African Houseplant Names

When you look at your little potted African violet, it might be hard to imagine it growing sideways out of a cliff face in a forest in Africa. Imagine your spider plant hanging from a tree in tropical Africa, instead of from the ceiling in your living room. Many of your favorite houseplants came from Africa, a continent brimming with life.


Dracaena is native to tropical Africa where it can grow more than 30 feet in height. It won't get quite that tall when potted and grown indoors, but it remains one of the taller houseplants popularly grown. Dracaena requires indoor temperatures of 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and bright, indirect sunlight. This is a bit of a heavy feeder, so fertilize the dracaena every two weeks with a solution of 1/6 tsp. houseplant fertilizer per gallon of room temperature water. Be careful not to overwater yourdracaena; allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry out between waterings. According to the ASPCA, this plant is toxic to cats and dogs.

Asparagus Fern

Asparagus fern is not really a fern, but comes from a genus of flowering plants. Native to coastal South Africa, it thrives in a sunny environment with consistently moist soil during the growing season. In the winter you can cut back on the watering but be sure it doesn't dry out completely. Because it is a coastal plant its humidity requirements aren't as high as some of the other African plants and will do fine in temperatures as low as 50 F. Fertilize the asparagus fern with the same solution used for the dracaena every week, except in winter when you can cut feeding down to biweekly. This plant is toxic to pets.

Snake Plant

This plant is also known as mother-in-law's tongue. Native to tropical west Africa, the snake plant is a hardy perennial that is easy to grow. Pot it up in an African violet potting mix to which you have added a handful of sand to aid in drainage. The snake plant prefers to be a little on the dry side, so poke your finger into the soil prior to watering. When the top 2 inches of soil feels dry, it will need to be watered. Feed the plant with a nitrate-free fertilizer such as that made for African violets once a month. Discontinue feeding the plant in the winter. It will tolerate temperatures as low as 60 F and low humidity but does require bright, indirect sunlight. Snake plant is toxic to cats and dogs.

Keywords: houseplants that are native to Africa, African houseplants, names of African houseplants

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Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.