A houseplant, whether one well-placed specimen, or part of a collection of various species, bring a bit of nature inside and enhance decor. Indoor plants last for months or years, but must start as healthy, vigorous specimens for the best performance.
Determine how much space is available in your home for houseplants. Some tropical species, like the Mexican breadfruit (Monstera deliciosa), produce leaves up to 4 feet long and 2 feet across. Always keep the size at maturity in mind when considering different plants and your available space.
Check the light levels in your home and note whether you have north-, south-, east- or west-facing windows. Most plants have particular preferences for light levels, but some are more tolerant and adaptable than others. Plants have various humidity and temperature needs as well.
Visit local garden centers, nurseries and grocery stores to take a look at available houseplants. Some types may only be offered seasonally, so ask for information regarding what species are available throughout the year if it looks like the selection is sparse. Don't buy the first plants you see--check around and compare prices.
Call local botanical gardens and horticulture departments of nearby universities. These institutions often have public sales offering a wide variety of specialty plants not often found in stores.
Select healthy-looking plants that appear to free of disease and insects. Texas A&M University extension recommends checking the undersides and axils of leaves for signs of pests. Avoid clearance-rack specimens that may have seen better days. Choose a plant well-suited to your particular growing conditions for the best chance of success with any houseplant.