While indoor flowering plants can be beautiful, and tropical plants can give an exotic look, they often take a lot of extra care. Leaf plants can be found in a variety of colors and textures that are every bit as interesting as their blooming and tropical cousins. There are many common indoor leaf plants that will add color and variation to a room without all that extra pampering.
Spider plants, Chlorophytum, are one of the most common leaf plants probably because they are so easy to grow. They will thrive, even if slightly neglected. Their long, arching, blade-like leaves can be shiny, dark green or variegated with a yellow stripe running up the center, and green edges form an attractive rosette. Although they do put off shoots that produce tiny, white flowers, these plants are known for their offshoots that hang on draping stems, thus lending the spidery appearance that gives them their name. Growing conditions include average warmth, a well-lit location out of direct sunlight, and liberal watering from spring to autumn with an occasional misting in the summer months.
Dracaena and Cordyline
Dracaena and Cordyline plants are false palms, lending an exotic, tropical look with their woody, trunk-like stems and colorful foliage. Many are quite easy to grow, withstanding some shade, low winter temperatures and even moderate neglect. There are many varieties, with solid or variegated leaves, and a lovely selection of greens, yellows, creams, pinks and reds. Growing conditions include average warmth, light shade, moist compost and frequent misting.
Philodendrons come in two basic types: climbers that need stem support and are suitable for the average room and those that don't climb, but have large, deeply lobed leaves and grow to sizes that may be more appropriate for public buildings than the living room. Their variety lies not in color, but in leaf shape and texture, from heart-shaped leaves with a glossy surface, to a soft velvety surface, and varieties of lobed patterns that are almost unending. Growing conditions include average warmth, light shade or moderate brightness, but never direct sunlight; thorough, regular watering during the growing season and moist compost during the winter months, and regular misting.