House plants give apartment dwellers a chance to bring a bit of the outdoors in and a chance to grow a plant that will not do well outdoors. United Kingdom residents have their choice of house plants that need sun or do better in a shady corner. The plants help create a tropical atmosphere in the non-tropical U.K. climate.
Aspidistra (Aspidistra elatior) is also known as the iron plant, barroom plant and cast-iron plant. The plant produces dark-green, evergreen, lance-shaped leaves that grow from 12 to 20 inches long. The flowers are inconspicuous and very rarely visible. The plant likes to be kept in the shade, making it a good choice for an office or a room with few windows. Keep the soil moist, but not wet. Make sure there are drainage holes in the pot.
Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) is also known as the bottle palm, nolina and elephant-foot tree. Grown outdoors, the plant grows up to 30 feet tall. As a houseplant, it grows from 6 to 8 feet tall. The plant produces thin, flat leaves that grow up to 6 feet long and 1 inch wide. Ponytail palm needs full sun and the soil must be allowed to go completely dry in between waterings.
Swiss Cheese Plant
Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) is also known as ceriman, split-leaf philodendron, monstera, Mexican breadfruit and windowleaf. The plant is a vine used as a climbing houseplant, needing a stick or some other type of support. The vine produces large glossy-green leaves that have slits going from the edge to the stem for the entire length. The plant grows up to 70 feet long in its natural, rain forest environment. The white flowers grow in clusters on 8- to 12-inch-long spikes that can take more than a year to mature into the long, green fruit. Keep the Swiss cheese plant in partial shade, never in direct sunlight. Water with rain water or distilled water. Tap water has minerals that are harmful to the plant. Keeping the proper temperature is also important. In winter, the temperature should never go below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and in the summer, never below 55 F at night. The plant performs at its best when the temperatures are kept between 70 to 75 F. All parts of the tree are toxic with the exception of the ripe fruits.