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The Names of Indoor Plants

ficus image by c-chez-marc from

The names of indoor plants, including both common and botanical nomenclature, will provide you with a mental glossary of plants suited to your particular indoor gardening needs. A well-suited system of name classification is to categorize plant names based on appearance and the amount of light they need, since indoor environments vary; know which plants will thrive and add interest within your home or office.

Rubber Tree Plant

Rubber trees (Ficus elastica) are upright indoor plants with broad, dark green leaves. Rubber tree plants prefer regular potting soil and though they thrive in warmer environments, interior conditions are suitable, according to the University of Illinois Extension. Keep rubber tree plants in bright, indirect light for proper growth and prune them back to a point just above where the stem and leaf attach to keep your tree the desired size. Rubber plant trees can grow to a height of more than 20 feet. Rubber tree plants are sensitive to colder temperatures so keeping them out of drafty areas is key, explains the University of Minnesota Extension Service.

Dragon Trees

Dragon trees (Dracaena) are indoor plants that display a tropical appearance with green or variegated long, narrow, sometimes spiky foliage. Dragon trees prefer regular potting mix with consistently moist, but not water-logged, soil, explains the University of Illinois Extension. This low-maintenance indoor plant grows to a height of 2 to 10 feet and up to 2 feet in width based on the particular cultivar, according to the Clemson University Extension. Keep dragon trees in bright, indirect light for vibrant leaves and healthy growth.

Chinese Evergreen

Chinese evergreen (Anglaonema) is a versatile plant that displays either solid green or variegated green leaves. Chinese evergreen plants can thrive in water or potting soil rich in humus kept consistently moist. Keep this tropical foliage plant in low light, including shaded indoor areas. It prefers warmer temperatures. Tolerant of drought and air conditioning, Chinese evergreens are well suited to the indoor environment, explains the Clemson University Extension. The Chinese evergreen grows to a height and width of 1 to 3 feet.


Philodendrons (Philodendron), also known as heart-leaved philodendrons, are plants that are named for their heart-shaped, green leaves. Adaptable to indoor environments, these plants prefer consistently moist regular potting soil and must be kept out of direct sunlight, according to the University of Illinois Extension. Do not leave this indoor plant in standing water. Low-light tolerant philodendron plants prefer indirect, filtered light. Sunlight filtered through a curtain is ideal, explains the Clemson University Extension. Depending on the cultivar, philodendrons are either climbing vines or self-heading plants that can reach up to 15 feet in height.

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