My favorite house plants make up the list below, and is a follow up to my article “The Greenest Green Thumb,” published in Richmond, VA. These plants are vigorous and suit contemporary and transitional interiors, as well as more traditional settings. The look and ambiance created depends on how they are used and the style of your containers.
Common names are given as well as those pesky but all important botanical id’s:
Many of these tropical plants are commonly sold at nurseries, green houses, and other retailers where they are likely to be tagged for identification. Some may be a bit more expensive than what may be found at other sources, but the investment is worth it. If the plant has been properly cared for at the nursery it should look healthy, vigorous, look to be in prime condition.
Inexpensive palms available are often called majesty palms, from the R. louvelii family of plants. They look great, but don’t make the best houseplants for several reasons- they require full sun, are very thirsty, and require regular feeding. Sounds too much like a new born! They are a true tropical plant and do not grow well inside, where they will also be prone to spider mites and mealy bugs. They really belong growing outdoors in tropical climates near a source of water. Some cultivars are actually becoming endanged due to loss of habitats, and some have been lost already.
For the adventurous: dual benefits come from growing citrus trees as summer patio plants; they also make a good choice for a sunny window. Another plant worth mentioning is coffee plants; they love water and their dark glossy leaves are a nice update to the typical ficus tree form. Podacarpous makes this list because of its zen look but may be a bit more challenging.
See my previous posts on houseplants for more info: