I think yardeners don’t usually have many houseplants in their homes. Many of us have killed most indoor plants we’ve tried to grow, usually because we forgot to water them. Unbeknownst to us, we also often placed the plant in an improper site in terms of light. Who knew?
Here is my secret to growing houseplants: Avoid all flowering houseplants, especially African violets. Those plants can be very difficult to keep happy. We yardeners are better off going with low light foliage plants. They are happy in a north facing window or on an interior wall in the living room. I call these “dungeon” plants. They might not grow in the closet, but they really don’t need much light, a situation many of us have in our homes or apartments.
These dungeon plants are attractive for yardeners because in addition to being happy in low light conditions, they can handle going without water better than most houseplants (they resist our trying to kill them) and most can tolerate the hot, dry air which many of us get from our heating systems. These plants need little or no fertilizer, and they can thrive for years before you need to think about repotting them. Believe it or not, most of the plants I suggest also are able to actually clean the air in our homes. NASA determined that these low light plants filter out various toxins that can be found in modern dwellings. With all these yardener-type benefits, these dungeon plants can often be found at a relatively low price. It doesn’t get any better than that.
If you “google” low light houseplants you will gets dozens of plants to choose from. I have always liked those plants that were in my grandmother’s house when I was a kid.
I am partial to the low light ivies. They can droop down the side of cabinet or bookcase and add some real pizzazz to a room. Look for the new varieties of Philodendron, Golden pothos, and Engish ivy. Many new leaf color combinations have been added since grandma’s time.
When I have a foliage plant in a pot, I want a big one (two to four feet tall) that will fill up a corner or a brighten a blank space between two easy chairs. I’ve had success with Mother-in-law’s tongue, Dieffenbachia, Peace lily, Dracaena, Chinese evergreen, and the foundation of grandma’s living room, the Aspidistra.
These plants usually come in an ugly black plastic container. Rather then going to the trouble to transplant a new plant, I simply buy an attractive but slightly larger container and place the plastic pot in it.
In the next few months, keep an eye out at the big box stores for their sale on foliage houseplants. You will find amazingly large plants for as little as $15 to $20. If they do die, you did not break the bank.