House plants can instantly brighten up a barren office or bland room in the home, bringing color and liveliness into an interior for a fraction of the cost of new furniture or framed artwork. There are a number of common house plants and indoor trees that require only a little care and attention to look their best.
Originally a native of tropical Central and South America, the poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is widely cultivated as a holiday houseplant. The perennial shrub is notable for its broad, open-faced flowers, which are available in Christmas-friendly colors such as red, scarlet and white. The leaves of the plant are a rich, dark green. Poinsettias work well indoors as a table centerpiece, or as an accent on a windowsill. The plant does best in bright, indirect sunlight and well draining soil. Take care to let the soil dry out in between waterings, so as not to cause a fungus or root rot.
A native of Asia, the mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin) is a common garden and house plant that is popular for its pale green, fern-like leaves and fluffy pale pink or hot pink flowers. Mimosas can be used to add a bit of bright color and greenery in an indoor space. The tree does best in a bright, sunny location that isn't too hot. Water the tree frequently in the spring and summer months, and apply a monthly fertilizer. Reduce water and withhold fertilizing during the winter. Like other house plants, mimosa trees are susceptible to white flies and spider mites when grown indoors. Most indoor pest can be gently washed off the plant with a direct stream of water.
A member of the arum family, tree philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum) is a semi-woody shrub native to the tropical rain forests of Paraguay and Brazil. The shrub is notable for its large leaves, which are a lustrous green and have splits along the sides. The leaves of the plant may grow to be up to 3 feet long. Tree philodendron is a common house plant, thanks to its unusual tropical appearance. The plant will thrive indoors in bright, indirect sunlight, ideally behind a thin curtain. Mist the plant occasionally with warm, lime-free water to increase humidity. Tree philodendrons require lots of water; keep the soil moist to the touch during the growing season, and a little drier during the winter.