House plant ideas | How About Orange

March 10, 2014

House plant ideas


It's starting to seem a little more spring-like outside, which turns my thoughts toward our yard that I don't know what to do with. And plants. At Lowes this weekend I bought a couple small houseplants and put this one in a pot I had. But I need more!

A smart designerly friend suggested I put a great big palm in the dining room, Downton Abbey style. It would look awesome. But I hear palm and immediately picture this.

I might take her suggestion for a philodendron instead. And a pencil plant for the office. Love it. I use pencils there, so that makes sense.

Now, I understand that if you're a blogger and/or want your house to look like a magazine photo, it's required that you own a fiddle leaf fig.

Got any other suggestions for potted plants that could stand on the floor, grow really tall, don't require direct sunlight, and are hard to kill?

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

In our family it's "tradition" to give someone a schefflera when they move into a new home. They're pretty and super-easy to care for (if my mum couldn't kill it...)

Jessica Jones said...

I'll look it up! Thanks!

SuperSara said...

I love my dieffenbachia. I've had it for more than 10 years (starting in college and moving with me since). It started with three leaves and about a foot tall and now it is more tree like at about 8 feet tall! :)

Camilla @ Something Is Done said...

Spider plants! Impossible to kill and they propagate so easily! And if you like 70's retro just put them in a macrame hanging planter!

Lizabeth said...

Second the Dieffenbachia!

Amanda said...

I love plants in the home! I gave my sister a small color cactus and they are supposed to be impossible to kill and it looks adorable!

hammerandheels.blogspot.com

Rebecca said...

How about a Hawaiian Schefflera?

TM said...

A money tree. My parents gave me one when we got our house. It didn't grow quickly for me because I was keeping it in the bay window, which was too chilly for it. But as soon as I made them take it back, it's almost as tall as me now: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/care-instructions-money-tree-plant-50174.html

Anyway they are easy to take care of (since I didn't kill it!) and they are supposed to be lucky. :)

Grandma G said...

You do realize the name of the one you got, don't you? It's a snake plant, a.k.a. mother-in-law's tongue. If you can kill that one, I wouldn't bother getting any others! ;) It's about the toughest houseplant I know.

I could give you a slip off my 44-year-old wedding ivy, but I know what you do with that. ;)

Have fun choosing!

Mum

(Wow, way off the podium today! I guess people like the houseplant topic!)

sydney85 said...

The spathiphyllum or peace lily is a great house plant. I have medium sized plants in my home but I have seen really large ones. It is hard to kill these as you wait for the plant to droop and then water.

Anonymous said...

DownTON. ;(

Jessica Jones said...

Oh, thank you; I typed too fast!

Jessica Jones said...

Mum, I'm trying again. For $4.99, if it lives longer than a bouquet of flowers, I've come out ahead.

If I can get big ones to last a year or two, that's pretty good. Hoping for more, but I don't have a good track record. As you pointed out. :)

Anonymous said...

Seconding the spider plants. They can take all kinds of neglect and beatings and still thrive, and they even help purify your air!

this is lemonade said...

I'm definitely not green-fingered and plans never do well with me. But my mum gave me a challenge for my birthday last year. She bought me an orchid! I cannot say I was overjoyed because I didn't expect it to survive. I'm still waiting for it to die now though. It seems to be a survivor so far. Seems not all plants are created equal... Some don't give up as easily! My mum had some sort of an ivy that grew and grew and lived for over 20 years moving house with us. It only left the family because builders removed it into the garden at some point and left it there :'( I'm sure parts of it still live on in friends' homes though because she gave bits to admirers!
I love the smaller plants like the one on your mantlepiece. I have a near-indestructible aloe vera plant that I barely watered all winter... ;-)

mica said...

LOL regarding the palm comment:) Philodendrons grow huge! My mom had one growing up and it ended up taking a rather large corner of a relatively small living room. I second the schefflera suggestion. Wonderful plants and hardy. A ficus benjamin is also a good choice as is a massangeana ("corn plant"). All of these do well in my house that is perpetually dark due to the tall trees surrounding it. They are also forgiving if you forget to water them for a week or two, or more.

Anonymous said...

I have a jade plant, Christmas cactus, and an Aloe plant that have lasted for years. They have been thriving on the neglect I give them. I water infrequently (every couple of weeks). They are near a partially shaded southern exposure window. I've also had success with spider plants, peace lily, African violet, and cast iron plant. Most plants die because of over watering. I soak my plants when I water them, but let them dry out totally. Don't forget to give them a little food. I use a liquid fertilizer that I dilute in the watering can. Also if your water is hard, the salts and minerals can add up. Try to flush the plants occasionally with distilled or filtered water. Hope that helps.

Spangled said...

I highly recommend peace lilies, they're super hard to kill. I also like kalanoche(?) plants. They are succulents, like a lot of these suggestions, so they're fairly hard to kill, but they have nice bright flowers too.
There's a garden in a Victorian conservatory by my house that is the best place to get house plants. I usually buy plants from the hardware store though. Even if they're really cute, don't buy plants from the grocery store. They're not taken care of as well, and might have bugs. I got horrible scale bugs from a cute mini rose from Trader Joe's. :(

Needle little Balance said...

You should get Dracaena plants for indoors! They look like palm trees (a bit) but the leaves are softer, not so hard and pointy, they come in different shades from dark green, light green, even with stripes, they grow big, don´t require direct sunlight at a window(it burns their leaves) and -maybe also important- they are really hard to kill. ;-)

I have a few. When mine grow too big I just cut them and put the top stems in a vase. After a while it has roots and I have a new plant. The old stem will grow leaves again, too.

Amber Renee said...

I've had good luck turning begonias into house plants. Some of them get quite tall and they are pretty hardy. Just don't put them outside in the summer if they are already established as house plants.

mellafe said...

I have a succulent and one of these: http://images.gizmag.com/hero/snake-plant.jpg really big and green.

I like plants that don't require a lot of attention because I'll die if I kill one. These are my first plants, so I'm learning.

Laura said...

I love that you called it a pencil plant! My mom has a ton of cacti and succulents and my brother and i made up names for all of them, including the pencil plant!
That said, cacti and succulents are my favorite indoor plants. They come in such interesting shapes and don't need a lot of care.

Jessica Jones said...

You guys, I LOVE all your comments. I'm so excited to go buy plants now! Thanks for all the suggestions and stories. Hoping I can finish my work early today and then go find some greenery!

Sparkle said...

I have yet to see anyone kill a rubber plant (even people who kill most other plants), but I'm a fan of the Madagascar dragon plant.

Anonymous said...

I've never tried to grow a bonsai plant but their sculptural look is sure appealing.

Anonymous said...

You absolutely must research the Castiron Plant aka Aspidistra.They can be a little pricey, so look in the outdoor section of a nursery instead of an indoor plant store. They're very slow growing, don't require frequent water & the best part is they're ok w/low light or the same conditions u would use a snake plant. Along w/palms, this was a very popular indoor plant during the Victorian period.
And most succulents are easy but require bright (not direct) sunlight...careful not to overwater, let them dry out between watering.
You might want to look into the other varieties of sansivieria (like the small one pictured). As was mentioned earlier, they're tough to kill....they're actually succulents.

Swan said...

What about a miniature lemon or *gasp* orange tree?

Jessica Jones said...

ORANGE TREE! I got really excited and just googled dwarf orange trees, but I think they need more direct sunlight than I have. Man, that was a great idea. I'll look into it further.

Lisa V said...

Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum - just googled that so you don't think I'm talking about spiders).

Find someone who has one and ask them for a starter. My bro has a bowl of starters...but we're in Dayton so not quite drop-off close.

RevAnne said...

Pothos is often called philodendron...generally pretty with variegated leaves. Doesn't grow tall but will grow long.
Wandering Jew has beautiful leaves of green, silver, and burgundy to purple. Don't be misled by purpleheart or anything that's all purple and flowers...it's called the same name but not at all the same.
The color of your wandering jew changes according to how much light it gets; they will burn in full sun but love to be outdoors and inside; propagate like a dream (and spread like ivy); and they are beautiful. Think a more burgundy variety would be gorgeous in or near the living room.

RevAnne said...

Someone also noted peace lily; they come in some pretty colors, do ask for the occasional dusting, and politely tell you they need watering by drooping. I have a black thumb, but I can generally keep those going. I don't have any now because they are irresistible to my furry kids.

Sara E. said...

I love my Meyer Lemon tree if you have the light… the fragrance of the blooms is amazing and the fruit is delicious! I have also found that Gardenias are very easy to grow as houseplants and can get quite large. But for a really tall houseplant, I heartily recommend the Knife-Leaf Ficus. It's a beauty and requires minimal care. Have fun!

Cordelia said...

You should get a dwarf banana tree! They are elegant, tropical, fresh, and really make an impact in a room. They are also low- maintenance and you may even get a few sweet snacks out of it! See one here: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-fhgIKLxrcxg/UZ8bym8Af4I/AAAAAAAAZcY/ajGyQc1OtKs/s1600/indoor+banana+leaf+tree-decor.jpg
here:
http://webegirls.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Banana-Plant-Indoor-Tree-White-and-Neutral-Living-Room.jpg
and here: http://meghancarter.com/wp-content/uploads/Banana-Plants-Indoor-Trees-Black-and-White-Foyer.jpg

Linda said...

Hi Jess,

I have always thought Tree Ferns were exquisitely beautiful, and might look good in your manse. I've only seen them outside here (in San Diego) but, probably wouldn't be a good idea for your neck of the woods. Be careful with Dracena (MIL's tongue). If ingested, it paralyzes your vocal cords for awhile. I don't know what it might do to a cat or dog. I have a Ficus Benjamina (weeping fig)that has been with us for 28 years. I paid 99 cents for it at the grocery store because it was almost dead. My youngest was 2, and promptly named "him" Gray! I have no idea why, but we still call him Gray. He has put up with my neglect and failure to water and feed him all these years, and he's still hanging in there. He seems to like it on my patio with it's morning sun. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

xo Linda

Kate Lybrook said...

Sansevieria. I've always known it as "Mother in Law's Tongue." It's also called a snake plant. They get big, only need enough light to read by and look great in big pots.

Kaitlyn said...

If you're looking for a pop of color on shelves or a table, you might want to try Oxalis Triangularis - Purple Shamrock! It's a great time of year for finding it in grocery stores, and despite it's name, it doesn't look like a living homage to St. Patrick's Day.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4xZ_87_2r8I/Udumq4m547I/AAAAAAAAMNg/V9lgx-OseCo/s1600/1.jpg

It does fine in low light, and is excellent about tolerating drought. Plus, the butterfly wing-like leaves open during the day and fold up at night.

Jessica Jones said...

Oh, that's pretty!!!

Beverly, eastern PA said...

I highly recommend a Janet Craig Dracaena, also known as a Corn Plant. They tolerate low light, accept various conditions, appreciate a shower in the tub once a year and get tall and sculptural. When one of the stalks becomes too ungainly or is brushing the ceiling, chop it off and a smaller stalk will take over immediately. This is a very long lived houseplant.

mfalcon said...

stumbled across your blog, its awesome btw. Just wanted to let you know most lowes on fridays will have a section of clearance plants.... they will let you load up as many clearance plans as you can cram onto one of those 3 to 4 shelved rolling shelves and itll only cost you $20. which is great when you really are trying to figure out what plants you do best living with.

happy growing!

ShareThis