Indoor plants are both a functional and fashionable addition to any home. They add vitality to even the darkest rooms and can even purify the air. When it comes to choosing indoor plants, there are a few factors to consider: lighting, functionality, and decor.
Use this guide to find indoor plants for every room in the house.
Living rooms tend to have plenty of light and benefit from accent pieces that fill unused corners and flat surfaces. Here are some of the best living room plants.
The Bromeliad is a stunning tropical plant that’s related to pineapples. You can see the relation in the crown-style bloom that grows up and out. Bromeliads come in a variety of bright and beautiful colors, making it one of the most stunning indoor plants.
Unlike many other colorful blooms, the bromeliad is relatively low-maintenance. They require bright, indirect light to thrive in an indoor setting; set it on a side table by a window for best results. Bromeliads are prone to root rot, so it’s better to forget a watering than to overdo it. Soak the soil through, then remove and empty the tray. Allow the top two inches of soil to dry before watering again.
Pothos is a lovely vine-style plant that looks fantastic sitting on a bookshelf or side table. This easy-going plant thrives in moderate light conditions and prefers to dry out between waterings. The pothos has glossy heart-shaped leaves and prefers consistent temperatures, so keep it away from vents.
The snake plant— AKA mother-in-law’s tongue or sansevieria— is unlike any other house plant as it grows upright in a serpentine fashion. NASA’s world-renowned clean air study identified the snake plant as a functional air purifier, removing particles of formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene, xylene, and toluene from the air.
Snake plants look fantastic in a large floor planter or a smaller tabletop pot.
There are various breeds of dracaenas, all of which make a beautiful indoor plant. These plants work well in floor pots in brightly lit corners and grow to the ceiling with the right care.
Some of the best breeds of dracaena for indoor growth include:
- Dracaena marginata
- Dracaena fragrans
- Dracaena draco
- Dracaena massangeana
Dracaenas prefer bright light and infrequent watering. These are some of the best plants if your green thumb is lacking.
The rubber tree plant, AKA the ficus, grow to the space that you allow— like the plant version of a goldfish. Depending on which type of pot you use, you can keep your rubber tree as a small, tabletop plant or let it grow into an indoor tree.
Rubber trees are said to be “black thumb proof,” surviving even the worst plant owners. This plant loves bright, indirect light, such as next to the curtains of a sunny window. Keep your rubber tree plant happy with regular mistings while avoiding vents or direct heat.
You can also alter the shape of the plant with some strategic pruning. Once the rubber tree reaches the height you want, trim the top. Then, the rubber tree will start to grow outward.
Sometimes called an umbrella tree, the Schefflera has long been a popular houseplant. This plant has wax leaves that come in shades of green, sometimes with yellow accents. It looks great in an oversized floor planter and can be used to break up a room.
The Schefflera requires moderate light to thrive, making it ideal for the inner walls of your living room. Water your Schefflera regularly, allowing the soil to dry entirely before giving it a good soak. If the leaves start to dry, turn yellow, and fall away, you’re watering it too often.
Fiddle Leaf Fig
If you’re lucky enough to have a picture window with ample sunlight in your living room, you’ll want to pick up a fiddle leaf fig. This indoor tree is recognizable by it’s tall, skinny trunk with a big bundle of oversized leaves at the top. The effect is whimsical and unique, making it the perfect living decor piece for a well-lit living room.
Unfortunately, the fiddle leaf fig can be high-maintenance in some areas. It requires humidity control and misting to thrive, especially in drier regions. You’ll also want to regularly wipe down the large, violin-shaped leaves to maximize photosynthesis.
When choosing plants in the kitchen, you need hardy options that can withstand fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels. It’s also worth having functional plants that you can use while cooking.
Aloe vera is a staple for any sunny window. This desert plant has numerous medical and cosmetic applications. One of the many reasons that aloe is perfect for the kitchen is its effects on burns. If you accidentally touch a burner while cooking, you can trim an end off one of the leaves and use the nourishing gel within to promote healing.
Keep your aloe on the windowsill and water it infrequently— no more than once or twice per month.
English Ivy is perfect for a sunny kitchen window or shelf. This hardy plant is hard to kill; it practically thrives on neglect. Add this plant to a small pot or hanging basket to add a beautiful pop of green to your kitchen.
You can also plant English Ivy in a teapot, teacups, unused cans, or mason jars for a designer-inspired look.
Rosemary is a fragrant herb that doubles as a fantastic indoor plant. You can use this in the kitchen for numerous savory dishes and gourmet cocktails. Rosemary can be difficult to grow from seed, so look for a seedling or transfer plant from your local gardening center.
Rosemary is a perennial plant that will continue to resprout when kept in a pot. Overwatering is the main reason rosemary plants die, so water sparingly. When the soil is completely dry, give it a good soak and remove any excess water from the tray below. Rosemary will absorb excess moisture from the air, making it ideal and low-maintenance when kept in the kitchen.
Mint is a plant that practically grows itself. The fragrance will add a clean-smelling aroma to your kitchen and can be used for a variety of dishes and cocktail applications. Mints like a blend of bright light and shade, making it ideal for windowsills that get partial sun.
The key to keeping mint alive inside is trimming it back before it blooms. You can dry the trimmings or freeze them in olive oil to use in soups and meat dishes throughout the year. If you notice a bud, trim it to extend the harvesting period.
Mint grows aggressively and will have to be thinned out regularly. Use this as an opportunity to share the love and gift the excess to your family and friends for their homes.
The aluminum plant gets its name for the silver, metallic sheen of the leaves. Many interior designers love this plant in the kitchen as the leaves accentuate stainless steel appliances.
This small plant only grows up to one or two feet, making it ideal for more confined spaces. It likes periods of bright light and does well sitting on a counter near a sunny window. The aluminum plant thrives on humidity and requires frequent watering throughout the warmer months. During its dormant period in the fall and winter, you can let it dry completely before watering again.
When using plants as a design element in the bedroom, it’s important to consider the lighting and space in the room. Choose plants that have a calming, aromatic effect and prioritize purifiers in this special space.
African violets are one of the few indoor flowers that do well in dim light. If you have a bedroom with small windows or in a basement, the African violet is a fantastic way to add color.
The African violet comes in a variety of purples and pinks. You can also find white blooms for a nice contrast against the fuzzy purple and green leaves. While this plant prefers regular watering, overwatering can cause the leaves to rot, making this plant easy to care for.
Prayer plants are perfect for the bedroom as they go to bed when you do. This plant’s gorgeous multi-toned green leaves curl in on themselves at nighttime or any time they’re exposed to darkness. This plant requires moderate light and moist soil. By placing it by your bedside, you’ll remember to water it every day.
Lavender has long been used in aromatherapy for its calming effects. The floral aroma is said to help alleviate stress and anxiety, making it perfect for a bedside table. After the blooming period, you can dry these plants and keep them in a vase or turn them into potpourri.
Lavender likes bright light and is often too big to fit on a window sill. If you have a dark bedroom, consider moving your plant to a sunny location during the day. Soak this plant thoroughly and repeat the process when the soil is almost dry.
You can keep lavender blooming by feeding it an all-purpose fertilizer and replanting annually.
String of Pearls
This vining succulent looks fantastic in hanging baskets on either side of the bed or near a sunny window. It loves bright light but does well with infrequent watering. If you have two baskets, you can alternate them regularly to ensure both get exposed to light.
The delicate ball-like leaves add an elegant-yet-bohemian feel to any room and work well with any decor scheme. A string of pearls plants adapt well to seasonal temperature changes but do better without exposure to vents or drafts.
When putting a plant in the bathroom, you need something that thrives on low light and high humidity. Finding plants that fit into a small room is also important, as functional space tends to be limited.
Air plants are incredible additions to any room but do particularly well in the bathroom. This plant requires no soil and absorbs moisture from the air. You can set this plant on the counter and watch it thrive or place it in a dish or decor piece.
If your air plant starts to dry out, simply mist it with a bit of water. There are 700 varieties of air plants; you can create a unique assortment with this fascinating specimen.
Lucky bamboo plants thrive on constant hydration. You can plant lucky bamboo in well-draining soil, pebbles, or a vase filled with water. If you opt for rocks or water, you’ll need to change the water at least once per month to prevent bacteria and algae growth.
The alocasia is an ideal centerpiece for a jungle bathroom. The deep green, heart-shaped leaves love humidity and bright light. Place it near a bathroom window or in a container near the tub so it can soak up the moisture.
This plant grows quite large, so it may not be ideal for a small bathroom. However, it looks fantastic sitting by a soaker tub in a master ensuite.
The Tradescantia Zebrina performs best in small, bright bathrooms. With edgy purple and green leaves, this small plant loves humidity, making it perfect for the back of a toilet or countertop.
You may have to water or mist the plant as it gets dry. Yellow leaves indicate that the plant is being overwatered and needs a break. Pair this plant with an alocasia to complete the jungle bathroom design scheme.
Hallways and Basements
Hallways in basements are often void of light and moisture. They require especially low-maintenance and hardy plants to survive. However, seeing a pop of life can be a welcome design element in these typically dim places.
This stunning plant is named for its similarities to peacock tails, with lively shades of light and dark green, and reddish-purple undertones. The peacock plant prefers to be away from direct light, as exposure to the sun fades the vibrance of the leaves.
Mist this plant frequently to ensure it has enough humidity if placed in a dry area. Avoid vents and drafts when placing this plant. You can put this in a chic floor planter or large tabletop planter to accentuate any dim room.
Spider plants are one of the most common indoor plants. This iconic plant looks great in a tabletop pot or a hanging basket. It’s low maintenance, easy-to-grow, and easy to harvest and repot as new sprouts emerge. NASA also identified spider plants as being effective purifiers for removing formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, xylene, and toluene.
Spider plants prefer bright light but manage to survive in dim light as well, though it may grow slower than usual.
Cast Iron Plant
The cast iron plant was named for its fortitude. This leafy green plant has been labeled as indestructible as it can survive without soil, water, and light for extended periods. These features make it perfect for dark hallways and basements.
Keep your cast iron plant alive with monthly fertilization and watering only when dry to prevent root rot. It’s important to put your cast iron plant in sandy, well-draining soil.
Some maidenhair ferns can be high-maintenance, but they mostly do well in low light areas. Place a maidenhair fern in a shady corner of a well-lit highway or a bright corner of the basement. Avoid putting your maidenhair fern in the basement if it’s prone to cold spells.
Maidenhair ferns need humidity to thrive and do especially well in a stylish terrarium. This plant grows in a fountain pattern, making it a fun and whimsical design addition. Depending on the breed of maidenhair fern you get, the leaves might be small and delicate or wide and flat like cilantro.
The creeping fig is a climbing plant, making it a unique and lush addition to any home decor scheme. With heart-shaped leaves, this hardy fig practically grows itself. Place it in a large planter with a climbing ladder or on a bookshelf where it can grow and explore.
The creeping fig prefers a little light but will tolerate dim hallways and basements. It’s impervious to temperature and requires frequent watering in the summer. During the winter, it goes through a dormant period and prefers less water and attention.
Moss grows in shadowy undergrowth and humid forests. Its preference for these settings makes it an often-overlooked indoor plant for basements and hallways. Add moss to a terrarium or ornamental dish for a lush, lively look in a dim area.
You can also create a living wall with moss using an old photo frame. Moss walls add an earthy, natural element to a dark room and breathe life into any decor scheme. Living walls also contribute to the home by purifying the air, offering humidity control, and absorbing external noise.
Use an assortment of these amazing indoor plants to decorate your home and capture a natural essence in your interior design scheme.
Article contributed by Jack Surve