A guest blog offered by MantelMount.
Are overly dim or dry rooms getting in the way of your dreams to become an at-home horticulturist? Especially in the case of apartment dwellers, these things may have hindered you from pursuing your dream of being a plant parent. And true enough, there may be many plants that require a paradisiacal living arrangement with abundant light, humid air and constant attention. Yet, there is also an array of other plants that will survive just about any kind of tough or marginal conditions.
Here are some of the different types of indoor plants that you can choose from to beautify your home and which you can be sure will positively thrive!
Philodendron ‘Jungle Boogie’ (Philodendron ‘Jungle Boogie’)—With its long, narrow leaves with a strikingly tooth margin, it’s a stunner and sooo original! Like all philodendrons, it will put up with just about anything you throw at it. Just take care not to overwater it. Only give it a drink when the soil is getting quite dry. As for light, it likes things bright, medium or indirect.
- Lipstick Plant (Aeschynanthus pulcher, syn. Aeschynanthus lobbianus)—With its curious tubular flowers, it’s easy to see where this plant got its name. It thrives in bright indirect light, but will also do fine in filtered light. Make sure to not overexpose it to direct sun, because that can burn its leaves and dry the plant out. Keep the soil a bit moist, but never wet. For balanced growth, rotate it a minimum of once a month.
- Hoya ‘Krimson Princess’ (Hoya carnosa ‘Rubra’)—This hoya with charming tricolor leaves—pink, cream and green—is, like other hoyas, a trailing charmer ideal for displaying in a window that gets bright but indirect light. It thrives on neglect, so don’t worry about letting the soil dry out between waterings. Repot during the spring or summer when the roots start peeking out of the drainage hole.
- Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’ (Ficus elastica ‘Burgundy’)—Also called ‘Black Prince’, this ever-so-dark leafed rubber tree is a popular choice among ficus trees. It’s less finicky than its popular cousin, the fiddle-leaf fig (F. lyrata), and if you have room for it, it can grow to 25 feet (7.5 m) tall indoors: a true and stalwart indoor tree. As for light needs, bright or indirect light would be perfect, even full sun in the winter. Keep the soil evenly moist during the summer growing season. In the winter, the soil needs less moisture.
- Aralia ‘Fabian’ (Polyscias scutellaria ‘Fabian’) — Aralia ‘Fabian’ looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. Its beauty and weirdness come from its thick burly trunk, thin speckled petioles and pancake-shaped foliage that’s a dark shade of green on top and deep violet on the bottom. To look after it, place your plant in a pot with a drainage hole and water thoroughly until water begins to flow into the saucer below. Repeat only when the upper two inches (5 cm) of soil are completely dry to the touch. Aralia ‘Fabian’ will appreciate a home in a warm spot in bright indirect light. If you don’t have that, dappled light throughout the day will also work well.
- Chinese Money Plant (Pilea peperomioides)—This widely loved plant has many other endearing nicknames like UFO plant, missionary plant, pancake plant and Chinese honesty. Its love of humidity makes it an excellent choice for a bit of color in the bathroom! Its curious leafy disks would also add interest to any space with bright indirect light. Let the soil dry out between waterings to avoid disease problems. When its leaves droop a bit, it’s telling you it’s thirsty.
- Variegated Hoya (Hoya carnosa ‘Variegata’)—This cutie with waxy white and green leaves will do best in a spot of your home that receives bright indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight in the summer: that could kill the plant over time. You only need to water the plant when the soil turns quite dry. It grows slowly but surely and may one day surprise with balls of scented pink flowers!
- Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)—This plant with a thick stem and chubby leaves is a favorite among people who like keeping succulents indoors. Unlike most foliage plants, it survives direct sunlight without a complaint. In fact, the more sun you give it, the happier it is! It doesn’t like being kept wet, so place it in a pot with a drainage hole and let it dry thoroughly before watering it again. Here’s tip: insert your finger into the potting fix to the second joint and only water when it feels dry way down there.
Photo: Hernán Conejeros
- Variegated Arrowhead Vine (Syngonium podophyllum ‘Albo-Variegatum’)—Just like other variegated plants, it draws its surprising beauty from its bicolor foliage. Its soil needs to remain evenly moist, so you’ll need to water it more frequently during the spring and summer. And don’t ever let the soil dry out completely. Although it does very well in dry air, it positively thrives in high humidity. So, run a humidifier during the winter months when the air is often desert dry: it’s good for the plant … and good for your own health! Like most foliage houseplants, the arrowhead vine likes bright indirect light, but can also tolerate low light.
- Banana-Leaf Fig (Ficus maclellandii ‘Alii’ , syn. F. binnenbijkii)—With its amazing long green saber-shaped leaves that make it stand out from the rest of the ficus trees, this is a true statement plant. Plus, it’s more durable and less susceptible to losing its leaves than the better known weeping fig (F. benjamina). It needs bright indirect sunlight and won’t survive in low light. Keep the soil consistently moist, only letting the uppermost inch (2.5 cm) dry before watering.
- Zz Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)—You’ll be able to take a lot of Zzs if you invest in a ZZ plant, also known as Zanzibar gem and aroid palm, as it’s one of the lowest maintenance options on the market. It only needs watering a few times a month, doesn’t require tons of sunshine and doesn’t attract bugs or other pests. Simple … and yet so elegant!
- Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum ‘Vittatum’) — If you take off for the weekend and forget to assign a friend plant-sitting duties, your spider plant won’t punish you for neglecting it: it’s tough as nails! The plant is self-propagating, it cleans the air naturally, is totally bewitching in shape and form and will grow in anything from low to bright indirect light, making it an excellent option for apartment dwellers or first-time plant parents.
- Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa)—With its thick, heart-shaped leaves with a distinct tropical look and feel, plus Swiss cheese-like holes and notches, the monstera is a perfectly bold plant that will truly thrive in an apartment. It tolerates many levels of sunlight and will even grow under fluorescent lights. While you ought to water your monstera regularly, it can survive a missed watering every now then.
- Zebra Haworthia (Haworthiopsis attenuata, syn. Haworthia attenuata)—The zebra haworthia, or simply haworthia, is one of the simplest succulents to grow. Its maximum height is just 8-inches (20 cm) tall and, unlike most other succulents, doesn’t need intense light. In fact, it will do perfectly well in very low to moderate light. Plus, it needs only minimal watering. The zebra haworthia is often placed in both open spaces like a living room and small, more contained ones like a bathroom. Add to that are the plant’s very striking white-striped leaves, perfect complementing just about any design style.
Now that we’ve shared enough about the types of indoor plants you could opt for, why not take care of other sections of your house as well? Here are some fireplace decor ideas that could really amp up your decor game and give your visitors a WOW moment!