The silk plant fad of the '90s is a distant memory, replaced by the need to create a green mood that provides a rejuvenating shot of nature in the face of so much technology. Indoor Houseplants refresh our interiors by removing toxins from the air, adding humidity to dry environments, and complement all types of decor with interesting textures and tones, proving that green is the new neutral.
01 of 08
Baby Tears Plant
Don't let the fragile stems of Soleirolia soleirolii fool you; baby tears plants are tough and resilient houseplants. Unfazed by the low light conditions common in most homes, baby tears will grow and spread to form a handsome mat across a container of any diameter. Try baby tears as a ground cover at the base of a small tree in lieu of mulch. The scale of baby tears leaves is also on point for terrarium arrangements. Keep your plant consistently moist for best growth; if you see the plant wilt, this indicates a need for immediate watering.
02 of 08
String of Pearls
What's old is new again, and that is especially the case for macrame hanging baskets. You could insert the standard pothos and add water every week or so, but a string of pearls plant is just the specimen to usher the woven planter into the 21st century. Senecio rowleyanus is a succulent and requires high light and soil with good drainage to thrive. If your friends take a fancy to this African native, you can propagate the plant with cuttings.
03 of 08
The genus Tillandsia is the answer to people who love houseplants but are challenged by a brown thumb. No soil is necessary, just an occasional dunk under the faucet where adaptable air plants use special scales on their leaves to take up moisture. The absence of soil provides many creative display opportunities: mount them on driftwood, arrange them in glass globes, or perch them on teacups. Given bright filtered light and weekly waterings, your air plants may produce pups or even flowers.
04 of 08
With ivy-shaped leaves and stained glass color patterns, rex begonias add elegance and a sense of mystery to any room they inhabit. Many rex begonias have colorful red or purple hairs that grow in abundance on their leaves and stems, adding to the personality of these shade-loving plants. Rex begonias appreciate regular moisture, but you must never allow them to sit in a soggy pot.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Orchids have a reputation as fussy divas that require expert care, but the phalaenopsis orchid is no more difficult to grow than any other houseplant. What many orchids suffer from is too much: too much sun, too much water, or too much fertilizer. Orchids are epiphytes that grow nestled in tree branches, where light is dappled and water drains freely. Provide bright dappled light and chunky bark planting medium, and you will be on the right track to months of blooms.
06 of 08
Dry air from central heating and a few skipped waterings won't break the stride of this vigorous grower. Commonly known as mother-in-law's tongue, Sansaveria plants handle low light conditions well, but display prettier variegation with some sunshine. Snake plants look striking when planted in a line, like an indoor hedge. Strappy leaves draw toxins out of the air like crazy, so add several where air pollution is a problem.
07 of 08
Although the Boston fern (Nephrolepsis) is widely available as a houseplant, it demands a high level of humidity that can be difficult to replicate in homes outside of a bathroom setting. Instead, try the holly fern (Cyrtomium), also known as the fishtail fern. The glossy, leathery leaves won't shatter in dry conditions like Boston ferns will, and these ferns also tolerate low light.
08 of 08
Although citrus plants are a bit high maintenance as houseplants, the payout is big if you're up for the challenge. Dwarf citrus trees bred to grow as houseplants like the Meyer lemon or Trovita orange need high light conditions, so a south-facing window is a must. Flowering and fruiting are best on plants that have a summer vacation outdoors, where strong light and high humidity will increase vigor. Put your air freshener away; the highly fragrant blooms that appear in the winter and spring months will make your home smell amazing.