Houseplants can brighten the interior of a home, providing a fresh burst of life and a little bit of extra color. Especially in the winter when the outdoors are forbidding and gray, a well-placed houseplant can truly improve one's spirit. There are many different kinds of houseplants available, many of which are hardy and can grow in a range of conditions.
Jade plants (Crassula ovata) are fleshy succulents native to South Africa that produce tiny white blooms. The plants are popular houseplants because of their hardiness; it takes a truly uncaring gardener to kill a jade plant. Jade plants grow well in general purpose potting soil in a location of the house with full sunlight. A little sand mixed into the soil will help increase drainage. Jade plants love moist soil, and warm water is optimal. Jade plants should not be fertilized more than twice a year: one time in spring and one time in summer with water soluble fertilizer is fine.
The Gerber daisy, of the genus Gerbera, is a flowering plant native to Africa, Madagascar and parts of Asia. The plant is enormously popular and sold worldwide as an ornamental plant for both indoor and outdoor cultivation. The plant produces large, daisy-like flowers in bold colors such as orange, pink and red. The flowers sit atop stiff, rich green foliage. The plant is low growing, reaching a maximum height of around 18 inches. Gerber daisies prefer moist soil and indirect or filtered light when kept indoors.
Nipple fruit (Solanum mammosum), also commonly referred to as cow's udder or titty fruit, is a shrubby perennial that produces waxy, puffy yellow fruits that resemble a cross between a cow's udder and a bell pepper. Though the fruits are poisonous, the plant is still a popular ornamental. Nipple fruit can be grown outdoors in full sun with soil that has a neutral pH level. The plant can also be cultivated indoors in a sunny location in the house. Nipple fruit is a late bloomer that produces magenta flowers at the end of summer and into early fall.