Houseplants are often used in homes and offices as a way to bring a touch of nature to the indoors and to help make indoor living space more "green," or environmentally friendly. If you are new to growing indoor houseplants, you may be wondering what types of plants you should try. Fortunately, there are some common house flowers that do not require a lot of care.
The African violet (Saintpaulia) is a popular houseplant that can grow from 6 to 16 inches in height, and plants may be considered miniature or large depending on their size. Flower blooms may be blue, purple, pink, red or even white. The African violet prefers indirect sunlight, since direct sunlight can burn its leaves and turn them brown. Some growers prefer artificial lighting over natural sunlight to aide the flowering of plants and to help them to bloom. The African violet likes well-drained soil that has a high organic matter, and it prefers high humidity. Many growers are quite fanatical about their African violets and there are some organizations, such as the African Violet Society, that even hold conventions devoted to growing them.
Aloe (Aloe barbadensis) is a succulent perennial that can grow from 1 to 2 feet in height and has a 2- to 3-foot spread. It is easily recognized by its light green color and thick spiny-edged leaves that give it a somewhat cactus-like appearance. Older aloe plants produce coral- to red-colored tubular flowers that grow from a center stalk in the middle of the plant. Aloe is often kept because of its medicinal properties that aide in the healing of burns. It prefers part shade to part sun and a slightly alkaline soil. Aloe does not do well in soil that contains salt, but it is highly drought tolerant.
The peace lily (Spathiphyllum) is an herbaceous perennial that has large glossy lance-shaped leaves that can grow to 12 inches in length and are 2 inches wide. It produces white paddle-shaped flowers with stubby spaths that extend from the flower's middle. The peace lily likes indirect sunlight and will grow in very low light conditions. Without enough light, however, it may not flower. It likes a moist soil that is not too wet and has good drainage.