by Kate Wilson
Although I’m confident in my horticultural knowledge, experience and eye for design, I have to admit I’m also really good at slaying indoor plants. Despite my own failings once cabin fever sets in every winter (it’s in full force now!) I can’t help but dream of growing an indoor jungle. Managing these five plants, not an ecosystem, however, is achievable and makes for a more cozy, happy, and healthier home.
- The Peace Lily Spathiphyllum. The Peace Lily is considered the drama queen of interior plants. It will let you know you’re neglecting it by losing all sense of trigger pressure and demonstrate flopping down leaves, stems and all. This is its way of telling you to water it. Water it now and not later. Once adequately watered (i.e. plopping in the sink for a good through soak) it will stand up straight and fill out its natural full form. It bounces back every time. Every once it while the Peace Lily will reward consistent watering efforts by blooming. There are different varieties of Peace Lilies that bloom some more often than others, so I would recommend buying a Peace Lily that is already blooming. The Peace Lily blooms are a soft, almost cream white that contrasts nicely with the large dark green foliage of the plant. Peace Lilies prefer low light, something near a north or east facing window would be ideal.
- Rex Begonia. Begonia rex-cultorum. The Rex Begonia is grown for its wildly colored foliage containing patterns of swirling burgundy, pinks, deep purple and a frosted green. It doesn’t get particularly thirsty, just needs a once a week soaking. It likes bright indirect light.
3. Spider plant Chlorophyum comosum. The spider plant keeps on giving. This finely textured plant sends out adorable little spider babies on stem. You have the choice of letting the babies hangout (literally) or cut them loose and re-planting them. After your house is overrun with spider plants (just think of how fresh and clean your indoor air will be!) you can give them away to friends. There are even spider plant varieties! Not as far out as the Rex Begonia with its swirling action, but still notable.
2. Pothos. Epipremnum aureum. This one is just fun to say. Non-botanical friends will also be impressed if you can remember its common name. This sweet heart of a plant can take low light, direct light and yes, even comes with its own highlights (typically yellow/cream variegation). It can tolerate drying out between waterings as well as being submerged in water. I’ve seen this plant live happily in someone’s shower as well as thrive submerged in my son’s fish bowl.
1. Snake plant. Sansevieria trifascita. The Honey Badger of all interior plants. It can take direct light (which would require the occasional watering – but no soaking) as well as low to no natural light. That’s right, no natural light! Utter craziness, but makes for the perfect office plant. It gets better- it prefers to be pot bound. This means no messy transplanting. Mine is nicely placed in decorative pot on the floor, next to a wall vent – and it’s still alive! (Not recommended). The only damage is near a tip of one leaf and that is due to a curious two year old. This plant can live on neglect, no natural light, likes tight containers, and can with stand the curiosity of a two year old. The Snake plant is the best, easiest-to-care-for interior plant. And it happens to be one of the prettiest.
Want more information on tropical plants? Stop by or call any of our greenhouses and our horticulturalists can help figure out the right indoor plant for your needs!