8 Top Outdoor Garden Plants That Thrive Indoors

Bring the Outdoors Indoors

fuchsia can become a great houseplant

The Spruce / Autumn Wood 

It is a shame to lose all your tender, outdoor garden plants each winter. Many are actually warm weather perennials that will grow all year if brought indoors. Shade tolerant plants make especially good choices for houseplants, since homes have less light. There are other growing conditions to take into consideration, like cooler temperatures indoors and humidity. Tropical plants brought in as houseplants may need extra attention. Consider these 8 plants to shelter inside.


Start by acclimating outdoor plants gradually. Bring them indoors while the windows are still open to bridge the change in conditions. Check plants for pests before bring them indoors. Remove pests with a strong spray of water or use insecticidal soap for serious infestations.

  • 01 of 08


    rex begonias

    The Spruce / Kara Riley

    Begonias are becoming more popular with plant breeders, and many varieties make excellent indoor foliage plants. In particular, rex begonias, with their unusual colors, patterns, and textures, make nice houseplants. They can be difficult to grow indoors,​ because they prefer high humidity, but growing them on a pebble tray helps.

    • Light: Partial or dappled sun
    • Water: Allow to dry out between waterings
    • Color varieties: Pink flowers;  green, red, pink, purple, silver, or brown foliage
  • 02 of 08


    fuchsia as a houseplant

    The Spruce / Kara Riley

    Fuchsias look very tropical, but they actually enjoy cool temperatures in the 60 to 70 F range. This plant benefits from a winter rest, so do not expect a lot of flowers during winter. Bring the plants indoors before frost and trim them to about 6 inches. Place it a cool spot (45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit) with low light. In spring, move the plant back into a sunny spot and resume watering regularly. New growth should start soon. Repot with fresh soil and begin feeding every other week.

    • Light: Full sun except in winter
    • Water: Water lightly when soil is dry
    • Color varieties: White, pink, red, purple or various combinations
  • 03 of 08

    Geraniums (Pelargonium)


    The Spruce / Autumn Wood 

    Gardeners have been overwintering geranium plants for years. You can allow them to go dormant until spring, but if you have a bright, south-facing window, you can have repeat blooms all winter. Geraniums that have been growing outdoors in pots make the best candidates,​ because their roots will not be disturbed. Bring them in before frost and give the plants a light trim. To bloom during winter, consider adding artificial light, as they need 14 to 16 hours of light per day.

    • Light: Full sun
    • Water: Allow to dry out between waterings
    • Color varieties: Pink, red, and white flowers
  • 04 of 08

    Abutilon (Flowering Maple)

    PollyDot / Pixabay / CC By 0

    Abutilon, the flowering or parlor maple, is often grown in containers or beds as an annual, but it is actually a tropical shrub. Abutilon kept indoors like bright light, from a south- or west-facing window, and warm temperatures of 65 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Avoid drafts and feed every other week with a water-soluble fertilizer. Your abutilon can be pruned lightly in the fall to maintain its size and shape and will often bloom in early to mid-spring. Keep an eye out for pests.

    • Light: Full to partial sun
    • Water: Allow to dry out between waterings
    • Color varieties: White to pale yellow to deep coral and red flowers
    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides)


    The Spruce / Kara Riley

    Coleus is everywhere these days. The old-fashioned, seed-grown varieties that prefer some shade make especially nice houseplants. If your plants are too large to bring in, coleus root quickly from cuttings. They like to be warm but will tolerate cooler nights and temperatures down to about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to pinch off any flowers as they appear to keep the plants from going to seed.

    • Light: Indirect bright light
    • Water: Keep soil moist and feed monthly.
    • Color varieties: Purple, green, red, pink, yellow, and variegated foliage
  • 06 of 08

    Tropical Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)

    tropical hibiscus

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 

    Hibiscus adapt well to being indoors and may bloom all winter if kept in a very sunny window with bright, direct light. You can trim the plants to shape them, but hibiscus grow slowly in winter, and you may not see any new growth. If you do not have an ideally warm, sunny window, opt for a cool spot with average light and let them drop their leaves and go dormant. Keep an eye out for aphids.

    • Light: Full sun to partial shade
    • Water: Water daily; keep well drained
    • Color varieties: White, red, pink, orange, yellow, peach, purple flowers
  • 07 of 08

    Hot Peppers

    Ornamental Chile Peppers

    The Spruce / Marie Iannotti

    Peppers are tropical perennials and can be kept growing and producing for several years. Smaller hot peppers are the easiest to bring indoors, but any pepper is worth a try. Watch for aphids and fungus gnats. Consider adding artificial light, as peppers need 12-16 hours of light to continue producing fruit.

    • Light: Bright, direct light
    • Water: Water when soil feels dry an inch below soil line
    • Color varieties: Green, yellow, and red fruits
  • 08 of 08

    Herbs: Basil, Chives, Parsley, Lemon Grass, Rosemary

    Growing Basil

    The Spruce / Marie Iannotti

    Many herbs do well indoors. For annuals and biennials, like basil and parsley, it is best to start with a small, young plant. Chives are a particularly easy herb to grow indoors. Even if they are hit by frost, they will rejuvenate indoors in a pot. Perennials, like lemongrass and rosemary, can be potted and brought back and forth from the outdoor herb garden to the indoors. Trim and use your herbs to keep them bushy and full.

    • Light: Bright, direct light
    • Water: Water when soil feels dry one inch below soil line