Top 10 Indoor Plants

Houseplants are plants that have been adapted to grow in soilless plant medium in containers in the artificial environment of the home. According to NASA Studies, houseplants also purify the air by removing toxins such as pollution or smoke. The most popular indoor plants are plants that are easy to care for and adapted to thrive in indoor lighting conditions and temperatures.

English Ivy

When planted outdoors, the woody vine can become so invasive that it takes over an area, choking out trees and shrubs to create "Ivy deserts" in which nothing else grows. But when planted indoors in containers and wrapped around a wire frame, the plant makes an attractive topiary. When grown indoors, the plant requires supplemental light from a grow light in order to thrive, but needs very little water.

Peace Lily

Peace lilies require very little sunlight and will often decorate a very dark corner of a home or office. In the home, the plant will communicate its need for water with visibly drooping leaves. A healthy peace lily will produce white blooms on a stalk.

African Violet

With over 20 species and hundreds of hybrid cultivars, the African violet is a widely collected houseplant. The plant's fuzzy leaves and varying flowers make it an unusual plant to have in the home. African violets like low sunlight and infrequent water. They should be placed in a bowl of water once weekly to soak up water from below.

Christmas Cactus

The Christmas cactus, and its cousin the Easter cactus, earn their names for the time of year in which they flower. This succulent likes low light and infrequent watering. A thorough, deep watering once weekly is usually sufficient for a Christmas cactus.

Spider Plant

The spider plant may be among the most common houseplants known today. Spider plants will tolerate any temperature and will not require daily watering. The plant prefers bright light. You may have to supplement the lighting conditions with a grow light.

Moth Orchid

The moth orchid will receive enough sunlight from west facing window and prefers the humid environment of a bathroom. You can supplement orchid growth with fluorescent lights placed 1 foot above the plant. Moth orchids should be given a thorough drenching every 10 days and then not watered again until the plant is nearly dry.

Mother In Law's Tongue

The mother in law's tongue responds well to infrequent watering and may only need watering once in winter. If watered too often, the plant will experience root rot. The plant prefers full sun, but is quite forgiving of low-lighting conditions.


The philodendron has been a popular house plant since Victorian times because of its leafy, tropical appearance. The plant can be taken outdoors during daytime to fulfill sunlight requirements, or it can be grown under a grow light. The plant can be watered infrequently, making it difficult to kill.

Devil's Ivy

Devil's ivy is a popular plant for home or office buildings because it's difficult to kill and simple to raise. The plant will grow well in low light or under fluorescent office lights. Water once weekly until the soil is soaked, and allow the soil to dry between waterings.

Ficus Tree

Ficus trees are such popular houseplants that there is a large industry built around fake, plastic ficus. The tree will shed leaves if the soil is too wet or too dry, or if the plant is placed too close to a radiator or air conditioner.

Keywords: raising houseplants, growing plants, selecting house plants

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."