Want to grow some houseplants, but don’t know where to start?
There are many plants that we grow indoors that are classics for a reason: they are well-suited to life in our homes, and they are easy to care for, instantly bringing greenery and life into our homes.
Some of them can adapt to very difficult conditions, such as little to no natural light, others can weather drafts without any problem, and most just look beautiful, no matter what kind of space you have.
Let’s get started, shall we?
1. Aeschynanthus radicans ‘Lipstick Plant’
A plant that’s climbing steadily in popularity is the lipstick vine, also known as Aeschynanthus radicans. This is a trailing plant with petite, waxy foliage and unique blood-red flowers.
If you get the care right, this plant can flower constantly, making for a stunning display in any room.
Bright indirect light works best for this plant, as well as sharply-draining soil, and the occasional feed.
At maturity, this plant can grow vines that are 3 feet long, so make sure you have a hanging pot that can accommodate this.
It helps that this plant is very easy to propagate (See also Lipstick Plant Propagation), so you’ll soon have lots of lipstick plants that will provide plenty of flowers!
2. Araucaria Heterophylla ‘Norfolk Island Pine’
The Norfolk Island Pine may look like a plant that won’t survive indoors, but it will thrive inside if you give it the right conditions.
It’s usually grown as a bonsai tree, but you can also grow it in its natural form, where it can reach about 6 feet tall if you give it the space and height it needs.
Some people turn it into a Christmas tree during the holidays, and it certainly looks like the part with its conifer-like leaves!
Give this plant bright and indirect light, as direct sunlight is typically too fierce for this plant, and make sure the soil has plenty of drainage.
3. Aspidistra Elatior ‘Cast Iron Plant’
The Cast Iron plant is famed for its tough nature, and it’s pretty much marketed as invincible, which is great news if you haven’t had success with houseplants in the past!
This is a gorgeous, leafy ornamental plant with long, narrow leaves. The foliage can either be solid, deep green (suitable for lower light levels), or variegated with shades of yellow or white (for bright, indirect light).
Keep this plant happy by making sure it’s in airy, well-draining acidic compost, and give it a good drink when the top two inches of compost have dried out.
4. Chlorophytum Comosum ‘Spider Plant’
This houseplant is such a classic that we forget how strange it looks!
The plant comes into its own when it is mature enough to produce plantlets, baby spider plants on a special runner called a stolon.
The majority of spider plant species are variegated in shades of white and green, though you can get a solid green variety if you hunt around for it enough.
Spider plants are very easy to care for, and look perfect on a tall plant stand or in a hanging pot.
These plants will not thank you for direct sunlight, but they love bright and indirect spaces.
It also helps that they are one of the best air-purifying plants you can have in your home, and they are readily available.
To keep spider plants happy, give them damp and well-draining compost, and don’t let them dry out completely.
5. Columnea Gloriosa ‘Goldfish Plant’
Similar to the Lipstick Plant, the Goldfish Plant, otherwise known as Columnea gloriosa, is a trailing plant that produces lots of gorgeous flowers alongside the waterfall of leaves.
The flowers on this particular plant are bright orange, contrasting well against the dark green of the leaves.
Give this plant a very airy potting mix as it is an epiphyte, and keep this plant somewhere comfortable between 65°F and 75°F (or 18°C to 24°C).
It needs about 12 hours of bright light a day, with no more than an hour or two of direct sunshine, so you may want to use a grow light.
6. Crassula Ovata ‘Jade Plant’
One of the easiest plants to grow on this list is the Jade Plant, sometimes known as the Money Plant or Crassula ovata.
It’s a succulent plant, so it will need as much direct sunlight as you can give it and very sharply-draining soil.
This will help mimic its natural environment, and if you water it infrequently but thoroughly, allowing the soil to dry out between watering, your plant will thrive.
You can even train it as a bonsai tree if you like. These plants have been known to become heirloom plants under the right care, meaning that they will outlive you if you treat them well!
7. Dieffenbachia spp. ‘Dumb Cane’
If you’re after a very attractive leafy houseplant that doesn’t need too much care, dumb canes are a great option (See also 32 Types Of Dumb Canes Plants).
Also known as Dieffenbachia, these plants are usually variegated in shades of green and off-white, and make a statement in any room.
However, it’s worth knowing that these plants are harmful if ingested, so keep them well away from pets and children.
These plants are particularly tolerant of dim conditions, making them perfect for homes with little natural light or smaller, Northern-facing windows.
The soil needs to be kept somewhat damp, so keep Dieffenbachia plants in well-draining compost, and this will help divert excess moisture away from the roots.
8. Dracaena ‘Snake Plants’
Snake plants used to be classified under the Sansevieria genus, but they have been moved to the Dracaena genus, but they go by both names.
These plants are gorgeous, with snake-like leaves that can get huge with enough time and care.
They are perfect for those who are just starting with houseplants, as they are extremely forgiving when you forget to water them, and they love plenty of light.
Depending on the exact species you get, snake plants may tolerate lots of direct sunlight, or very little.
In any case, give them lots of drainage when it comes to soil (such as a cacti mix with some added grit or perlite), and water them once the compost has dried out completely.
9. Epipremnum Aureum ‘Golden Pothos’
Pothos plants are fabulous vining plants that look beautiful both as climbers and as trailing plants.
They grow extremely fast and can be propagated easily.
You may know these plants as ‘Devil’s Ivy’ because they are nearly impossible to kill. One of the reasons why these plants are grown inside is because they are a nuisance outside, and can choke out native plants as an invasive species!
One of the most curious things about Pothos plants is that you can grow them in fluorescent light without any natural light at all, provided that you choose the right variety, and that the artificial light is on for at least 12 hours a day.
You can get solid-green varieties, but most Pothos varieties come in different patterns of variegation, only adding to these plants’ beauty (see also How To Care For Pothos NJoy).
You can even grow these plants just in water if you prefer.
To keep these plants happy, give them bright and indirect sunlight (maybe with an hour or two of morning sunlight if you want to give them a boost), in well-draining soil with plenty of nutrients.
10. Ficus Benjamina ‘Weeping Fig’
Weeping fig plants are perhaps not as widely grown as some of the plants within the Ficus genus, but they certainly make a statement.
These plants can reach between 20 and 50 years old if you care for them properly, and may get to about 6 feet tall if you give them enough space.
You can even buy this plant with a braided trunk, only adding to its attractive look with its glossy leaves, densely packed at the top of the plant.
It’s worth knowing that this plant is toxic to humans and pets, but if you keep it out of reach, it makes a gorgeous focal point in any space.
Give it good quality compost with plenty of nutrients and sharp drainage, and lots of bright light with little to no direct sunlight.
If you prefer, you could grow this plant outdoors all year round if you’re lucky enough to live in USDA zones 10 or 11.
11. Ficus elastica ‘Rubber Plant’
While these trees are native to tropical rainforests of Asia, these striking plants are grown across the world as houseplants.
They’re unlikely to reach their typical height of 100 feet indoors, and may get between 3 and 8 feet tall, depending on the variety you go for, and the conditions you give the plants.
You can instantly recognize rubber plants for their magazine-glossy leaves, which are very thick and oval-shaped, and can be solid green, or variegated, depending on the variety (See also Ficus Elastica Varieties To Grow).
Give rubber plants some morning sunlight for good growth, but no more direct sunlight than a few hours, otherwise the leaves will burn.
This species is prone to leaf drop if the soil gets too dry or too wet, and overwatering is a common problem, so keep these plants in very sharply draining soil to avoid this.
This is not a plant that is suitable for rooms where pets or children frequent, as the latex sap in the plant is an irritant, and it’s not worth the risk.
12. Ficus Lyrata ‘Fiddle-Leaf Fig’
Ah, the Fiddle-Leaf Fig. It’s a gorgeous plant on the wishlist of many, but it can be temperamental, especially if you don’t get the watering schedule right from the get-go.
You’ll also need to make sure that once you have found the right position for it, you keep it there. These plants hate being moved and may protest by dropping some of their leaves.
Despite its fussiness, Ficus lyrata is a stunning plant that’s worth growing at least once. Keep this plant in a bright, sheltered place away from drafts, and prolonged direct sunlight.
Allow the top inch or two of compost to dry out in between watering, and give the plant a loamy compost that drains well.
13. Geoppertia spp. ‘Calathea’
Most Calathea species now belong to the Geoppertia genus, and these stunning plants are sold across the world as houseplants for a reason: they are some of the most beautiful foliage houseplants you can grow.
Calathea plants open their leaves during the day and close them up at night, which is typical of the Maranta plant family they belong to, also known as the Prayer Plant family.
But these tropical, leafy plants are not without their quirks.
They’re very sensitive to water quality, and the wrong conditions will see the stunning leaves crisp up and go brown quickly.
Give them the brightest indirect light possible, in a warm room with no drafts. If you can, higher humidity can help stop the leaves from crisping up, as well as watering them with room temperature rainwater or cooled kettle water.
14. Hedera Helix ‘English Ivy’
Very easy to grow, and extremely inexpensive, English ivy is a robust plant that will grow very quickly.
It will start as an upright plant, becoming a trailer as it gets bigger. Give this plant bright and indirect light, and only water it when at least a quarter of the soil has dried out.
15. Hoya spp. ‘Wax Plant’
If you like trailing and climbing plants but ivy is a little plain for your liking, wax plants are perfect.
They feature the most beautiful and sweet-smelling clustered flowers on a houseplant, and the foliage is a statement in itself, too.
Give the plant as much indirect light as possible, and only water when the soil has nearly dried out completely.
16. Kalanchoe spp. ‘Widow’s Thrill’
Very inexpensive and gorgeous, kalanchoe plants add plenty of color to any room with plenty of tiny but bright and cheery flowers and large leaves.
These plants like a couple of hours of direct sunlight, with sharply-draining soil, and regular watering.
17. Monstera adansonii ‘Swiss Cheese Vine’
Alongside the Swiss Cheese plant, the Swiss Cheese vine is one of the most classic houseplants you can grow.
It helps that it will grow in pretty much any space provided there is enough light, and the fenestrated leaves are a sight to see.
You can train this plant to climb or let it trail.
18. Phalaenopsis spp. ‘Moth Orchid’
Perhaps one of the most misunderstood houseplants is the Moth Orchid. Many try to treat it like a tropical leafy houseplant, which is why they fail.
The secret to keeping Moth orchids happy is to soak the plant in tepid water – pot, and soil included – when the roots get very silvery and the pot feels light for about fifteen minutes, and allow it to drain.
Give the plant bright and indirect light, and feed occasionally with orchid fertilizer.
19. Philodendron Hederaceum ‘Heart-Leaf Philodendron’
The Heart-Leaf Philodendron gives a romantic look to any room with its beautiful foliage, tumbling down from hanging pots (see also 13 Indoor Hanging Plants That Don’t Need Sun).
You can get these plants in solid-green, or variegated forms. Just make sure you give the variegated varieties bright and indirect light to make sure the variegation doesn’t wash out.
20. Pilea peperomioides ‘Chinese Money Plant’
Maybe one of the most recognizable Pilea plants is the Chinese Money Plant, famous for its deep green, round leaves that grow densely packed.
Give these plants lots of indirect sun, warm temperatures, and well-draining soil. This plant will also readily produce offsets.
21. Schefflera actinophylla ‘Umbrella Tree’
One of the most eye-catching plants on this list is the Umbrella Tree, famous for its leaves that grow in a fan-like arrangement.
These plants need plenty of light, preferably no more than a couple of hours a day, with some higher humidity, and well-draining, damp soil.
22. Scindapsus Treubii ‘Moonlight’
While this isn’t a common plant, it is worth mentioning as it is steadily growing in popularity, thanks to its easy-going care, and silvery green leaves.
Give it the right care and it will trail with abandon, looking beautiful as it grows.
23. Syngonium spp. ‘Arrowhead Vine’
Arrowhead vines are striking houseplants that will trail or climb, depending on how you grow them.
They are one of the most strongly pigmented, variegated plants, which are also easy to care for.
Things To Consider When Growing Houseplants
What Houseplants Can Grow Under Fluorescent Lights?
Some plants can grow very well under fluorescent lighting alone, such as Pothos plants, Snake Plants, and ZZ Plants, perfect for those windowless rooms.
What’s The Most Toxic Houseplant?
Houseplants that are regarded as the most toxic include Dumb Cane plants and Philodendrons, so they’re not great varieties to choose from if your household includes pets or children.
What Indoor Plant Purifies The Air The Most?
Among the most air-purifying houseplants is the spider plant, which filters out formaldehyde and xylene from the air.
There are many houseplants to choose from, and when it comes to the classics, they are favorites for a reason.
However, it’s a good idea to choose the houseplants you like the most, as well as what will work in the unique growing conditions inside your home. If you don’t like the plants you grow, there is very little point!