Just like pictures, paintings, and art, indoor house plants add an interesting flavor to any room. Unlike paintings or pictures, though, plants add life to your home and can even purify your air. Identifying which plans will work best in your home can be difficult, though. Continue reading below and let’s take a look at 50 indoor houseplants that are sure to brighten your living room space.
The dragon tree (Dracaena marginata), also known as dracaena, is a stiff-leaved plant that can grow to enormous sizes. While they rarely flower, dragon trees are drought-resistant plants that make a stunning addition to an indoor garden.
- Light: Bright, indirect light
- Water: Drought resistant, so start with every two weeks
The aloe plant (Aloe vera) is remarkable not only as a house plant but also as a remedy for burns!
- Light: Similar to succulents – bright, direct sunlight
- Water: Very minimal water needs, think 2-3 times/month in the summer
These plants derive their name from the odd, scaly look of their leaves. They typically stay under 3 feet, so they make a great indoor addition.
- Light: While these plants like light, they generally need indirect sunlight or shade.
- Water: They love water! Every other day should be fine in most growing zones.
These tropical plants have recently become popular in the United States. They are Epiphytes meaning they grow on other plants. As such, they are usually mounted to a wall or board.
- Light: Bright, indirect
- Water: Because they are tropical plants, their watering regime is a little different. Roughly once per week, the roots should be submerged in water for 1-2 minutes. Following this, the entire plant should be misted with a spray bottle, focusing on the fronds.
Cacti generally belong to the family Cactaceae. There are roughly 2,000 described species.
- Light: These desert plants love as much bright, direct sunlight as you can give them.
- Water: Minimal! They are used to drought, so err on the side of less water – 1-2 times per month.
The Alocasia genus contains roughly 80 species. Most of them make great houseplants due to their ease of care and striking foliage.
- Light: Bright, indirect
- Water: These plants tend to have low water needs, but like humid environments. Start by watering 1 time/week with mistings every other day.
Scientifically known as Crassula ovata, this plant also goes by the names money tree or lucky plant. It is generally considered to be part of the succulent family.
- Light: Full, direct sunlight
- Water: Infrequent – start with 1-2 waterings/month and assess from there
CAUTION: Poisonous if ingested! This plant should be kept away from children and pets. The ZZ plant gets its name from its Latin name, Zamioculcas zamiifolia. It is the only species in the genus Zamioculcas.
- Light: Not a picky plant – can tolerate almost any light aside from bright, direct sunlight.
- Water: Generally low watering needs, roughly 1-2 times/month
The sweetheart plant (Hoya kerrii) is known for its large, heart-shaped leaves.
- Light: Avoid direct sunlight
- Water: Infrequent watering will suffice – once/week is a good starting point.
CAUTION: Poisonous to pets! This house plant is neither related to asparagus nor a fern. That said, it is beloved because it is virtually indestructible.
- Light: Bright, indirect sunlight is best
- Water: This plant is a moderate drinker – think 1-2 times/week
Rubber plants (Ficus elastica) should be called rubber trees. These plants can grow up to the ceiling indoors if properly cared for. These may require fertilizer to grow at an optimal rate.
- Light: These plants love long, sunny days, but keep them out of direct sunlight.
- Water: Varies according to season. Summer: keep the soil moist, water roughly once a week. Winter: significantly less water, once a month
Fiddle Leaf Figs
Related to the rubber plant, Ficus lyrata is another favorite houseplant. Native to Africa, it can grow as tall as a given room allows. Careful, it is notoriously difficult to care for.
- Light: Bright indirect to full sun
- Water: This plant is very water-sensitive. Start with watering every 1-2 weeks, but gauge based on your humidity and temperature.
Split Leaf Philodendrons
This plant goes by many names: monstera deliciosa and the Swiss cheese plant are also common.
- Light: Avoid direct sunlight
- Water: Lots of water – but avoid keeping the soil dry or too wet. Wait for the top ⅓ of the soil to dry out between waterings
Peace lilies fall into the genus Spathiphyllum, which contains about 50 species.
- Light: Can tolerate from low to medium-high light. They will typically only flower in higher light conditions.
- Water: Overwatering will kill these lilies, whereas underwatering will simply cause them to wilt. Err on the side of less water, 2-3 times/month.
Red Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreens)
CAUTION: Poisonous to cats! These indoor plants are beloved for their bright, red, flared stems.
- Light: Below USDA hardiness zone 8, this plant can tolerate anything from low light to direct sunlight.
- Water: Drought tolerant, but start with 1-2 times/week
Weeping Fig (Ficus)
Ficus benjamina is a large evergreen houseplant that can grow more than six feet tall.
- Light: Bright, indirect (can also be filtered)
- Water: The weeping fig should be kept moist – think 1-2/week
Also known as common ivy, Hedera helix is a classic indoor plant due to its low-maintenance, air-purifying qualities, and quick growth.
- Light: Should be kept in partial to full shade. Great for north-facing rooms or rooms without many windows.
- Water: Keep on the dry side – water 1-2/week depending on climate.
Coffee is a genus of plants, most of which produce coffee beans. Don’t expect to get many (or any) beans, though!
- Light: Bright, indirect light
- Water: Coffee plants are tropical – so they like humidity. If you live in a dry environment, consider misting them every week.
Air plants mostly fall into the genus Tillandsia. They are known for their ability to grow without soil. They typically will not grow if planted like a normal house plant.
- Light: Without roots, they lose moisture quickly. Keep these plants out of direct sunlight!
- Water: Air plants are fairly thirsty, shoot to water them at least once a week
Pilea peperomioides is also known as the Chinese money tree, pancake plant, or UFO plant.
- Light: Pilea can tolerate a few hours of direct sunlight each day.
- Water: More water is required as the hours of direct sunlight increase. Shoot for once every 1-2 weeks
Yucca Cane Plant
Native to Guatemala, this tree-like plant sports a long stalk with a bright, green head.
- Light: While this plant will grow slower in lower light, avoid direct sunlight, it may burn its green leaves.
- Water: Wait until the top 50% of soil is dry before watering. Every 1-2 weeks is a good starting point.
Kalanchoe (More Succulents!)
Kalanchoe is a genus of about 130 flowering succulents. Native to Madagascar and East Africa, they make great house plants due to their drought resistance.
- Light: Full, direct sunlight is recommended
- Water: Like succulents, water every 2 weeks or so
Calathea is a genus within the family Marantaceae. All members of this genus are neotropical rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plants.
- Light: Medium to bright indirect, can tolerate low levels of direct sunlight
- Water: Every 1-2 weeks, soil should be kept moist
Begonia is a massive genus containing almost 2,000 species of plants. Wax, tuberous, and cane begonias are amongst the most common commercial varieties.
- Light: The exact amount of light depends on the specific species, but generally they will tolerate anywhere from shade to low levels of direct sun.
- Water: Almost all begonias prefer evenly moist soil, so watering 2-3 times/month should be sufficient.
Also known as the devil’s ivy, Epipremnum aureum is a species of plant known for its beautiful, mottled leaves.
- Light: The pothos plant loves bright, indirect sunlight.
- Water: While this plant likes moist soil, be careful of overwatering. Start with once/week.
String of Pearls
Although it may not look like it, Curio rowleyanus is technically a member of the daisy family. It is also a succulent that does well in a hanging basket.
- Light: This plant burns easily – so avoid direct sunlight from south-facing windows!
- Water: Thankfully, the string of pearls is not too picky when it comes to water. Start with twice a month and move from there.
Also known as the airplane plant, Chlorophytum comosum is a beautiful houseplant that grows like a weed.
- Light: Bright, indirect light
- Water: Root rot is a serious problem to consider, so start by watering only a few times per month.
Bromeliaceae is one of the largest families on this list – it includes almost 4,000 species! Many of the popular houseplant varieties are small and very brightly colored.
- Light: Medium to bright indirect light
- Water: Different from most plants on this list. The center of most species of Bromeliaceae is hollow and called a “cup.” To water them, keep this cup full of water. Make sure to change it every week or so to avoid salt buildup.
This palm (Howea forsteriana) is endemic to only one island on earth: Lord Howe Island off the coast of Australia.
- Light: Avoid direct sunlight, but increased light levels will likely result in more foliage.
- Water: These palms like water, so aim for about one watering per week.
Philodendrons have been a mainstay in interior gardens for quite some time due to their forgiving nature.
- Light: Outside of direct sunlight, they can tolerate almost any light schedule
- Water: Droopy leaves are a good sign of incorrect watering – start with once/week and scale up or down depending on how the plant looks.
Plants in the genus Gardenia are found throughout the world in subtropical regions. They are members of the coffee family, Rubiaceae.
- Light: Full, bright light
- Water: These plants love water, if you ensure the soil isn’t soaked, they can be watered every other day.
If you’ve seen a croton (Codiaeum variegatum) before, you probably recognized its colors almost immediately.
- Light: These plants prefer full sun, but they can tolerate partial shade if necessary
- Water: Crotons love frequent watering, but watch out for root rot
Bird of Paradise
All birds of paradise plants belong to the genus Strelitzia. They come in magnificent colors that range from vibrant orange to purple.
- Light: Bright, direct light
- Water: Every 1-2 weeks
The snake plant (Dracaena trifasciata) can be found at practically all garden stores. It is a great starter houseplant.
- Light: They can tolerate full sun, but an east-facing window is ideal.
- Water: Like many houseplants, it’s better to underwater than overwater. Aim for once every two weeks to start.
The waxy, usually red petals of anthurium plants are prized for their vibrant colors and longevity.
- Light: In more southern areas of the US, direct sunlight can burn the leaves. In other regions, anthurium can likely withstand full sun.
- Water: These plants need a moderate amount of water to stay healthy. Shoot for 2-3 times/month.
Also known as the bird’s nest fern (Asplenium nidus) this plant has intricate, rippled leaves.
- Light: Moderate, indirect light is best
- Water: Moderate watering, twice a month is recommended
Hoya is a genus of about 300 species in the dogbane family, Apocynaceae.
- Light: Bright, indirect light
- Water: Moderate watering, erring on the side of underwatering
These plants almost look like leafy succulents. They are renowned for their dark purple color.
- Light: They are picky! Start with full, indirect light. If the leaves seem to be drooping, try a location with a minimal amount of direct morning light.
- Water: Thankfully, Persian shields are less picky on this front. 2-3 times per month should create perfect plants.
All passionflowers are members of the genus Passiflora. While they vary in size and shape, they are generally good candidates for indoor flowers.
- Light: Generally, they appreciate full, direct sunlight.
- Water: Passionflowers have a relatively high water need. Start with once per week.
This plant is also known as the elephant’s foot (Beaucarnea recurvata). It is a wispy, easy to care for plant that isn’t a true palm.
- Light: These plants like an even mixture of direct and indirect sunlight.
- Water: Moderate watering tends to be the best for ponytail palms. Start with 2-3 times per month.
This plan (Juniperus procumbens) is native to Japan. It is a common ground cover plant, but it can work perfectly indoors as well.
- Light: This is the most crucial part – this plant needs extended periods of indirect light.
- Water: This plant is used to moist soil, so make sure the top half-inch is dry before watering again.
The prayer plant (Maranta leuconeura) is marked by its arching red veins on its leaves.
- Light: Too much direct light will burn the leaves, so keep it in a non-direct corner of a bright room.
- Water: Avoid overwatering, start with once per week, but watch for signs of root rot.
This succulent (Kalanchoe luciae) is named for its large, beautiful leaves.
- Light: Like most succulents, full, direct light
- Water: Minimal, 1-2 times per month
If – and it’s a big if – you can get the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera gaertneri) to bloom, it will produce brilliant red flowers that are beautiful near the holidays.
- Light: To get this cactus to bloom, it will need to have equal parts light and dark. A bathroom with a skylight is a perfect way to achieve this in the springtime.
- Water: Like most cacti, this plant requires very little water. Start with once a month and move from there.
Collectively, phalaenopsis orchids are referred to as moth orchids. They represent a genus of about 70 species.
- Light: These plants can tolerate virtually no direct sunlight – keep them in the corner!
- Water: This orchid lacks water-storing pseudobulbs. Thus, water it every week.
Crown of Thorns
CAUTION: Poisonous if ingested! This plant should be kept away from children and pets. Also known as the Christ plant, Euphorbia milii has the same coloration as the Christmas cactus, but will generally grow to be much larger.
- Light: This plant can tolerate up to four hours of direct sunlight every day.
- Water: In well-draining soil, the crown of thorns should be watered every two weeks.
CAUTION: Noxious if ingested! This plant should be kept away from pets. These beautiful flowers are common house plants due to their ease of bloom and wonderful coloration.
- Light: While they can tolerate direct sunlight, geraniums prefer bright, indirect light.
- Water: Water about every week, but watch for signs of wilting.
CAUTION: Noxious if ingested! This plant should be kept away from pets. Schefflera is also known as the umbrella plant and comes in many different varieties.
- Light: Schefflera love bright but indirect light
- Water: Careful overwatering! Start with 2-3 times per month.
This bamboo species (Dracaena sanderiana) makes an awesome addition to an indoor garden because it can be shaped and molded by rotating it from a light source.
- Light: Bamboo typically grows under a canopy, so filtered light will be best.
- Water: This plant can be grown without soil! Fill a vase with a few inches of pebbles, insert the stalk, and fill with water. Try to use distilled water and change it weekly.
Known as dumb canes, these plants (genus Dieffenbachia) make smart additions to indoor gardens.
- Light: Like bamboo, dumb cane prefer bright, filtered sunlight.
- Water: This plant can be tricky depending on the soil type. Make sure the top inch of soil is dry before watering.
No Green Thumb Necessary
The next step is to evaluate what kind of plants can thrive in your home! Whether you have a sunny windowsill or a living lit by indirect sunlight, there is a house plant for you. Once you’ve added a little bit of greenery to your home, you’re well on your way to a DIY indoor garden.