Common Names for Houseplants

Houseplants are great ways to help clean the air, bring some life of the outdoors inside and are useful in many decorating plans. For some of the more common names for houseplants there are indoor plants that are seen most often in offices and other indoor facilities.

Polka Dot Plant

The polka dot plant, Hypoestes from the Acantaceae family, is a genus with more than 40 different species of plants. It has 2-inch-long spotted, dark-green leaves and should be pruned to keep at 1 to 1 1/2 feet tall. Flowers are lavender. Keep soil moist and mist often. Propagate via tip cuttings, softwood cuttings or by semiripe cuttings.

Zebra Plant

The zebra plant, Aphelandra from the Acantaceae family, is a genus with more than 170 different species of plants. They have large, dark-green leaves 4 to 6 inches long with silver veins or stripes. There is a gold cone that adorns it in fall. Put in a well-lit spot and mist to keep moist. Propagate via stem cuttings.

Chain Plant

The chain plant, Callisia from the Commelinaceae family, is a genus with around 20 different species of plants. They have succulent leaves that are striped with white. It is great for hanging baskets. Keep it in a well-lit spot in moist soil that is misted frequently. Propagate via stem cuttings.

Sea Grape

The sea grape, Coccoloba from the Polygonaceae family, is a genus with around 150 different species of plants. Leaves are leathery and green with red veins, and 8 inches wide. Flowers are tiny and white, on 6- to 10-inch spikes. Have them in some direct sun with moderate watering and some misting. Propagate via seed or softwood stem cuttings.

Pussy Ears

The pussy ears plant, Cyanotis from the Commenlinaceae family, is a genus with about 30 different species. It is fairly succulent with lance-like leaves that are hairy. It is an evergreen. It needs a well-lit area out of the sun with moist soil and compost added. Propagate via stem cuttings.


The fatshedera plant, Fatshedera from the Araliaceae family, is a genus of a single shrub. It is an easy grower with good evergreen foliage. It may need to be staked or supported because some can get 6 feet in height. It will need good lighting but out of the direct sun and normal watering. Mist on occasion and propagate via stem cuttings.

Keywords: house plants, indoor plants, common names for house plants

About this Author

Tina Samuels has been a full-time freelance writer for more than 10 years, concentrating on health and gardening topics, and a writer for 20 years. She has written for "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living," and "Mature Years," as well as online content. She has one book, “A Georgia Native Plant Guide,” offered through Mercer University; others are in development.