Starting a garden indoors is a must for all plants lovers, and the benefits are numerous. Plants can be ornamental, thus beautifying your homes. At the same time, plants will purify and improve the air indoors. There are people who grow the common house plants such as tomatoes and basil for food. Indoor Trees such as indoor banana tree and indoor lemon tree are also popular. No matter what you fancy and what is your purpose for starting an indoor garden, some of these common house plants will definitely appeal to you.
Let us take a look at some common house plants out there and how you can grow them.
Common House Plants – Flowering Houseplants
Anthurium Plant (Anthurium andraeanum)
This is a flowering houseplant which is very popular and is common in flower arrangements, whether it is a bouquet of flowers or decorative flowers at a special event such as a wedding.
These common house plants origin from South America, specifically Colombia and can grow up to 18 inches (45 cm). However, there are smaller cultivars which will reach just below 13 in (33cm) in height.
The Anthurium has big shiny red, heart-shaped bracts and tiny white flowers that cover a pale yellow spadix, and they will last for more than a few weeks. This plant can bloom all year round. Its leaves are dark green and glossy. Just like the bracts, the leaves are heart shaped.
Anthurium Plant Care
Sunlight needs: The Anthurium plants need about 6 hours of sunlight daily, and a minimum of 4 hours of sunlight daily. You should keep it out of direct sunlight as this might scorch the foliage.
Watering: You should water this flowering house plant evenly and thoroughly. You should allow the potting mix to dry between watering.
Humidity requirement: The Anthurium plant is a tropic plant and thus requires moderate to high relative humidity. You can obtain a humidifier to keep moisture levels at an optimum.
Temperature requirement: The Anthurium plant will thrive in temperatures between 65 and 80 °F or 18 and 27 °C.
Potting mix: These common house plants require a well-draining potting mix such as a peat moss potting mix.
Fertilizer requirement: You should feed the Anthurium plant twice a month throughout spring and summer with half strength high phosphorus liquid fertilizer. The plant would not require fertilization during the autumn and winter.
Propagation/ starting this houseplant: You can start the Anthurium plant through division. You should divide up and repot crowded clumps into separate containers. Also, this should be done in order t keep the plant healthy.
Chinese Jasmine Plant (Jasminum polyanthum)
The Chinese jasmine plant has long vines, sweetly scented star shaped flowers and pink buds. These features make the Chinese jasmine plant popular and that’s why it is featured on our list of common house plants. It’s glossy, and leathery-looking leaves give the plant an attractive and shiny look.
The Chinese jasmine plants bloom best when it is in a small container. If the container is large, it may grow lush foliage but few flowers.
The Chinese jasmine plant can be trained to grow on a trellis or around a hoop. Preparing the plant helps it get adequate sun and air, and allows for good aeration.
This elegant flowering plant is native to China and can grow up to 10 feet (300 cm) in height. However, this plant is usually prune and thus don’t usually reach that height.
Chinese Jasmine Plant Care
Sunlight needs: The Chinese Jasmine needs a lot of sunlight to produce flowers. Some direct sunlight is suitable for healthy growth. 7 hours of sun daily is enough for the plant.
Watering: The potting mix should be kept wet at all time when the plant is growing and blooming. However, after the flower has bloomed, you should allow the potting mix to dry before every watering.
Humidity requirement: This plant will thrive in moderate humidity.
Temperature requirement: The Chinese jasmine blooms best in cool temperatures between 40 and 60 °F or 4 to 16 °C. You need to maintain this temperature for about a month and a half during fall when the plant set buds. For the rest of the year, temperatures between 60 and 75 °F (16 and 24 °C) should be adequate for the plant.
Potting mix: A well-drained potting mix is ideal for the Chinese jasmine. You can use a peat moss based potting mix.
Fertilizer requirement: The Jasmine needs feeding twice a month. You should use fertilizer made for flowering plants. Also, you should allow the plant to rest after the flowers fade.
Propagation/ starting this houseplant: You can propagate the Chinese Jasmine by using stem tip cuttings.
Oncidium Orchid (Oncidium x)
The oncidium orchid species tend to bloom beautifully, producing many small flowers simultaneously. This allows for impressive displays. It is a common houseplant which you can find in almost every indoor gardener’s house.
These plants are native to many tropical and subtropical regions such as the South Americas (mostly Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador), the Andes and even humid tropic parts of Jamaica. Also known as the Dancing Lady Orchid, the oncidium orchid loves humidity and therefore, thrives in relative humidities of 50% and higher.
Oncidium Orchid Plant Care
Sunlight needs: The oncidium orchid plant prefers bright sunlight all year round. It also prefers to be partially shaded. About 7 hours of sun each day is the requirement for healthy growth.
Watering: The oncidium orchids don’t like waterlog, so you should water these plants with care. The oncidium orchids are tolerating to dry soils but fare poorly in a waterlogging soil. When the orchids are flowering and growing, you should keep the soil mildly wet.
However, for the rest of the year, you should allow the potting mix to dry out almost entirely before you re-water the mix.
Humidity requirement: The oncidium orchids grow best in moderate to high humidity. You may need to mist the foliage of the plant when the relative humidity falls below 50%. Obtaining a humidifier would be prudent.
Temperature requirement: temperature variations of between 55 to 60 °F (13 to 16 °C) during the night and 65 to 75 °F (18 to 24 °C) during the day are ideal for the oncidium orchid plant.
Potting mix: You should use potting mix formulated for potted orchid plants. It will allow your oncidium orchid to grow well.
Fertilizer requirement: You should use organic orchid fertilizer for best results when cultivating this house plant. Remember to feed once every 3 weeks during its growth season.
Propagation/ starting this houseplant: This plant should be divided when it gets crowded. You should make sure each division has at least 4 pseudobulbs.
Plumeria/ Frangipani (Plumeria rubra)
The plumeria plants are common house plants because they are easy to care for and look great at the same time.
The plumeria produces gorgeous flowers which have a waxy feel and appearance. They come and different colors, but are commonly white. The leaves are quite large (about 1 foot in length) and are light green.
The frangipani tree can grow up to 10 feet (3 meters) when grown indoors and are native to Central America.
Plumeria/ Frangipani Plant Care
Sunlight needs: These tropical plants love a lot of bright and direct sun. About 7 hours of sun should be enough for the frangipani tree. A lot of sunlight will ensure it blooms beautifully.
Watering: When watering this plant, make sure you don’t water the flowers. You should water the plant evenly and thoroughly, allowing the potting mix to be relatively dry before re-watering. During the winter, you should water the plant thinly and in moderation. It will allow the plant to rest.
Humidity requirement: The plumeria plant prefers moderate humidity. You should mist the plant or place it on a humidifying tray when relative humidity is low. Be careful not to mist the flowers. You can also acquire a humidifier for best results.
Temperature requirement: This is a tropical plant and as such prefers warm temperatures between 65 and 80 °F or 18 and 27 °C. You may put your plant outdoors during the summer season. However, during winter, you should move it back inside as it is a tropical plant and can’t tolerate low temperatures.
Potting mix: The plumeria grows best in a well-drained potting mix such as a peat moss potting mix.
Fertilizer requirement: You should use a fertilizer formulated for flowering plants to feed the plumeria plant. Such fertilizers are high in phosphorus. You should feed your plant twice a month from spring to autumn.
Propagation/ starting this houseplant: The plumeria house plant is started using stem tip cuttings.
Common Indoor Trees
These indoor trees are quite popular, and most homeowners like them and you can also find them in many offices. Although they are classified as trees they fit the category of common houseplants due to their small sizes and purpose of growing indoors.
Calamondin (Citrofortunella microcarpa)
The beautiful calamondin is a perennial plant that can grow up to between 3-4 feet (90-120 cm) high and is native to China.
This beautiful citrus tree is related to both the tangerine plant and the kumquat, as it is a hybrid of both. It has ligneous stems and trunks, and beautiful lustrous leaves. The leaves have a lemony citrus fragrance.
Sunlight needs: The calamondin orange plant need a lot of bright and direct sunlight daily. A minimum of 4hours of sunshine is the requirement for the plant to thrive. You should remember to rotate the plant a quarter each week so that all the sides get the equal amount of sunlight. It is because the calamondin tends to grow toward its light source.
Watering: The calamondin plant needs watering regularly and evenly. It is a tropical plant that likes moist soils. As per the usual, do not water the calamondin plant when the topsoil is already wet.
Humidity requirement: The calamondin is a subtropical plant that prefers moderate humidity. You can mist the plant and also place the planter on a humidifying tray. You can also obtain a humidifier for the calamondin orange.
Temperature requirement: This plant requires a nice warm temperature. As such, you should maintain the temperature between 65 and 75 °F or 18 and 24 °C. During the winter, the calamondin will survive in temperatures as low as 50 °F/ 10 °C, although any lower can damage the tree.
Potting mix: This plant prefers a well-drained potting mix such as a peat moss based mix.
Fertilizer requirement: You can use a well-balanced fertilizer for this plant. However, it is best to use an organic fruit tree fertilizer.
Propagation/ starting this houseplant: You can start this plant through the use of stem tip cuttings.
Ming Aralia Tree (Polyscias fruticosa)
The Ming aralia tree is a great indoor tree that is also popular among bonsai gardeners. It can grow up to 3 feet (90cm) and originates from Polynesia.
The Ming aralia has a tree-like trunk which is brownish in color and has small fussy foliage; it has small leaves that grow together on the stems. These characteristics make it attractive as a bonsai tree.
This plant may drop a few leaves now and then. Overall, it is an undemanding tree.
Ming Aralia Plant Care
Sunlight needs: The Ming aralia will grow well in low lights as well as bright sun, although it prefers full sun. About 7 hours of sun each day should be enough for the plant.
Watering: You should water this plant evenly and thoroughly, however, make sure the top soil holds no moisture before re-watering the plant. It has delicate roots that will rot if you overwater it. If you have any doubt, keep it on the dry side.
Humidity requirement: The Ming aralia is a tropical plant that prefers moderate to high humidity. You should mist the plant daily when humidity is low. Also, place the planter on a humidifying tray. You can also acquire a humidifier.
Temperature requirement: This tree needs a warm temperature, to thrive. Temperatures between 65-85 °F (18 to 29 °C) are optimal for this plant. Any temperature below 60 °F is detrimental to the health of the Ming aralia.
Potting mix: The Ming aralia grows best in a well-drained potting mix. You can add vermiculite or perlite to the mix so as to improve the drainage of the potting mix.
Fertilizer requirement: A liquid fertilizer with proper balance is perfect for this plant. You should feed it monthly with a half strength fertilizer.
Propagation/ starting this houseplant: You can propagate the Ming tree through stem cuttings.
Money Tree (Pachira aquatica)
The money tree is a very easy plant to care and as such is popular in many homes and offices. This plant is native to the south and central Americas. This plant will grow up to 10 feet (300 cm) high indoors. It has broad green leaves which grow in groups of about 6.
You can braid the trunks of this tree, and that is why we call it as the braided money tree. This tree can also grow as a bonsai tree.
It is also vital to growing it in a small pot, as a large pot may retain too much water. And the money tree prefers a well-draining mix. It will also help check its growth.
Money Tree Plant Care
Sunlight needs: The money tree prefers a lot of bright but indirect life. It would also grow perfectly well under fluorescent light preferably a compact fluorescent bulb. Thus, it is an excellent plant to grow in the workplace. About 12 hours under an artificial grow light should be adequate for the money tree.
Watering: You should water the money tree thoroughly and evenly, but you should allow the top of the potting mix to dry before you re-water the plant again. You should try not to put water in the trunk as this can damage the stems.
Humidity requirement: this tropical plant requires moderate to high humidity. A relative humidity level of 50% and higher is the necessity for the plant to thrive. You can obtain a humidifier for best results. You can also use a humidifying tray.
Temperature requirement: The money tree requires warm temperatures to thrive. Thankfully, most homes are warm. Temperatures of 60 to 75 °F or 16 to 24 °C are optimal for the money tree.
Potting mix: These common house plants requires a well-draining potting mix such as a 2 parts peat moss, 1 part perlite/ vermiculite potting mix.
Fertilizer requirement: A half-strength balanced liquid fertilizer (a 10-10-10) should be used to feed the money tree twice a month during the seasons of spring and summer.
Propagation/ starting this houseplant: The money tree is propagated by stem cuttings, although you can also use seeds.
Olive Tree (Olea europaea)
The popularity of the olive as an indoor plant has soared in recent times. It is because the olive is a Mediterranean plant it also makes for a great indoor plant. They are also therefore highly tolerant of dry air. And can tolerate dry soil better than many other indoor plants.
Outside, the olive tree is known to grow up to 20 ft (6 meters) tall. However, when potted this plant, it will grow much shorter. It is also prudent to prune the olive tree so as to keep it at a desirable size. Indoors the olive will grow up to 10 feet (3 m). Dwarf varieties exist that grow up to 6 ft (180 cm).
The olive has grayish-green leaves that are about 2 and a half inches or 7 cm in length. The plant will produce small white flowers and later fruits.
Olive Tree Plant Care
Sunlight needs: The olive tree requires a lot of sunshine. 7 hours of sunlight a day should be adequate for the olive tree. You should also rotate this tree a quarter each week so that all parts of the tree get the equal amount of sunlight.
Watering: The olive tree requires even and thorough water, however, you should make sure the soil holds no moisture before re-watering. A waterlogged mix can quickly kill the plant. During the winter, you should water the tree a bit less.
Humidity requirement: The olive tree doesn’t mean low humidity and will grow well in homes. Therefore, there is no need to mist the plant.
Temperature requirement: The olive tree thrives in warmth. Temperatures of 65 to 75 °F or 18 to 24 °C are perfect for the olive. It also tolerates high temperatures and can even survive in temperatures as low as 4 °C or 40 °F.
Potting mix: The olive tree prefers a fast draining potting mix, and as such, a cactus mix is perfect for the olive.
Fertilizer requirement: You can apply a slow-release fertilizer to the mix in early spring. Also, a half-strength balanced liquid fertilizer (a 10-10-10) can be used to feed the olive tree twice a month during the seasons of spring and summer.
Propagation/ starting this houseplant: The olive tree can be grown from seeds although, for best results, you can use a stem tip cutting to start the olive tree.
Common Indoor Herbs
Growing herbs indoors will allow you to have a steady supply of herbs all year round. For a culinary enthusiast, grow herbs on your kitchen counter or your windowsill is an excellent idea.
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
The chive is a popular herb that is grown by many herbs gardeners. Many use the chives the same way they would use onions. That is because of its flavor. When dried however the chives lose most of the flavor. It is, therefore, best to use them fresh. That is one reason to grow them.
Apart from their culinary uses, this plant looks good as an ornamental plant.
The chive is native to eastern Asia and can grow up to a foot or two (15 to 30 cm) in height.
Chives Plant Care
Sunlight needs: The chive plant needs a lot of direct and bright sunlight. About 7 hours of sun a day will be adequate for the plant. You can also grow the chive plant under compact fluorescent lights. If you plan to do so, you would need to need to keep the light about 7 inches or 15 cm about the plant. The plant will need about 14 hours under the grow light.
Watering: You should water the plant regularly and evenly. Make sure the soil holds no moisture between watering. If the leaves start to turn yellow then, you’re not watering it enough.
Humidity requirement: The average room humidity would be ideal for the chives.
Temperature requirement: A temperature of 60 to 75 °F or 16 to 24 °C should be adequate for growing chives.
Potting mix: This plant is not too particular about the potting mix within which it grows as far as it drains well.
Fertilizer requirement: The chive requires fertilization from spring to fall, although you shouldn’t over-fertilize it. You can use herb fertilizer.
Propagation/ starting this houseplant: You can propagate this plant by either using seeds or dividing the clumps up every 2 years. It also allows for healthy growth.
Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)
The Cilantro is a popular herb and one of the most common house plants. Despite this, it grows very quickly and dies just as quick. There are a few things to keep in mind so as to get the best out of your cilantro year after year. Also, know as coriander, the cilantro plant needs a lot of direct sunlight. It is, therefore, best to place the plant on your windowsill.
You can start harvesting your plant as soon as they reach a height about 7 inches (18 cm). The young leaves taste best. They may taste much bitterer when they are older. You can also use the seeds for cooking.
The plant can grow up to 3 feet in height.
Cilantro/ Coriander Plant Care
Sunlight needs: The cilantro needs a lot of sunlight. About 7 hours a day of bright sun should be enough for this plant. You can also grow the cilantro under grow light. About 14 hours under the grow light should be sufficient for this plant. You can use a fluorescent tube to grow this plant right on your kitchen counter.
Watering: The cilantro should be watered thoroughly and regularly, although you should allow the potting mix to dry before re-watering it.
Humidity requirement: The cilantro will grow and thrive in the average room humidity levels.
Temperature requirement: The cilantro prefers warm temperatures. Temperatures of 60 to 75 °F or 16 to 24 °C should be optimal for this house plant.
Potting mix: The cilantro will grow in any good potting/ soil mix as far as it drains well.
Fertilizer requirement: A herb fertilizer can be used to feed the cilantro. It has all the needed nutrients necessary for a healthy growth and flavorsome leaves. You can also use a regular balanced liquid fertilizer. You should fertilize the plant from spring through to fall.
Propagation/ starting this houseplant: You should start the cilantro through the use of seeds. Since cilantro grows for only one growing season, you should keep some of the seeds it produces. You can use them for the next growing season.
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
The sage is an easy plant to grow as far as you give it a lot of sunlight. The dwarf versions will grow up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall. You can grow the sage easily on your windowsill.
Its leaves are narrow and light green with some varieties having golden, violet or even variegated leaves. The sage will produce flowers of many different colors.
Overwatering the sage is one cause of its failure when grown indoors. You should always take proper care and never overwater the plant as it is sensitive to overwatering.
Salvia officinalis Plant Care
Sunlight needs: The sage is a plant that requires a lot of sunlight. You should turn around the plant once a week so that all parts of the plant gets equal light. Like all herbs, you can grow the sage under grow lights. A compact fluorescent bulb works perfectly. The sage plant will need about 14 hours under the grow light daily.
Watering: The sage will die if grown in a waterlogging soil, so you should make sure the soil holds no moisture between watering. Also, make sure the planter has adequate drainage holes.
Humidity requirement: The sage will grow best in moderate humidity, although it will grow well in low humidity.
Temperature requirement: This herb requires warm temperatures in other to thrive. Temperatures of 16 to 27 °C or 60 to 80 °F should be satisfactory.
Potting mix: The Sage prefers a fast draining potting mix such cactus mix.
Fertilizer requirement: You should use a balanced liquid fertilizer to feed this plant once every month. You can use a herb fertilizer for best results.
Propagation/ starting this houseplant: You can start this plant by the division of older plant during either the spring of the fall. Also, you can do stem-cuttings for starting the sage plant.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
The Thyme is a hardy perennial herb, which would provide you with flavorsome herbs season after season. The low-growing thyme can reach a foot in height.
During the summer this herb would start to bloom. The thyme produces pink and lavender flowers that grow on the tips of the branches.
The thyme is Mediterranean in origin and comes in many different varieties and cultivars. The more common varieties are the common thyme (T. vulgaris), the lemon thyme (T. x. citriodorus), the woolly thyme (T. pseudolanuginosus), the creeping thyme (T. praecox) the elfin thyme (T. serpyllum ‘Elfin’) and the wild thyme (T. serpyllum).
A good thing about the thyme is that you can refrigerate it without compromising its flavor.
Thyme Plant Care
Sunlight needs: As a Mediterranean herb, it needs a lot of sunlight. About 6 hours of direct sun is needed daily if you desire to grow the thyme as best as possible. Like many other herbs, the thyme will grow nicely under indoor plant lights. Fluorescent lights are good for these herbs. About 14 hours under the grow light is equivalent to 6 hours of direct sunlight.
Watering: The thyme prefers even and thorough watering, but you should allow the mix to dry before you water the plant again. Make sure to provide enough drainage holes for excess water to drain through.
Humidity requirement: The average room humidity should be more than sufficient for this plant. It can also tolerate dry airs.
Temperature requirement: This Mediterranean herb requires a warm temperature to grow best. Temperatures of 60 to 75 °F or 16 to 24 °C should be optimal for this herb.
Potting mix: The Thyme grows best in a fast draining potting mix such as cactus mix.
Fertilizer requirement: The thyme can be fed half-strength balanced liquid fertilizer monthly during its growing seasons from spring to fall. You should give the herb a rest during winter. Also, you can use an organic herb fertilizer for best harvests.
Propagation/ starting this houseplant: You can start a thyme plant by using seeds or stem cuttings.
Common Indoor Vegetables
There are those who prefer growing vegetables in their indoor gardens. Among the common house plants there are two vegetables that are popular and grow indoors easily, they are tomato and lettuce.
Lettuce (Lactuca sativa)
The lettuce is a plant which leaves are used in many salads and as dressings for many dishes.
The more common varieties are the romaine lettuce, the loose-leaf lettuce, the crisphead and the butterhead lettuce. The baby or little variety of the loose-leaf is most common among indoor gardeners as it is easy to cultivate.
Lettuce Plant Care
Sunlight needs: The lettuces need a lot of sunshine. About 14 hours of bright but indirect sunlight should be enough for young lettuces.
You can also grow the lettuce under fluorescent lights. About 14 hours a day should be adequate for healthy growth.
Watering: You should water the lettuce with room temperature water. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
Temperature requirement: The lettuce will go to seed more quickly in warm temperatures, leaving them bitter. It is, therefore, better to grow them in a cold temperature of 10 °F at night to 60-70 °F during the day.
Fertilizer requirement: You should use an organic fertilizer or fish emulsion to feed your lettuce.
Propagation/ starting this houseplant: Lettuces usually grow from seeds.
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)
The tomato is a popular fruit and vegetable that is popular all over the world and is used in almost every dish. It is one of common house plants and most people require tomatoes everyday.
Tomatoes Plant Care
Sunlight needs: The tomato needs a lot of bright sunlight. It is best to place it in front of a sunny window. You can also grow this fruit under a grow light.
Watering: You should water the tomato regularly and evenly ensuring that the soil isn’t waterlogged.
Humidity requirement: The tomato requires moderate to high humidity.
Temperature requirement: The tomato needs a warm temperature of 70-80°F/16-27°C.
Fertilizer requirement: You should fertilize the tomato plant with organic fruit fertilizer. A fish emulsion fertilizer is also good for the plant.
Propagation/ starting this houseplant: You can use seeds to start these popular and common house plants.
The tomato will need a cage or support to climb and grow healthy.
So these are some of the most common houseplants that are popular among enthusiasts. Needless to say their popularity is primarily because of the low care and maintenance requirements. So, why don’t you start growing one of the yourself? Please share your experience with us in the comments below.