The Names of House Plants

While many house plants, such as aloe vera or African violets, are easily recognizable by most people. However, many house plants are not as easily identifiable. There are hundreds of different kinds of plants suitable for growing indoors, but only a fraction of them are commonly available at garden or home improvement stores.

Umbrella Tree

The umbrella tree, or Brassaia actinophylla, earns its name from the shape and grouping of its leaves. The plant features oblong leaves arranged in groups of five or so that form an arc that resembles an umbrella. The leaves can be either solid green or mottled green and yellow. In the wild, the umbrella tree can reach 40 feet in height. As a house plant, it can grow to 8 or 10 feet if given the right conditions. The plant does not require a lot of watering and its soil should be allowed to dry out between waterings. It prefers a humid environment with a decent amount of light.

Mother-In-Law Tongue

The mother-in-law tongue plant, also known as the snake plant or Sansevieria, has long, pointy and stiff leaves that often have yellow along the edges. People who have difficultly growing plants or who have a brown thumb may succeed in growing the mother-in-law tongue, since it is a hardy plant that actually thrives on being neglected. Giving the plant too much water can harm it. It also does not need much sunlight.

Spider Plant

The spider plant, or Chlorophytum, is a recognizable house plant. It consists of a bunch of long, narrow leaves that spring up from the root in a manner that resembles a spider. One common feature of the plant is that it begins to produce baby plants on the tips of its leaves when it becomes pot bound. The baby plants can prove to be a nuisance for some people, as the plant begins to take over a lot of space in their home. The plant does not need a lot of water, especially in the colder months. It will do well in bright sunlight or in less bright conditions.


The pothos ivy, or devil ivy, plant has heart-shaped leaves colored green or yellow. The plant puts out runner stems that like to climb on surfaces. The height and width of the plant varies based on how much space it has to climb. It can survive in low light or bright light, but certain adaptations need to be made. In lower light conditions, it requires less water. for example. Its leaves may also lose some of their color in reduced light.

Dragon Tree

The dragon tree or Dracaena is another house plant with long, pointy leaves. Its leaves can be solid green or have red or white edges. The leaves are attached to a wooden stem, which is either concealed by the leaves or shown off, as in the case of the corn plant, a type of dragon tree. The plants do well in bright light and moist soil.

Keywords: house plant names, spider plants, umbrella tree, types house plants

About this Author

Based in Pennsylvania, Emily Weller has been writing professionally since 2007, when she started writing theater reviews for and Theater Talk's New Theatre Corps Blog. Her writing covers a wide range of topics including theater, vegetarianism, travel and news. Weller has a Master of Fine Arts in dramaturgy and theater criticism from CUNY/Brooklyn College.

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