Whether they are leafy greens, blooming flowers or something more exotic, house plants are the perfect accessory for sprucing up any room in your home. Some will lend a pleasant scent, while some plants even assist in cleaning the air. If you have children or pets, you may be concerned about them touching plants that are irritants, or even putting plants in their mouths. The easy solution is to stick to a selection of nonpoisonous plants safe for indoors.
The saintpaulia species, known as African violets, have dark round leaves and small purple flowers. They are fairly easy to care for and grow well in a variety of containers.
The most attention you need to give these thin-leafed plants is admiration. Other than that, keep them moist and fertilize occasionally to keep them blooming. Look for the tillandsia species.
Begonias will thrive in full sun to full shade and look especially nice in hanging baskets. Their full, colorful blooms have long kept them a favorite with flower gardeners. Give them rich soil with good drainage.
The true Boston fern, the nephrolepis exaltata, exhibits a beautiful spray of cascading green foliage. It can tolerate benign neglect, though a little attention will go a long way. A native of Florida, not Boston, it prefers heat and humidity, so keep a mister handy.
Also called holiday cactus, the schlumbergera species is delicate and susceptible to breakage, so it should be kept out of reach of children and animals. However, if they do get a hold of it, it won't harm them. It is a bit fussy, needing to be kept moist but well drained and in indirect light, however it makes a beautiful seasonal display.
Plants of the coleus species are growing in popularity with home gardeners, and more and more varieties are becoming available. Most varieties sport heart-shaped leaves that range in solid or mottled colors: green, red, pink, deep purple and blank. They appreciate partial sunlight and good drainage, but are not fussy.
There is no reason why common edible kitchen herbs, such as sage or thyme, cannot double as house plants. Most herbs can thrive in a sunny window with a garden-center potting soil, good drainage and light but frequent watering. They will give the house a lovely scent. Even if you never use them for cooking yourself, they make pretty cut bouquets and gifts for others to use.
There is no plant quite so elegant as the phalaenopsis species. The delicate-looking petals of this orchid look like moth wings and come in a variety of colors such as pure white, yellow, pink, purple and brown. Some are solid, some speckled or striped. As long as they are provided with warmth and moisture, they are surprisingly easy to care for.
These plants have smooth, striped leaves for a striking display and sport white blooms in the springtime. Calathea zebrine is the species, and they are hardy plants for indoors. They love shade, but they also love warmth. They are not fussy about soil, but they do like soft water.