Growing plants indoors can provide you with beauty and nature year-round. Houseplants are typically tropical or subtropical in nature and may require special treatment. They are prone to insects, just like their outdoor counterparts, so check the plant before bringing it into your home. Indoor plants have specific needs in terms of humidity, temperature and watering. For the best outcome, consider these variables, and the placement of the plant in your home, when choosing houseplants.
English ivy (Hedera helix) is a cascading plant with woody vines and dark green lobed leaves. It is used outdoors as a climbing ground cover or as a topiary and indoors as a hanging houseplant. English ivy does well grown in bright light, cool temperatures and low to medium humidity. For bushy growth, routinely pinch off the ends of shoots.
English ivy is prone to spider mites. Inspect the plant frequently for mites, but be aware that they are very small. Sometimes the first indication of a problem is visual damage to the plant. Spider webs indicate heavy infestation. Plants can be sprayed weekly with an insecticidal soap or miticide.
The heart-leaf philodendron (Philodendron scandens) is a cascading plant with dark green, heart-shaped leaves on long slender vines. It is used as a hanging basket or as a table plant. Philodendron is one of the hardiest houseplants available and does well in adverse conditions. It grows well in a warm environment with low humidity and bright indirect sunlight. The philodendron should be allowed to dry between waterings, reports Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.
The jade plant (Crassula argentea) is a succulent floor plant that reaches a height of three feet and a width of two feet. It has thick green leaves and small white flowers. The jade plant benefits from at least four hours of direct sunlight and prefers moderate temperatures, but will tolerate indirect bright light and most temperatures. Allow the soil to dry between waterings.
Jade plants are prone to mealybugs, which are small bugs that suck the sap from the plant. They are most often found where the lower surface of the leaves meet the trunk of the plant. Mealybugs may be difficult to control because their exterior is waxy and repels insecticides, according to Janet McLeod Scott, HGIC Horticulture Specialist at Clemson University Cooperative Extension. For light infestations, an insecticidal soap is recommended. Heavy infestations are hard to control and may destroy the plant.
The mother-in-law's tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata) is also known as the snake plant. It is an upright plant that reaches a height of 5 feet with a width of 2 feet. It is a hardy houseplant with straight erect leaves that have a gold band along the edge. This plant is tolerant of all light conditions and does well in moderate to warm surroundings.
The mother-in-law's tongue prefers an environment with low humidity. This plant requires very little water in the winter months and the soil should be allowed to dry between waterings.