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How do I Choose the Best Interior Plants?

Jessica Ellis
Updated May 17, 2024
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Indoor plants are a great way to bring the garden inside, adding to interior decor with natural beauty and elegant greenery. There are hundreds of plants that thrive indoors, protected from the harsher conditions of the outside world. Choosing the best interior plants will depend on gardening experience, availability, decor style, and even the architecture of the house itself.

While many plants can benefit from the regulated temperature and light indoors, not all interior plants have the same sunlight or temperature requirements. Plants that require full sun will need to be placed next to large windows, ideally those that receive several hours of sunlight per day. Shade-loving interior plants, such as ferns, will need to be kept in sheltered regions around the house, with access to direct light only.

In terms of temperature, hardy interior plants can put up with most indoor climates, while exotic and more labor-intensive plants may require environments that are carefully temperature-controlled. If a house contains rooms that can be individually temperature-controlled, it may be easier to grow unusual plants such as orchids. Homes with central temperature control or those with less insulation may permit the use of more tolerant interior plants, such as cacti, bonsai, and herb gardens.

The style of decoration within a house may help determine the best interior plants. Southwestern-style adobes may inspire the indoor gardener to add a few cacti or desert succulents. Tropical inspired decor may be enhanced by the use of rubber trees and orchids. Homes with a traditional British feel may be best served by plants seen in traditional conservatories, such as unusual ferns. Others that use Italian or French design influences can benefit from herb gardens planted near windows, which add both beauty and culinary options.

Though interior plants are protected from outdoor conditions to an extent, the climate of the region will sometimes influence the success of specific plants. Using plants that are local and native to the area may be the best way to ensure hearty growth and bloom, since the sunlight and temperature already suit the plant. Areas that receive rain and overcast skies may not be the best place to try and grow plants that require daily sunlight, while humid climates may flood drought-loving plants with too much moisture.

Gardening experience can also help determine the best kinds of interior plants for a home. Some plants can actually survive on a few drops of water per week, while others require daily spritzing, regular fertilization, and frequent trips outside for additional sunlight. While growing interior plants can be a fun hobby, it can quickly grow tiresome for those uninterested in spending several hours a week maintaining delicate plants. Suiting plant choices to gardening preferences can help keep interior gardening fun for the gardener, and safe for the plants.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for WiseGeek. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.
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Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
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