12 Plants That Thrive Indoors





Adding a plant makes any space instantly cozier. No need to have a large balcony to grow them, there are many species that develop well in living rooms, kitchens, and even bathrooms, with little maintenance as well as space efficient. The vases used also add to the composition of well-decorated environments. Flowers add color and diversity to all environments, but it is worth mentioning that species that do not produce flowers do less photosynthesis and therefore require smaller amounts of sunshine and are therefore more suitable for indoor cultivation. It is also important to note that popular names can be quite different, so you should always pay attention to its scientific names when choosing your species. 

Below, we selected 12 ornamental plants ideal for indoor cultivation.

  1. Bromelia

There are several species of Bromelia, most of them are of Brazilian origin, and are great when used both in isolation and in small sets. These epiphytes develop in environments with plenty of direct light and especially damp, internal and external. Most species present a striking contrast in its leaves and inflorescences which are quite ornamental. It requires low maintenance and on very hot days, it is recommended to apply water with a spray in its central part.


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  1. Cactus and Succulents

There are several species of succulents and cactus that are widely used for interior decoration, isolated or in small groups. Currently used in the composition of small terrariums, these plants require little maintenance and careful watering, which should not be more than once a week – most do not tolerate excess water as it can rot their roots. The cactus develops best in environments with a lot illumination, while the succulents prefer more indirect light, but for both the direct sun should be avoided. 


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  1. Jade Plant | Crassula ovata

This slow growing succulent deserves prominence by forming a shrub similar to a small tree when grown. It has lush fragrant flowers in white or pink, especially in winter and spring. These can receive some direct sunlight for at least part of the day. Do not leave the soil very moist after irrigation, which should take place on average once a week.


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  1. St. George’s Lance | Sansevieria cylindrica

Highly resistant, this species of African origin has elongated leaves and in cylindrical format is ideal for indoor environments. The leaves of this succulent grow fan-shaped and have grooves in light green color. It can be grown in pots or even in stone-covered gardens, as it is not very demanding in terms of the substrate. Preferably it should not be exposed to direct sunlight and is able to tolerate air-conditioned environments, Watering should be at the base, not the leaves, and on average within a 15 days frequency.


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  1. Peace Lily Plant | Spathiphyllum wallisii

Not to be confused with Calla Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica), the Peace Lily originates from northern South America, it also has bright dark green leaves and white flowers, but is smaller, much less demanding and more resistant. Commonly offered as a sign of good fortune and peace, it is also attributed to it purifying the air. It develops well in rich organic soils and in indirect light and half shade environments. It can flower all year round, but especially in spring and summer, with odorless flowers. It does not exceed 1m in height, and its leaves suffer if directly exposed to sunlight. Irrigation should ensure that the soil is always moist. 


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  1. Aloe Vera | Philodendron martianum

Of Brazilian origin, this epiphyte also know as Aloe Vera has a very ornamental foliage. Of short stem, its large dark green leaves are bright and oval, and its characteristic petioles are like pseudobulbs. It can be grown in pots and flower beds or even attached to a tree due to its epiphyte properties. It grows well in half shade and substrates rich in organic matter, kept always moist. It is not very resistant to cold and direct sunlight, which can cause stains on the leaves. 


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  1. Lady Palm | Rhapis excelsa

Of great use in both internal and external environments, this palm of Asian origin has multiple thin and long stems as it grows erect and in clumps, with dark green and shiny pleated leaves. It develops well in almost any type of lighting, from direct sunlight to low light. Irrigation should be frequent, but do not leave the soil soaked. 


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  1. Pleomele or Song of India | Dracaena reflexa

Visible and shrubby, this species shows an erect and branched stem with fairly ornamental leaves, with darker green in the center and white or lemon-green borders. It can reach an average height of 2 to 3 meters. Native to East Africa, it does not require direct light, but it develops well near windows and in very bright environments. It should be watered regularly, 2 to 3 times a week.


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  1. Sword Fern | Nephrolepis exaltata

The Sword Fern is quite common and is super cool indoors – it is one of the most sold ornamental plants in Brazil. With light green leaves, the most common species in Nephrolepis exaltata, grown in pots and hanging plants. It enjoys a lot of light, and some varieties even tolerate a few hours of direct sunlight, so it should be near windows or in a well-lit environment. It is important to keep the soil always moist with frequent watering but watch for well-drained substrates. 


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  1. African Evergreen | Syngonium angustatum

With fairly decorative foliage, it has a light green color with white grooved leaves when younger, and darker and smoother green leaves on more mature plants. Perfect for half-light environments, it can also be planted in flower beds and pots with externally composing fodder. It also grows as a creeper if propped up in a trunk. Originating in Central America, it develops well in rich organic matter soil and with a lot of humidity, so it requires regular watering. It also develops well when cultivated in water, in pots and other containers, provided there is a regular water exchange. 


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  1. Violet | Saintpaulia ionantha

Also known as African Violet, it is perfect for indoor environments because of its compact size and distinctive flowers in various colors, great for small compositions. It should be grown in organic rich soils, and stay close to windows for indirect lighting, where it develops well – It is important to avoid direct sunlight. Watering should be kept to a minimum or only when the substrate is dry, it is also a good idea to avoid watering leaves and flowers.


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© <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/carllewis/2831580871/in/photolist-2o1iyZ-4mX3Pq-ayNRgw-9KNbwG-AVWnn-G9o5Lw-DuhAXE-9e6RrX-CYTBfN-4UbNnS-bAZKuT-42GXnb-4U7yAz-4BDxzC-9ea31U-hpswR-5jhULC-5jdyHn-5jhU7h-5jhQPG-bo5T9q-bo5Tds-DVEEVa-5jdAkR-8xQFfb-bAZKsc-bo5TgC-7kdcRT-bAZKvk-CYUzZZ-8dcN5a-bo5ThE-bAZKwe-fNcbpP-bo5TaE-fNcbaD-fNcbhV-csP6XU-fNcbw2-2dLxPv-5BrLsU-57Z58s-7veqkh-Aj2uEM-LB4U5g-csP6Z3-N6dSYA-42GVAC'>Flickr user carllewis</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
  1. ZZ Plant | Zamioculcas zamiifolia

Of African origin, this is one of the most used species in indoor environments, due to its rustic appearance. It has bright leaves and shades of dark green that can reach 1m in height. It develops well in low light and also with abundant indirect light, but avoid direct sunlight, which can harm its leaves. It tolerates environments with air conditioning. It is not recommended for spaces where pets or children circulate, as its leaves can be toxic when ingested. It should be grown on a drainable substratum, rich in organic matter. Watering should not exceed once a week. 


© <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/artesaniaflorae/4155226625/in/photolist-5gxkEw-7kbC7n-3gLYAM-5YdgQD-DmtEBn-4yUWTQ-CY5qZb-DuhgQw-DVzQFn-DRK6Kw-E28jrh-Dfsry6-DKP2mS'>Flickr user artesaniaflorae</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a>

© <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/artesaniaflorae/4155226625/in/photolist-5gxkEw-7kbC7n-3gLYAM-5YdgQD-DmtEBn-4yUWTQ-CY5qZb-DuhgQw-DVzQFn-DRK6Kw-E28jrh-Dfsry6-DKP2mS'>Flickr user artesaniaflorae</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a>

ArchDaily Tips

  • Watering frequencies vary greatly with the variety of the plant, the time of year and the place where it is being cultivated, very strict rules must be avoided. A practical way to find out the ideal periodicity is to dip your finger lightly on the ground to see if it is wet or not. Watering should always occur on the substrate and not on the leaves; 

  • A well drained soil does very well to any species. If cultivated in pots, they should have the base composed of expanded clay or still pebbles, and substrate composed of two parts of earth and one of sand, for most species;

  • Watch for the leaves, it always indicate if the plant needs more or less light. In larger leaf species, it is important to wipe a damp cloth from time to time to remove accumulated dust, as it may impact its photosynthesis.

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