Good Indoor Plants for San Diego

San Diego can be a difficult place to grow indoor plants because of the hot California climate. This doesn't mean that you have to abandon your love of horticulture and gardening. It simply means you have to find plants that are well-suited to the San Diego environment. In other words, you have to find plants that like warm temperatures and can do without a lot of water.

English (California) Ivy

California ivy is a vine that can spread up to 12 feet. However, when kept properly trimmed, it works well in hanging baskets, according to Texas A&M University. The ivy will send a cascade of foliage from the basket down toward the floor. Most varieties of California ivy are medium green in color. The plant has low moisture requirements and likes normal room temperatures. However, because the plant is toxic if consumed, it's better for people who don't have small children or pets.

Neanthe Bella Palm

Neanthe Bella palm, also known as table top palm, is a small palm that rarely grows more than four feet in height, according to the Plant-Care website. Neanthe Bella doesn't have flowers, but because the plant is decently sized, it adds a lot of greenery to a room. It looks at home in nooks or corners and can fill spaces that seem too open such as a breezeway. Spider mites are a common problem and overwatering should be avoided.

Spider Plant

Spider plants, also called airplane plants, are so named because of the way they they propagate and look. The long leaves of the plant resemble spider legs because of how they hang, and the main plant sends shoots out that look like mini versions of the plant, or spider babies. According to the Plant-Care website, the plant is so tolerant and easy to tend, that only outright neglect will damage and kill it. This plant thrives when pot-bound.

Sansevieria

Sansevieria is a plant traditionally used for making rope and bandages because of its antiseptic, fibrous leaf stalks. It is known by other common names like devil's tongue and snake plant. Well-known in Africa, this plant likes greenhouse temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant usually grows about two and a half to four and a half feet in height, according to R.W. Henley, A.R. Chase and L.S. Osborne of the University of Florida. It's a good choice for areas where vertical greenery is desired, as it doesn't branch horizontally.

Orchids

Orchids are flowering plants that normally are grown in tropical regions. The Argus Orchids website explains that there are over 25,000 different varieties of orchids available. Because of this, orchids provide a wide range of color and size options. Miniature varieties are good for tables and windowsills.

Caladium

Caladium, better known as Elephant Ear, is recognized by its characteristic large, heart-shaped leaves. The leaves range anywhere from six inches to two feet across. They can be white with red blotches or green veins; spotted; green and white; or green and red, according to the Botany website. They like warm temperatures of 75 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

Keywords: San Diego plants, indoor plants, indoor plant growing, Southern California plants

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Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business Web site, Takingdictation.com, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.

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