Ask people who own a fiddleleaf fig (Ficus lyrata) and chances are, they will tell you how much they adore it. Fiddleleaf fig mania has taken the interior design world by storm in recent years. Loved for their large, glossy, leathery leaves, they make great houseplants. They are fantastic as larger specimen plants — in a large container, they can easily grow to around 6½ feet tall.
Light requirement: Place fiddleleaf fig near a window that gets bright filtered light. Keep it away from harsh direct sunlight to prevent leaf burn.
Water requirement: As it hails from a tropical climate, most experts advise keeping this ficus steadily moist and in a warm room if possible.
Tip: Do not allow it to sit in too much water, or it can suffer from root rot.
With its long tendrils of trailing foliage covered in pea-like beads, the unique string of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus), is an ideal creeping succulent to add to a quirky room. Pot it in well-draining, sandy soil and place it in a spot where its trailing foliage can hang down and cascade freely.
Dreaming of a home upgrade? Find a pro for your project on Houzz
Light requirement: This plant likes bright light, including direct sunlight.
Water requirement: Give it a drink every two weeks in summer and once a month in winter.
Tips: Keep it in a spot out of reach of drafts, open windows and air conditioning vents, as the cold air can cause leaf drop. String of Pearls is considered to be somewhat toxic, so keep it out of reach of children and pets.
The more slender cousin of string of pearls, this trailing succulent produces long tendrils of tiny green banana-like leaves. String of bananas (Senecio radicans)looks great planted on its own and pruned every so often to grow full and thick. It is also beautiful placed in a pot with other succulent varieties.
Light requirement: Filtered sunlight.
Water requirement: Water it when the soil is dry to the touch. This drought-tolerant succulent likes porous soil with good drainage.
Caution: Keep string of bananas away from children and pets who might be tempted to munch on it, as it is toxic.
See more about growing string of bananas
Many of those who bemoan their black thumbs are delighted to find they have success with pothos, also known as devil’s ivy. This trailing lush, leafy vine will put up with infrequent watering and neglect.
In its native tropical jungle habitat, pothos can grow to about 39 feet in length, but in the home about 6 feet is common. It is one of the best plants for purifying indoor air.
Light requirement: Pothos can tolerate low-light areas.
Water requirement: Once a week will do nicely.
Tip: Prune for a fuller-looking, robust plant
Caution: Keep it out of reach of inquisitive babies, dogs and cats.
With its exotic looks, glossy green leaves and ability to tolerate neglect, the Zee Zee (or ZZ) plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) has been the pride of many a black thumb. A tropical perennial plant hailing from eastern Africa, it is hard to kill, slow growing and ideal as an office plant or a table centerpiece.
Light requirement: Bright, indirect light.
Water requirement: Give it a drink every two weeks.
Caution: Keep Zee Zee plant out of reach of pets and babies.
Light requirement: A bright spot by a window is ideal.
Water requirement: About once a month, when the soil feels slightly dry, water it thoroughly until the water drips through the drainage holes. Discard water in the drainage saucer when possible — do not allow the plant to sit in water, otherwise the roots will rot.
Tips: To control the height and create a bushier plant, simply prune the top. You can grow a new plant from a cutting by dipping the cutting in rooting hormone and placing it in water; in a few weeks, two new stems will grow from the cut. It is then ready to be planted in soil.
While it is not the easiest houseplant for beginners to master, maidenhair fern (Adiantum spp.) can be a wonderful addition to a home with its beautiful, softly textured foliage. It needs to be kept moist, so it isn’t for the forgetful houseplant gardener. But if you can remember, it can reward you with beautiful greenery for years to come.
Light requirement: Place the fern in a brightly lit spot clear of drafts.
Water requirement: Keep the soil moist. A great idea to keep your indoor maidenhair fern from dehydrating is to plant it in a self-watering pot, which will allow the plant to take up as much water as it needs. You just need to remember to fill the reservoir.
Tips: Apply diluted liquid organic fertilizer regularly. Do not allow the soil to dry out even for a day or two.
Named for its long, sharply shaped leaves, this structural plant with its strong, elongated leaves has shed its ’70s reputation. These days mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata) is enjoying a massive resurgence as an on-trend indoor and architectural plant. One of its best features is its incredible toughness.
Light requirement: Although Mother-in-law’s Tongue is forgiving and can tolerate many conditions, it prefers full, bright light.
Water requirement: Water it only once a month. The only way to kill this plant is by overwatering.
Tips: This plant can be divided and shared easily with friends and looks great massed with other indoor plants.
Light requirement: Indirect sunlight is best.
Water requirement: This plant loves humid environments and moist soil, so water it weekly and spray frequently.
Tips: Umbrella plant loves warm, humid conditions. Fertilize it in its growing season with liquid fertilizer or slow-release pellets.
Air plants (Tillandsia spp.) are super on trend at the moment, popping up in the hottest restaurants and bars and in displays at interior design expos. As they are called air plants, one of the most common myths is that they do not need to be given any water. Incorrectly, many people believe they can thrive on air or humidity alone and do not need any care.
Air plants grow differently than most other houseplants as they are covered in suction scales that capture moisture. They can obtain water only if it is on their leaves through dew, rain and fog. As houseplants, they can thrive when misted regularly.
Light requirement: Bright, filtered light is ideal. Keep air plants that are placed in glass globes away from direct sunlight.
Tip: After submerging your plant to wet it thoroughly, turn it upside down and gently shake it to avoid the collection of water near the base, which can be detrimental to your plant’s health.