Fast-Growing House Plants
Fast-growing house plants add color and texture to a home quickly and add life and a bit of nature. Certain plants adapt to interior cultivation better than others. Some plants prefer very bright, indirect light, whereas others are much more tolerant of low-light conditions. Choose healthy specimens and pay close attention to each plant's particular needs for its best performance.
The maidenhair fern (Adiantum spp.) is an evergreen fern with delicate, light green, airy foliage. Its leaf shape and size varies with species and the plant itself reaches up to 3 feet tall. Maidenhair ferns prefer a good deal of humidity to thrive. Place plants close together to increase humidity levels in the area around the plants, or use a room humidifier where plants are grown. Provide these ferns with low to medium sunlight and fertilize monthly, except during winter.
Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are easy-care, fast growing plants commonly used indoors. Spider plants grow up to a foot tall and have long, green, narrow leaf blades. Cultivar 'Variagatum' has white-yellow stripes. Spider plants prefer organic, but well-drained soils and medium light levels indoors. Propagate spider plants by division or by rooting the plantlets that grow on long stems that hang from the pot. Fertilize monthly with a dilute house plant fertilizer.
The dwarf schefflera (Schefflera arboricola), also known as parasol plant, is a rounded, evergreen shrub or small tree with a compact form. It grows up to 18 feet tall, with a 10 foot spread, but is smaller grown indoors. It has glossy-green, palmately compound leaves about 6 inches across. Dwarf schefflera prefer well-drained soils, medium humidity levels and warm growing conditions. Fertilize monthly with a dilute houseplant fertilizer.
Boston ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata) can grow up to 4 feet tall when mature, with upright and drooping fronds of light-green leaves of variable size depending on the cultivar. Boston ferns prefer moist but well-drained soil and medium sunlight conditions. Keep Boston ferns somewhat pot-bound until its growth slows. Avoid placement where it will receive drafts from central heating and air. Fertilize Boston ferns monthly until winter.
- University of Rhode Island Extension: Growing Conditions for Indoor Plants
- "Landscape Plants for Subtropical Climates"; Bijan Dehgan; 1998