What are some good plants I can keep indoors?
Real Mom Problem
“I would like to try to grow some plants or flowers inside my home. Do you know of any that are easy to grow for beginners? Thank you!”
- 1. Choose plants based on how much light they'll be exposed to
- 2. Consider growing something you can use; such as aloe vera, or herbs for cooking
- 3. If you have pets or small children, stay away from plants that can be harmful or poisonous
- 4. Research how much water your plants need. Watering is important but overdoing it can harm your plants
Real Mom Solutions
House plants can add so much to a room. Get some gardening inspiration by checking out what the moms of CafeMom most enjoy growing.
Our Expert Mom Says...
Growing plants indoors is one of the more rewarding forms of gardening that there is. Yes! Growing inside your home is just as much a gardening talent as growing outside.
To choose the right plant, you need to know how much light you will have available. Most homes have more low lighting. Partially shaded, or north facing windows, qualify as low light. Plants that survive without much sunlight are:
- Spider Plant
Medium or indirect lighting means eastern facing windows, or plants indirectly placed near a southern or western facing window. If you have medium to bright lighting, grow a few of these charming houseplants:
- Norfolk Island Pine
Full or bright lighting means a full sun, southern or western facing window. If you truly have a bright spot for a houseplant, here are a few that will thrive:
- English Ivy
- Rubber Tree
- Boston Fern
Amy Jeanroy is a Master Gardener and community herbalist living in Northern Maine. She grows her own food, flowers, and herbs as much as possible and loves to share her knowledge. Keep up with Amy and her garden adventures at thefarmingwife.com.
The Moms of CafeMom Say...
All house plant are easy to take care of, just remember to water them twice a month (don't over-water or they will die). If you make coffee, the coffee granules are a great fertilizer for plants and helps them look shiny and healthy (feed them just once a year).
A most unusual tip I got from my boss at work: Use mayonnaise on all broad leaf varieties of indoor plants! I tried it and did it work! The plants grew so healthy, the leaves always looked shiny - some visitors even thought the plants were fake - too good to be real. Here is what I do - spread a little mayo on a piece of damp paper towel and swipe it all over the top of the leaves. Only when you have very little left on the paper, do the undersides.
I've got a sweet potato in a pot inside! The vines are really pretty, and I've found the young leaves are good in stir fry!
Philodendron, spider plants, and wandering jew are some of the easiest I know, and beautiful too. I also like some succulents, like jade plant, but I don't recommend true cactus to beginners because they tend to rot on you if you over-water even a bit.
I have a pink/white and purple/white African violets and they sit in my kitchen window sill. I feed them and they bloom very often. I've had them for several years now.
Ivies are easy, and peace lilies (also known as Spathiphyllum) are very hard to kill.
I grow strawberries in an old fish tank (with the light).
Cacti are easy as are succulents which come in a thousand varieties. How about aloe? It is also useful. Maybe some herbs. Do you have cats? You will want to consider if the plants are poisonous to small children and animals as well.
Wandering jews are easy to keep alive. I also like spider plants. I f you keep watering the soil when it's dry, it is pretty easy to keep plants alive.
I have more plants than I care to count. A few off the top of my head...violets, philodendron, orchids, aloe vera, various cacti, asparagus ferns, purple heart, wandering jew, various herbs, Christmas cactus.
English ivy and cast iron plants are very hardy and easy to grow.
I always have great luck with succulents (cactus) as well as "Prayer Plants." Keeping prayer plants in a bathroom is great because they are "tropical" in nature and will thrive on the humidity there.
Garden shops will have potted tropicals that look almost like a palm, and add a lot of "oomph" for not much money. Polka dot plants are pretty and do quite well. African violets are very pretty, and need lots of light to make them keep re-blooming. Make sure you buy some fertilizer made for indoor plants and use it regularly to keep your plants healthy.