Are you looking to liven up your space a bit?
We spend around 90% of our time indoors. Our homes and spaces need to be our private sanctuaries where we can relax and do things we love.
One sure way to breathe life into any space, rejuvenate and make it homey is with indoor plants. Not only do plants serve as a great aesthetic, but they also have several invisible powers. From psychological benefits of relieving stress to purifying the air, indoor plants are terrific elements to decorate any type of home.
Plus, with the weather starting to warm, we look forward to summer and tropical vacations. As you long to lay on the beach and go on nature walks, what better way to welcome the outdoors than with a plethora of different lush indoor plants?
While there are countless green options to choose from, it’s not always a straight arrow when selecting which plants best thrive indoors. So, in this article, we list down 12 lush choices that will surely brighten up your home and are easy, almost-fuss-free plants.
Photo source: Modernize
1. Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
Whether you’re an avid plant keeper or a beginner looking to add some greenery into your space, devil’s ivy, or more commonly known as golden pothos, is a great choice. One of the main reasons why many go for this – they are almost impossible to kill.
Capable of adapting to the environment, pothos can still thrive in homes or corners with very limited natural light. Their heart-shaped leaves stay shiny and bright green. And with multiple natural and cultivated varieties of the species, they offer interesting and unusual combinations of colors for their foliage.
Photo source: Flower Council of Holland
While you may not see flowers form from your pothos, the bright colors of their leaves make it a beautiful home decor. They grow quite well as a trailing plant or a climbing one on a moss pole. If grown on a moss pole, the vines and leaves are kept compact and ideal for small spaces or as a simple touch of greenery to a space.
If you prefer the trailing type, pothos look amazing when hung from the ceiling, on shelves, or in macrame hangers.
Photo source: Patch Plants
2. Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa)
Native to the tropical forests of southern Mexico, the swiss cheese plant, or famously known as monstera, has become quite the popular houseplant over the years. Although needing more tender loving care compared to the pothos, the unique design of its leaves makes the monstera a popular favorite amongst plant keepers.
Highly distinguishable, the swiss cheese plant is aptly named such for its large heart-shaped leaves that develop holes and cuts on it as it matures. In its natural habitat, this allows them to weather the harsh conditions of tropical rainforest.
Photo source: HousePlantHouse
This viney plant is suitable for large rooms or conservatories and can serve as a focal point of the space when the plant matures. The monstera can become quite giant, growing up to 10 feet tall or more. While they rarely flower when placed indoors, their lush and glossy green leaves will still make it a very attractive home decor.
There are also variegated species of the monstera where the leaves show a very interesting mix of white and green – making it a real eye-catcher. Additionally, this beautiful mix breed is one of the most expensive houseplants you can get.
Photo source: La Residence – by Leon & George
To help them grow tall, place a moss stick to guide their veins, up until the height you wish it to have when it matures. Make sure to place it in a room or corner with a generous amount of diffused natural light and plenty of shade. Don’t give it direct sunlight or else the leaves will burn and lose their bright green color.
Photo source: IG: @craigmilran
3. Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree (Ficus lyrata)
Another popular indoor plant is the fiddle leaf fig. You can either get this as a baby – the bambino – or as a tree. Personally, I’d prefer the tree as home decor because the brightness it brings to a space is just stunning.
The lushness of its big, bright green leaves looks amazing in a brightly lit corner of any room at home, and is able to provide a stark, eye-catching contrast against a neutral background or wall. As a fairly large plant, a fiddle leaf fig tree will do very well in a large, ornamental floor-standing pot placed at a bright corner of your room.
Photo source: Kathy Kuo Home
Mind you, when your fiddle leaf fig is very happy, it can truly embrace the definition of lush indoor plants and outgrow your space. When this happens, you can transfer it to a sheltered area outdoors like a patio or balcony – protecting it while giving it more space to grow. At the same time, beautifying your outdoor space and keeping nature closer to home.
It might delightfully surprise you more when outside because this finicky rainforest plant wants high humidity areas, which might be challenging indoors. Therefore, your steamy bathroom conditions may be its most ideal and favorite hangout. Not complaining there because placing this beautiful tree in your bathroom could just turn it into a tropical oasis.
Photo source: Curbed
4. Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)
Although this might not have the same overflowing popularity as the previous indoor favorites, it’s still a highly preferred houseplant and as lush and pretty as the others. The beauty of the dumb cane comes from the unique colors of its leaves. It starts off yellow and light near the vein and then just abruptly turns dark green towards the edges – giving it an unpredictable mix of bright shades.
Photo source: House Fur
Dumb canes have very large, wide, bushy leaves – possibly growing until 20 inches long and 10 inches wide – making the color combination of its leaves very distinct and attractive. Not only that but this indoor plant is known for its resilience, able to thrive in different light conditions; although, very limited light might stunt its growth.
While not as fussy as the fiddle leaf fig, it is still best to place the dumb cane at an area with diffused light. And with its growth potential, position it with a generous amount of space to grow, preferably in the living area. A quick word of caution, the dumb cane is best kept far from pets and children because its sap is acrid and will irritate the skin or render those who ingest it, mute for a couple of weeks until the poison wears off.
Photo source: The Healthy Houseplant
5. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
This popular and distinct houseplant has a lot of other names – snake plant is most common but it also goes by mother-in-law’s tongue, Saint George’s sword, viper’s bowstring hemp and many more. One of the main reasons why many prefer to have this indoor plant is for its resilience – a fuss-free plant that is highly forgiving and almost impossible to kill.
Their architecturally strappy-shaped leaves remain sturdy and bright even in the most dark or unfriendly of circumstances. They can be neglected for weeks and left in low light conditions but won’t fail in sprucing up a sad corner of your home. Snake plants come in full bright green leaves but there is another variety where the leaves are outlined in bright yellow – giving it a vibrant contrast.
Photo source: The Garden Granny
Not only is this indoor plant one of the frontrunners in beginner-friendly houseplants but they also have other health benefits. This resilient succulent can improve your indoor air quality by filtering it, removing toxins and converting carbon dioxide to oxygen.
Snake plants’ upright sword-like leaves can grow up to several feet high. Putting them in a semi-bright corner in your living room or beside your bed gives the space an instant boost. With very little maintenance needed, they are ideal houseplants that can freshen up your home and clean your indoor air.
Photo source: Kenyan Vibe
6. ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
If you’re looking for super hardy indoor plants, here’s another option – the ZZ plant. They are accepting of low light conditions and are drought tolerant. If a ZZ plant is happy, its leaves are dark green and become shiny or waxy, allowing it to reflect light, brightening its little corner of your room.
This indoor foliage plant can grow up to two or three feet high. Making it ideally placed on tabletops or on decorative plant stands that add more to the design statement.
Photo source: ProFlowers
So, they’re not a monster plant but there are several stalks that can continue to grow in your pot and they tend to bend in varying directions. To keep the plant thriving in a relatively bright corner but also keep those stalks in tow, you can provide some guidance to growing baby stalks by using a pole or tying them together to keep its upward growth direction. Or simply turn the pot around since they tend to grow towards the light.
Their stalks are rather thick or bulbous and can be challenging to adjust once they mature. While this easy-going houseplant is usually pest-free, one thing you should know is that all parts of the ZZ are poisonous. Make sure to keep it away from children or pets and wash your hands whenever you handle it to keep irritation away.
Photo source: My Tasteful Space
7. Rubber Plant or Rubber Fig (Ficus elastica)
If you’re looking for a bit more dramatic flair in your indoor plants, the rubber plant should be something you consider. With their large, glossy, deep, dark green leathery leaves, they’re bound to make a statement in your space. In addition, you’ll see a touch of burgundy on the underside of its leaves and stems, giving it a distinct and interesting color combination.
Photo source: The Sill
This understated but stately plant can grow quite large – up to 50 feet tall – if you’re patient enough and give it the tender loving care it needs. If a beautiful, statement tree is what you’re looking for, then it will be better to start with a young rubber tree instead of buying a mature plant on the onset. This will allow your plant baby to adapt to the situation in your home environment first.
After a few years, you’ll eventually see your rubber plant grow into quite an impressive height, moreso if you place it on balconies or patios with generous light. You can prune it to your desired height and shape. With its thick, rubber-like leaves, and height, they make great options as space dividers or your very own indoor tree.
Photo source: Design Shop Interiors
However, if your space isn’t fit for a monstrous indoor plant, then go for a medium-sized one or place it in a smaller pot to restrict a bit of its growth. Keep it away from direct sunlight or else that hot spot might burn its leaves and it’ll lose its glossy touch.
Photo source: House Beautiful
8. Dwarf Cavendish Banana Tree
A different spin to the usual choices for indoor plants is the banana tree. If you’re looking for something new and interesting, go for the dwarf cavendish banana tree (or dwarf musa banana) to decorate your indoor space. Not talking about its height, the humongous leaves of a banana tree that usually grow upward will make it such a looker in your space.
To add a touch of the tropics in your home, proudly display this unlikely houseplant in a bright well-lit, warm corner of your living room. In the Victorian times, these towering plants were placed in large, humid and sunny conservatories which gave them direct sunlight and room to grow. Therefore, if you have a spacious, bright, living area, that will be the ideal space to make your dwarf cavendish happy.
Photo source: Curated Interior
If you’re thinking of placing it outdoors, ensure that they are in a sunny, somewhat sheltered corner or border. Dwarf cavendish banana trees can tolerate the sun’s heat; but being native to warmer climates, they’ll need significant protection to keep growing come wintertime.
Identifiable through their long, very large leaves that make them look quite beautifully gigantic, its long stalk can also grow up to 10 feet tall. When happy, these dwarf banana trees can produce large white flowers from purple buds. One last thing, not all banana trees produce edible fruit so you’ll have to check that first. But for the ones that do, the banana will be around the same size of a regular cavendish banana, green at first then turning yellow when ripe.
Photo source: Beards & Daisies
9. Chinese Money Plant (Pilea Peperomioides)
This beloved green beauty adds visual interest to your lush indoor sanctuary because of perfectly-shaped round, dark green leaves. With this shape, this favorite houseplant has been given several interesting names over the years – UFO plant, pancake plant, mirror glass plant and many more.
As for being known as ‘Chinese money plant’, there’s a bit of backstory to this particular name. Originating from Southwest China, this indoor beauty is believed to bring its owner good luck and fortune. Looking at its circular leaves, there is a dot near the center where it grows out from its stem, making it look like the traditional Chinese coins used centuries past. Having these leaves stacked on top of each looks like several coins in disarray – that’s where the connection to money comes from.
Photo source: Ohio Tropics
As a slow grower and not one to reach a monstrous height, the Chinese money plant is perfect for tabletops, desks and windowsills. Freshen up a bare area near a bright window in your living room, kitchen or bedroom. Let in filtered light, and sometimes open the window for a soft breeze – the plant’s delicate stems will beautifully sway with the wind.
With lots of indirect light, the pretty, circular leaves will remain flat (not curled up in any direction) and allow it to enlarge slightly. These cute indoor plants are not toxic and can even purify your indoor air – just like the snake plant. If your UFO plant grows happily and matures, it can give you blooms of tiny white flowers on pink stems.
Photo source: Pinterest | Pilea
10. Calathea Orbifolia
While the calathea family is a large one, one of its more popular members is the calathea orbifolia. As a species of prayer plant native to Bolivia and the Amazon, this plant beauty grows best as a houseplant in temperate climates.
One of the prettiest in the calathea family, this beautifully statement plant is distinguished for its oversized, striped, glossy green and silver leaves. When placed in that brightly lit corner of your home, they are quietly radiant in their beauty. Although you’ll itch to purchase this because of the attractive foliage, the calathea orbifolia is fussier compared to other houseplants; they need a little more TLC and maintenance to retain their designer-quality look.
Photo source: Anna in the House
As the plant grows, the leaves fan out and can grow over a foot across, making it a really lush home decor that can instantly brighten up any space. Given its origins, the calathea thrives in tropical conditions so they’ll love a space with high humidity and constant moisture that also receives a generous amount of filtered natural light.
If you’re looking to enliven your bathrooms, the calathea will be a perfect choice for that. Simply ensure that while you’re giving it moisture, you have a well draining pot and soil so it doesn’t get soggy. Calatheas do not grow to towering heights, instead, they grow in width, so keeping them on decorative plant stands, or on tabletops as babies would be ideal.
Photo source: Barbulianno
11. Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)
For bright interiors, the areca palm is usually selected for its wide, feathery coverage. Palm plants are one of the automatic choices when looking to give your space a slightly tropical vibe. This indoor plant baby goes by other names too – butterfly palm, golden cane palm and bamboo palm. It’s a very common indoor plant; you see it brighten living rooms, restaurants and malls.
While relatively easy to care for indoors, this palm won’t allow you to ignore it. Regularly water the plant to keep the soil lightly most, especially in its growth months of spring and summer. Give it generous light exposure by keeping it in a corner with bright, filtered sunlight. Full sun is tolerable but better not to because it might scorch its delicate leaves.
Photo source: Gardener’s Path
You can expect this plant to grow up to 10 feet tall. Coupled with its lush foliage, the areca palms are great alternatives for space dividers or to add that much needed touch of green to an otherwise neutral living room. Best of all, these towering beauties are toxic-free, they even help purify your indoor air by removing pollutants and improving humidity.
Because of their size, palm plants are most suitable in floor-standing decorative pots. As you give them the love they need, they can grow up from six to ten inches per year. Although their leaves may not have those natural lines and decor, the areca palm can still be a bold statement piece for their size and lush foliage.
Photo source: The Little Botanical
12. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
Here’s another one of those hero indoor plants for you. If you’re a novice indoor gardener, go for the Chinese evergreen and it’ll make you feel like an expert. As one of the most tolerant and forgiving indoor plants, this green baby won’t complain if it is placed in an area with poor light or dry air. They’ll also not give you a hard time if you forget to water it once in a while.
Even though the Chinese evergreen is durable, you’ll still need to give it some love. When it’s happy, it’ll reward you with pretty blooms reminiscent of calla or peace lilies. As a plant with tropical origins, they prefer warmer corners and their growth and flowering seasons occur in spring or summer.
Photo source: The Houseplant Guru
Besides being easy to care for, this gem of a houseplant also comes in different hybrid varieties and variegated forms, giving its leaves unique, interesting looks that are fitting as home decor. Design of its leaves can range from being fully green, with speckles, blotched lighter areas and even silver foliage.
Chinese evergreen leaves are long and narrow and can reach up to two feet long and 8cm wide. As the plant matures, they grow to an average of three feet and equally as wide, looking like an attractive bush on your floor. Older Chinese evergreens also grow short, thick trunks similar to that of a yucca’s.
Photo source: Garden Design