How to Identify Green Household Plants


Your friend just gave you a houseplant as a gift. The question now is: what is it and how do you take care of it? At first glance, green houseplants all look the same. However, there are many differences between houseplants and it is important to know what type of plant is in your home. One specific reason for identifying a houseplant is to ensure that the plant is not poisonous to your indoor pets. You can use many methods to identify a green houseplant.

Step 1

Take the houseplant to the nearest garden center or nursery if the plant is small enough to travel. A well-qualified horticulturist should be able to identify the house plant for you. Once they identify the plant, you can ask about specific care for the houseplant. You need to know how much water and sunlight the plant needs as well as fertilizing requirements.

Step 2

Go to the bookstore and purchase books on houseplants with pictures and plant descriptions. There are many characteristics of the actual plant that you need to observe when making comparisons. You need to notice small things like how many veins are on a leaf, how many leaves to a stem and the shape of the leaves. Many houseplants share similar characteristics so it's crucial to examine the plant to make a positive identification.

Step 3

Check out books from the library if you do not want to invest the money in purchasing books. The library will also have copies of educational books that you may not find in a bookstore. Most libraries have copiers that you can copy pages from books if you decide not to check the books out.

Step 4

Start an online search for websites that specialize in houseplants. Sites like have an interactive encyclopedia to help in identifying your houseplant as well as helpful information for caring for your houseplant.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep poisonous plants away from indoor pets.

Things You'll Need

  • Plant identification books


  • - Plant Identification
  • - Encyclopedia Of Houseplants
Keywords: houseplants, identifying houseplants, houseplant identification

About this Author

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with over 10 years of writing experience. Ken has written over 350 Home Improvement articles for Demand Studios. He has also been published by The American Chronicle. Kenneth holds an Associates Degree in Business Administration from Commonwealth College in Richmond, Va.