Best House Plants for Your Home

This is the dreariest time of the year, the time between the Christmas holidays and Spring. We are all eagerly awaiting the time when spring greens burst forth again outside our windows. But, in the meantime, here are a few ideas for growing houseplants and keeping them healthy inside.

Plants are one of my most favorite materials to decorate with. There is no substitute for real plants to me, even though I have a few faux ones around too in a few spots. Real plants just create a sense of warmth and beauty in a home that nothing else can mimic. They fill in the holes, add green, and generally make a home feel warm and inviting. I think I got my green thumb from my mom. She has always loved plants and grows African violets, along with a few others.

Coming in our front door, this fiddle leaf fig is just inside the front door, adding a splash of green to the entryway.

In the living room, I have two more real plants. This Button fern has been alive for going on 2 years since I planted in in this blue and white cup planter for my old screened porch almost 2 years ago. I’m still amazed myself that it’s still doing so well. I thought for sure this little delicate fern would not make in inside the house for long, but it’s still going strong. I keep it well hydrated.

I found this website online, Houseplant 411, which has a whole list of the most popular houseplants, so that’s how I identified most all of mine. I don’t ever keep the tags and sometimes the tags don’t really tell you the proper names, so I found most of these on that site.

This Alocasia (or Elephant Ear or African Mask plant) has also been alive for at least 3 years. I think I bought most of my houseplants at Home Depot or Lowes. This one from Africa is very exotic looking. I wasn’t sure how it would fare either, but it’s done very well in this container. I saw one like this at Ikea last summer and wish I had bought another! I don’t see them often, but they are such pretty plants.

In the family room, this little plant, a Dracaena (not sure of exact variety), with limey leaves has been with me for at least a couple of years too. Most all of my plants survived the move over a year ago and are doing well in our well-lit house.

Here’s an interesting story about this pretty Dracaena Marginata. As of now, it’s gone! It’s been here in this spot for probably 6 months at least, did very well and grew a lot of new growth on the top. It was looking very healthy with only a few leaves dropping here and there. All of a sudden it went into decline and one of them dropped all the leaves, the little stub drooping over like it was over watered. It has drainage holes in the bottom so I can’t imagine that it was really too wet, but nonetheless it died. The rest of the leaves all fell off in about a week or two until none were left, so right before Christmas I tossed it.

Too bad, it really was pretty, now I need another to take its place. Do I dare try this variety again?

Over on my rattan shelves, I have added most of my plants that sometimes go outside during summer. So this is a good place to house them all. That’s another Dracaena Warnekii on the left and a Sansevieria Plant, or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue or Snake Plant. Those are the easiest plants to grow! I have several of them and they do so well. So if you have a black thumb, get a Snake Plant.

Many of my plants from around the house ended up here for the Christmas Holidays. Some of these may move around again and some will go back out on the porch when Spring somes.

This cute little succulent was on my old porch and I’ll put it back outside in Spring. Succulents are easy to grow especially outside. This one has done great, but I don’t know the name of it.

Here’s another succulent, they are readily available at the home stores.

Another fiddle leaf fig tree is behind the sofa and it’s done really well too. I’ve had these smaller fiddle leaf figs for over a year and they’ve done well. One of the keys to growing these is they need bright indirect light and not too much water.

These little plants I’ve had for years. In fact, I got them in Birmingham at a yardsale one time and they have stayed with me in these little planters. I had them on the porch too, but they multiply and I can repot them when another baby pops up. They’re not succulents, but I’m not sure what they are.

I got a large fiddle leaf fig tree for the dining room probably in October. It has done very well for about 3 months, but lately it’s taken a turn for the worse.

It has 3 trunks and one of them has lost all the leaves except 2. I had lost a few leaves here and there, but during the Holidays we got a lot of rain and cloudy weather. The sun shines in here during sunny days and hits the leaves late morning, so I think it was enough light to keep it going, but it’s not looking so good now, so I’m not sure if it’s going to make it or not. They have a 1 year guarantee at Home Depot, so if it continues to decline, I’ll take it back. I’d be fine with cutting that one trunk back and see if the other 2 survive. It’s a little skinnier now, which is fine with me.

I bought this colorful Croton for Fall decorating and love it. The colors are so pretty and it is making a nice houseplant. I read you can’t plant them outside because they will freeze, but I’m really enjoying having it inside on these dreary days.

Upstairs, I planted a lime tree that my cousin sent me from her online nursery, Root 98 Warehouse. Kendra and her husband have a beautiful online nursery, so if you’re looking for some exotic and different plants, check them out in Lakeland, FL. I’ll be putting this back outside for the summer and hopefully it will grow and maybe produce some limes in the future.

I’ve got a Dieffenbachia in our master sitting room and I’ve had this one for a long time too. It almost died after the move. I had neglected it for awhile, but I put it outside on the porch over the summer and it came back strong.

Here’s another one of those potted plants I got at the yardsale years ago. I love these little plants, they are a bright spot on a cloudy day and I’ve enjoyed collecting some unique little planters and adding plants to them. If you have a little bit of light coming in your windows, you should be able to grow many of these.

I hope you enjoyed this little look at my houseplants and how I’ve kept them going. They are not all foolproof and you do have to pay attention to them, but I’ve had really good luck with most all of these so far, with the exception of that one I talked about. It gave up and bit the dust so fast!

I’m always willing to add another houseplant to the mix. I love them and feel like they add so much to our home. If they were gone, there would be a hole and a lack of warmth, I think. They really do add all that to your home.

Are you a houseplant lover or do you only do faux. I do have a few faux ones too, faux cypress and boxwood, things like that and they have their place, but real plants will always have my heart!

 

- Rhoda

Comments

  1. Wow, what a gorgeous array of houseplants! I am now inspired to add more to my small collection.

  2. Oh Rhoda! I absolutely love your non-traditional planters! You’ve got some real artsy plantings going on!

    I had a difficult time with my fiddle leaf figs and at one point cut one of them back so much I was sure it was never going to make it. Guess what? It’s now 7 feet tall! I think the key is large containers with really good drainage 🙂

    • THank you, Monica, I love those little planters too, have had fun collecting them. I think I’ll cut that naked stalk back on my fiddle leaf and see what it does.

  3. That’s not a maidenhair fern, but they are GREAT houseplants. I have a large one. Yours is a button fern or maybe it’s button leaf? I have one of those too. Yours would love a larger container.

    I love plants and several in our home. No faux for me. I think you can also have too many plants too. It’s also good to keep them pruned and healthy, etc. or they can look not-so-nice in our homes. Plants and flowers make me happy!!

    • HI, Tina, I looked up maidenhair and one like this came up, so I figured there were several varieties of them. I’ll change my caption. Oh well, I love them and he seems pretty happy.I love all my plants and I’m sure you do too!

  4. HI Rhoda, I love the fiddle plant! I just saw a few a the Depot and I read the “instructions” because I was worried about if the fiddle is fickle. ;0)
    PS I caught a glimpse of your front door! LOVE LOVE LOVE! I am obsessed with front and back doors right now! laura in CO

    • Thank you, Laura, those fiddle figs can be finicky. I’m not sure this big one is going to make it or not.

  5. It looks like springtime in your house! When my mother died in 2016, my office sent a dish garden, a variety of all green plants. I took care of it all summer and even managed to keep it alive all winter. I moved it back to the porch the next spring. True story, on the first anniversary of her death I walked out on the porch with my coffee to find the dish garden had burst into bloom literally overnight! There is no doubt in my mind that Mom had sent me a sign from Heaven that all was okay.

  6. I think the plant you could not identify is a bromeliad – most of what you have grows in my FL yard. Our Meyer lemon has started to bloom. I agree -plants in the home are great.

    • HI, PC, those little bitty plants I don’t think are bromeliads. I know those and they have those big blooms in the center. This little thing just stays green all the time. Oh and I have a Meyer lemon tree to. When it warms up, I’ll move it back outside and see if it will bloom this year. It has made lemons before so that would be great again!

  7. Becky in 'Bama says

    Rhoda I’d say you have a green thumb. Mine’s not exactly black but it is brown-ish! Your dad is a plant whiz so I guess you got the gene. I love houseplants, but I have a cat who makes it a point to chew on any living plant or flower so until she dies I’ve avoided them unless outside in the summer months. I love geraniums in hanging baskets, but this past summer mine were just abysmal – even after two re-pottings. Not sure what the problem was. I have to tell you: I have a ‘peace lilly’ (I’m not a person who can recall their scientific names) that was part of my mother-in-law’s funeral flowers in 2001! and it is alive and well in my garage – where it gets plenty of light and water at least once every 10 days or so. I guess it thrives on carbon monoxide from my car! I do cherish it and call it Dot after my mother in law – a sweet woman. Thanks for the usual inspiration.

    • Hi, Becky, those peace lilys are pretty foolproof, so I’m sure you can keep that alive. I have a little bitty one that I didn’t show. I’ve had many of those over the years too.

  8. Thanks for sharing all of your ideas! We are moving soon and plants are a great way to add personality to our new home. Thanks for all of the ideas.

  9. I love your houseplants but I live in two houses ( one in winter and our summer home so it’s hard to have live plants 😢

  10. How appropriate…I watered my 6 orchids this morning…they are wintering in my LR in a south facing bay window. 3 of them are showing signs of blooming again…you have quite a collection of plants…and I, too, think they brighten our homes…thanks for sharing

    • Good for you with the orchids, Donna. Those scare me and I don’t seem to have the patience for them.

  11. Your house plants are so pretty and you have a nice variety of them. When Martha Stewart had a day time show, her set was surrounded in a plant that I loved but didn’t know what it was. One day she said they were Maidenhair Ferns. I found a really small one at Lowes but it didn’t last. I would love to find a larger one of those. Enjoyed learning about your plants today.

    • I’e had a maidenhair fern before and it didn’t last for me. Neither did a birds nest fern, which I really love too. Maybe I should try another one since I have more light now.

  12. Rhoda,

    Love this post! I have an average green thumb (it would seem they won’t die but they don’t grow either with my small plant collection) I am most interested in your potting strategy and what I mean is, I have some pots that didn’t come with any kind of “saucer” so I bought the plastic ones but most of the time they don’t fit exactly right and frankly look a little unsightly to me. How do you handle that? Also, I haven’t put any plants in pots that don’t have the drainage holes. It looks like some of your containers would not have drainage holes – how do you handle the “drainage issue” for those? ie, does it seem they don’t need drainage, or do you water less but more often, or only use certain plants, etc. Thank you so much!!

    • HI, Dana, most of my plants do have saucers with them. I think maybe 4 or 5 of them don’t. Some of the smaller planters do not have drain holes and I added small rocks in the bottom to help with drainage and I don’t water them heavily so they dry out in between. That seems to be working. With my plants that are in larger containers those all drain out and many of the big ones are still in their black containers from the stores. They drain inside the containers into those plastic saucers or straight into the container if it’s pottery. I probably wouldn’t put a big plant in a pot with no drainage holes or saucers, but the smaller ones seem to work.

  13. My sister lives in Sugar Hill. She got a line tree last summer and was thrilled to show us her lines at Christmas.

    • Mine doesn’t seem to be growing much, but I’ll put it outside and see how it does with the lemon tree. Maybe they will pollinate each other. Not sure how that works.

  14. What a beautiful plant collection, Rhoda. Thanks for sharing. I have several plants now and my daughter and I were just realizing that most of our plants are from funeral gifts. Hers from her mother-in-law’s funeral and mine from my dad and brother passing within weeks of each other. No one else wanted the plants so I brought most of them home and now feel a responsibility to keep them alive. My favorite is a beautiful pink cyclamen, it has bloomed almost continuously for the past two years!

    • HI, Hallie, well that’s a good way to remember, isn’t it? Good for you for keeping them alive, I’m sure you’re enjoying them.

  15. Sharron Jones says

    They all look like varieties of sanseveria, we have several of them at our local botanical garden where I volunteer; also agree that is not a Maidenhair Fern but a Lemon Button Fern.

  16. I have 4 larger plants. Maybe I’ll get a couple more…….but not as many as you though! You have so many! I used to , when I was younger, have loads of them. Now I have 4! Oh wellllll!

    • Four is good, large ones are really nice. I just can’t help myself & I do take some of these outside during summer months. It’s nice to have a house with lots of light, they do well here.

  17. I am a plant lover. I have only a few faux (mainly inside the front door as it is a hot spot & real plants die there) with the rest real throughout the house.

  18. love seeing live plants. I have some jade plants and tea plants that are over 40 years old. I bring them in from the screened porch and they do okay in the house but really like the outside. I put most of my plants in the foyer since people seen to come in the back door instead. I have peace lilies from my Mom’s funeral as well. Occasionally I would give them all away but then I keep the Christmas poinsettas too.

  19. I love house plants! The sunniest spot in my house is a bay window in the kitchen, so most of them live there on plant stands. I’m in the market for another one as the peace lily is most likely going to die soon.

  20. How I envy your green thumb! I used to be not too bad with plants, but over the years my thumb has gotten blacker. I’m down to faux plants now, but at least they’re better made and more realistic these days.

    • HI, Jeanie, they are better made these days, so a few fauxs can make a difference too. Much better than the ones 20 years ago that we all had.

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