Common Indoor House Plants

Gardening with interior plants is a rewarding activity that brings inexpensive color and vibrancy into your home. While not all plants are well suited to the confining conditions of an indoor container or hanging basket, there are a good number that will live happily indoors. Some of the more common indoor house plants are popular because of their hassle-free care requirements.

Spider Plant

A member of the lily family, spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum), also sometimes called ribbon plant, is a perennial plant grown primarily for its cascading variegated foliage, which can reach 5 feet in the length. The plant is a popular house plant, commonly used for hanging baskets where its green and yellow leaves can hang over the edge. A native of South Africa, spider plant is best cultivated in bright light when grown indoors. The plant prefers a well-drained soil that is watered frequently during the warmer months and infrequently during the winter. The plant is tolerant of neglect and will thrive in a range of humidity conditions, from an air conditioned room to a humid sun room.


Commonly referred to as "Christmas flower," poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is a flowering perennial shrub native to Central America and Mexico. A member of the spurge family, poinsetta boasts red, pink or white flowers placed atop broad green foliage. Though the shrub is cultivated outdoors, poinsettias are more frequently seen indoors around the holidays, placed around the base of Christmas trees or used as festive centerpieces. The shrub reaches a more modest size in an indoor container, usually about 1 1/2 to 2 feet. Poinsettias do best indoors in bright, indirect sunlight in a well-drained soil. Water occasionally, letting the soil dry out between waterings to keep the roots from rotting.


A member of the arum family, windowleaf is an imposing tropical foliage plant native to the tropical jungles of Southern Mexico and Central America. The perennial vine sports large, Swiss cheese-like leaves and can grow to be more than 70 feet long in the wild (though naturally it will be much smaller in the home). The plant does well indoors and is a common sight in many house holds. Windowleaf will tolerate low levels of light, though some light is necessary. The plant should be put in a well-drained soil and watered on a regular basis (preferably with rain water). Feeding the plant liquid fertilizer during the growing season will help its leaves look fresh, as will wiping them down with a damp cloth or sponge.

Keywords: common indoor, house plants, indoor plants

About this Author

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based out of Astoria, Ore. She has been writing professionally for five years, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for an alternative weekly paper in Santa Cruz. She has a B.A. in fine arts from the University of California in Santa Cruz and a minor in English literature.