A Home Looks Better With the Right Plants Inside
Every home, from the humblest to the most grand, looks better when there’s a healthy houseplant or two in the rooms.
As living beings, their colors, textures and graceful habits soften the look of even the most industrial decor. Though some plants can seem pricey when the homeowner decides to pick one up at the nursery, they are actually inexpensive in the long run, especially when compared to other accessories in the home such as artwork or a sound system. Few if any houseplants are downright unattractive if they are healthy, and the majority are easy to take care of. They can also be surprisingly long-lived. One family has passed down a Christmas cactus that’s over 100 years old. There’s plenty of different plants that can be chosen and plenty of reasons to buy some indoor plants.
Benefits of Indoor Plants
The one great benefit of indoor plants is their beauty. Leaves come in a variety of shapes. Though plants come in nearly every shade of green, there are those whose leaves are shades of blue, gray, brown, red, purple, gold and even white. Well-cared-for plants can produce flowers, and sometimes those flowers are spectacular, as in the case of bromeliads or some cacti.
A houseplant's beauty can help to hide unfortunate aspects of a room such as exposed pipes or a bad paint job. Some people even place a bunch of houseplants in an area that is soon to be filled by a piece of furniture.
Besides adding beauty to the home, it's now understood that indoor plants clean the air to an extent. Plants like bromeliads, snake plants and spider plants cleanse the air of volatile organic compounds.
Popular Indoor Plant Options
The diversity of indoor plants is nearly endless. They can be placed in any room of the house. Some need direct sunlight while some thrive in the shadows. Some can go for a long time without water, while others like their leaves regularly misted and their soil a bit moist. Here are some of the most popular houseplants:
- Pancake Plant - This plant has emerald green leaves shaped like pancakes. For some, they are shaped like coins, which gives it its other name of Chinese money plant. It prefers bright but not direct light and can tolerate low temperatures. Indeed, low temperatures may encourage the plant to bring forth its small white flowers. During the growing season, the pancake plant should be fertilized once a month, and the soil should be allowed to dry out between waterings.
- Snake Plant - There are many kinds of snake plant, and they’re known for their toughness. They have stiff, swordlike leaves with patterns of green and yellow or gold. Snake plants can endure low light, dry soil and just general neglect. However, if they are cared for and allowed to grow in sunny rooms they can surprise the homeowner by sending up spikes of pretty white flowers.
- Monstera - Also called the Swiss cheese plant, this plant gets its name because it grows very large if it's cared for. This is another plant that does very well in low light, and if a homeowner wants to keep it from getting monstrous, they should keep the humidity low. It’s a good idea to wipe the leaves now and then with a damp sponge to keep them from getting dusty.
- Fig - Indoor figs include big plants such as the fiddle leaf and weeping fig, which would simply grow into trees if they were planted out in a tropical climate. There are the much smaller creeping fig and the Indian laurel. The rubber plant, prized for being nearly indestructible, is another type of fig. These plants do best in bright light and soil that’s kept moist.
- Tradescantia - This plant is just the thing for a hanging basket, for it has trailing, variegated leaves whose undersides are pink or purple. It is easy to grow and does best in bright but indirect light and a warm room. It can be grown in average potting soil, but some people grow it in water with charcoal chips.
- Velvet Plant - This plant is known for its deep purple, velvety leaves and clusters of orange flowers. It needs a good amount of sunlight and rich, moist soil, so it’s a good idea to feed it now and then during the growing season.