it is one of the most preferred indoors plant because of this reason.

Light: As I said before, this plant loves shady spots so its requirements for light are very easily met inside any home. Put it in a spot that receives low light and it will grow happy and confortable. If you have doubts just take a close look to your philodendron, if you think it has leaves that are too small, then it probably needs more light, on the other side, if it has burnt leaves, then it means it needs less light.

philodendron
Water: This vine likes to have the soil wet so don't let it dry between waterings. Take a close look to the leaves of your philodendron, if they start to become yellow, it means that you are watering too much, in which case you should space a little more between waterings. If you see that the leaves start to change to brown, then it means that you are not watering your plant enough.

Temperature: Your philodendron will do best at temperatures between 60 and 80F, but actually it can live pretty well in a wide range of temperatures. Be sure not to expose it to very cold air since it may affect it pretty badly. If you have it in a space with warmer temperatures just be sure to keep the soil moist and it should be fine.

Soil and drainge: Philodendrons will do very well if you provide them with a light potting soil as lon as you add some organic matter, they need this to get the nutrients that make them healthy. Be sure that the soil you provide has good drainage to prevent root rot.

Spider Plant

 This is a great, low maintenance, plant that adapts very well to the indoor life. This is a perfect plant for beginners and it simply looks awesome hanging from a pot or just sitting there. It has long leaves that might have a white stripe or could be completely green.

Light: Spider plants can do well in indirect light, place them preferably in a east facing window. If you notice that the plant is not growing at a normal pace then it probably means that it needs a little bit more light

spider plant
Water: There is not too much to say about water, you should let the soil dry between watering and increase the time in the colder months. As I said before this is a low maintenance plant so you shouldn't get too much trouble.

Temperature: Keep the temperature around your spider plant between 60 and 80F and you should not have any trouble with it. This is a very low maintenance plant and it will take changes in temperature without too much trouble.

Soil and drainage: Regular potting soil will do great with this plant. Be sure to put it in a pot that has good drainage, this way your plant will live happy for many years.

Jade plant

 The jade plant is a very beautiful plant that is considered by many to be a symbol of good luck. It is a low maintenance plant that can adapt well to the conditions indoors. They produce fleshy leaves and the only special attention they need is occasional pruning since the tend to grow and tip the pot over.

Light: The jade plant prefer bright light to grow but can withstand pretty well some indirect light. Place your jade near a south facing window or an east or west facing window. If you notice the stems becoming thin, it is probably because it is not getting enough light.

jade plant
Water: Your jade will not require a lot of water, if you let the soil dry almost completely between watering it should be ok. If you are worried that your jade plant is not getting enough water, take a look to the leaves and if they look wrinkled then you should water a little more often.

Temperature: The perfect temperature for your jade is in the range of 65 to 75F. They do like a small decline in temperature during the night to about 50 to 55F, but don't get too worried about it, if you provide enough light and water it should be ok in more stable temperatures.

Soil and drainage: You can give your jade a cactus soil mix with some added organic matter. Be sure that it gives good drainage to prevent root rot. Also check that the pot for your jade plant allows good drainage.

Growing plants indoors is really fun and easy and I hope this lists have helped you choose the right one for you. Remember that if you give proper care to your plant it will give you many years of beauty and satisfaction.

Comment and share to us what are your favorite plants to grow indoor and what is it that you most like about sharing your home with them.

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