Identification of Indoor House Plants


Ever wonder what kind of house plants you may have in your home? Often plants are purchased and live for many years without the owners knowing (or remembering) the name and type of plants they have surrounding them. To properly identify the type of indoor house plant you have can be a tricky task because there are over 300 types of common house plants. Using online sites and forums, reference books and visiting your local nursery can help match the plant at home to its proper type.

Step 1

Complete an online search of sites that contain plant databases listing plant name, characteristics, native location and photos to help you identify your indoor house plant. Several sites allow you to input the plant description and complete a search or identify the plant by photograph.

Step 2

Purchase or borrow a reference book about indoor house plants. There are many comprehensive plant "dictionaries" that list plants by name with an accompanying photo. You can review these texts to determine your type of house plants. These reference books will also have information about caring for plants.

Step 3

Visit your local nursery with photos of your indoor house plants. You may also want to bring a sample leaf from your plant. Ask the nursery employees for assistance because many of them are well-trained and knowledgeable on the different varieties of plants and can help you in identifying your plants.

Step 4

Peruse your local nurseries to compare their in-store stock against the plants you have at home. A large nursery will have a wide selection of indoor plants. Most plants for sale come with a plastic identification tag that has the plant name and caring instructions. Write down the names of the plants you think are a match and double-check your instincts against an online database.

Step 5

Visit online forums and post photos of your plant and ask other readers to help you identify your indoor house plants. Many of the visitors to these sites, along with the forum moderators, are both interested and knowledgeable about plants and may have a different perspective or advice on the identification of your plants.


  • G Flora: The Encyclopedia of House Plants
  • University of British Columbia Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research:
  • Plant Care: Plant Encyclopedia Database

Who Can Help

  • Plant Care
  • Perdue University Horticulture: Flowers and Indoor Plants
  • G Flora
  • Botany
  • Helpful Gardener
Keywords: identifying house plants, indoor house plants, house plant types

About this Author

Francine Richards began writing in 1998, with a specialty in health care technical writing. Her experience includes authoring policies, training materials, Web articles and marketing materials. Richards' work has appeared on several Blue Cross Blue Shield plan sites and newsletters. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Maryland.

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