If you've grown tired of the spider plants and the Dieffenbachia that have been offered as houseplants for decades and want something a little different for a particular spot in the home, consider an ornamental grass. Set in a striking planter, perhaps back-lit in a corner, the taller ornamental grasses can add a stunning accent to your decor. The shorter varieties can be used in bonsai plantings or on their own.
You may see the Dwarf papyrus plant called Cyperus papyrus percamenthus. Dwarf papyrus resembles Egyptian papyrus, with tufts of fine grass that sit atop rigid stems. This variety of papyrus will stay compact, growing 18 to 24 inches in height, so it is better suited to being grown indoors. Papyrus are bog plants, so they can be planted in a water feature or allowed to stay in the pot while the water accumulates in the tray. Put them in a sunny or partly shady spot and keep the soil soggy at all times.
Actually a member of the lily family, mondo grass is a landscape ornamental in areas that have year-round warm climates. It does great in a sunny location indoors and can tolerate a bit of neglect. There is a dwarf variety of mondo grass (Kyoto Dwarf) frequently used in bonsai that will only grow 2 inches in height. Mondo grass grows in tufts, with dark green, needle-like blades that can be 12 to 15 inches long. If you are looking for a variety that will do well in a darker part of the house, consider the 'Silver Mist," with variegated green and white blades.
This ornamental grass has very fine leaves and grows to a height of 2 feet. Scientifically known as Deschampsia cespitosa, it is a cool-season grass that can thrive in a shadier location in the home if given adequate moisture. Keep the soil moist at all times. Tufted hairgrass will put out numerous flower stems in shades of purple, gold, silver and green. The Missouri Botanical Society suggests back-lighting it to create a spectacular display.