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There are times when you buy a plant in a shop or collect from outside or get as a gift, and so on. But you don’t know what plant it is and that makes the house plant identification hard. Without the name, you can’t determine the plant’s needs and requirements. Does it need full sun or partial shade or even full shade? Does it thrive in a soggy potting mix or a dry potting mix? What are the plant’s feeding needs or its temperature needs?

It is impossible to care for a plant without knowing correctly what its name is, and it can be quite difficult at times to find out the name of the plant you intend to cultivate. Times like these call for good detective work and instincts. However, when you know what to look for and a reliable reference guide, house plant identification is a lot easier than you can imagine.

 

House Plant Identification – Indication To Help You Make Out Your House Plants

There are few things you can look out for in the appearance of the plant that can help you figure out exactly which houseplant you’re trying to identify.

Foliage

The foliage of the plant can help you in the house plant identification.

  • What is the color of the plant’s foliage and is it variegated?
  • Leaves or spines, which does your plant have?
  • And finally, the shapes of the leaves, what are they?

Physical Attributes

The physical attributes can help you in house plant identification.

  • How tall is your plant?
  • What is the length of its reach?
  • Does it creep like a vine or is it upright?
  • Does it have a truck or several stems?

Flowers

If the plant has flowers, then you’re in luck, since the flowers can help you in the house plant identification.

  • Is the house plant blooming?
  • What are the colors of its blooms, if it’s blooming?
  • Do the blooms of the plant have a nice smell?
  • And what are the buds like, if it is blooming?

You write down all the observations. With these, you can identify your house plant with the aid of a proper reference guide.

 

20 Common House Plants And How To Identify Them

 

Madagascar Dragon Tree [Dracaena marginata]

Originally from Madagascar the dragon tree is a popular tree.

dragon tree house plant identification

Physical attributes

Height: The dragon tree can grow up to 6 ft. [180 m].

Creeping or Upright: This tree grows upright.

Single or Multiple stems: It has a single stem when young.

Foliage

The color of Foliage: The leaves of the dragon tree is green, with a red edge, whiles other dragon trees have red and yellow stripes over its green leaves.

Leaves: It has narrow spear-shaped leaves that are about 12 to 15 inches long.

The appearance of its Trunk: The trunk is grayish brown in color. The madagascar dragon is easy for house plant identification.

Flowers

Nature of its blooms: The dragon tree doesn’t bloom.

 

English Ivy Plant [Hedera helix]

The English Ivy is native to Europe and as such prefers cool temperature.

english ivy

Physical attributes

Height: As a creeping plant it can grow very high if you let it.

Creeping or upright: The English Ivy is a creeping plant.

Single or multiple stems: It doesn’t have a visible stem or trunk.

Foliage

The color of foliage: The foliage of this plant is green, although some cultivars have golden edges on the green leaves among others.

Leaves or Spines: It has leaves.

The appearance of Leaves and stems: It is a creeping plant. The leaves are lobed shaped and lush green and is hard identifying house plant.

Flowers

Nature of blooms: The English Ivy plant doesn’t bloom.

 

Corn Plant [Dracaena fragrans]

As part of dracaena family, the corn plant is of tropical origin. It is popular and easy for house plant identification.

corn plant

Physical attributes

Height: The dracaena corn plant will reach heights of 6 ft. [180 cm].

Creeping or upright: This houseplant is an upright plant.

Single or multiple stems: It normally has one stem when young but can have multiple stems when matured.

Foliage

The color of foliage: It has green foliage. The leaves will have yellow edges.

Leaves or Spines: The corn plant has leaves.

The appearance of Leaves and stems: The leaves are sword like, lush green with yellow running through them. The leaves are quite large. The stems are light brown in color.

Flowers

Nature of blooms: The blooms of the corn plant are rare indoors.

The color of blooms: The flowers are white.

Fragrance: The flowers are nice smelling.

 

African Violet [Saintpaulia genus]

The African Violet is a very popular house plant native to east Africa.

african violet

Physical attributes

Height: The African Violet hybrids can grow up to 6inches [15 cm].

Trailing or upright: The African violet is mostly an upright plant, although there are trailing variants.

Single or multiple stems: It doesn’t have a visible stem since it is a very low plant.

Foliage

The color of foliage: The foliage is lush green.

Leaves or Spines: It has leaves.

The appearance of Leaves and stems: The leaves are green to dark blue. They are cultivars with serrated leaves; some have a spoon type shape. There are even spear shaped leaves.

Flowers

Nature of blooms: The African Violet blooms beautifully and is a popular flowering plant.

The color of blooms: They come in many varieties of colors from pink to various colors and even double colored varieties.

 

Chinese Evergreen [Aglaonema]

There are many hybrids of the Chinese evergreen; however, the plant is originally from Asia.

chinese evergreen

Physical attributes

Height: The Chinese Evergreen can grow up to heights of 3 ft. [90 cm].

Trailing or upright: The Chinese evergreen is an upright plant.

Single or multiple stems: It has multiple stems.

Foliage

The color of foliage: The foliage of the plant is green with white veins.

The appearance of Leaves and stems: The Chinese evergreen has broad leaves [30 cm long, 5 to 7 cm broad], with some variants having varied colors. The stems are green and thin.

Flowers

Nature of blooms: The Chinese evergreen will bloom once in summer, the blooms produce berries.

Fragrance: The flowers are non-fragrant.

 

Calla Lily [Zantedeschia aethiopica]

The calla lily is originally from South Africa. Its flowers are funnel shaped and come in many varieties of colors.

pink calla lillies

Physical attributes

Height: The calla lily will grow up to between 12 and 16 in [30 to 40 cm] without its flowers.

Trailing or upright: The calla lily is an upright plant.

Single or multiple stems: It has multiple stems.

Foliage

The color of foliage: The foliage is lush deep green.

The appearance of Leaves and stems: The leaves are dagger shaped, and the stems are thin and green; so are the leaves.

Flowers

Nature of blooms: The flowers are funnel shaped and can rise to 3 ft. [90 cm].

The color of blooms: The flowers come in many colors from violet to purple, pink to rose, and white.

 

Jade Plant [Crassula ovata]

Native to southern Africa, the jade plant is well-loved by homeowners or bonsai gardeners because it is very easy to care for.

jade plant

Physical attributes

Height: The jade plant can grow up to 3 ft. [90 cm].

Trailing or upright: This plant grows upright.

Single or multiple stems: It has a single trunk.

Foliage

The color of Foliage: The leaves are lush green and are leathery. The leaves may have a tint of red.

The appearance of Leaves and stems: The leaves are spoon-like, and the stems are brownish in color.

Flowers

Nature of blooms: The jade plant may bloom star shaped flowers.

The color of blooms: These blooms are whitish to pinkish in color.

 

Mother-in-Law’s Tongue [Sansevieria trifasciata]

The mother-in-law’s tongue is a plant that can grow with minimal care.

mother in laws tongue

Physical attributes

Height: This plant can grow up 2 ft. [60 cm].

Trailing or upright: It grows upright.

Single or multiple stems: The mother-in-law’s tongue has no stems.

Foliage

The color of foliage: This plant’s foliage is deep green with white stripes.

The appearance of Leaves and stems: The leaves of this plant is sword like and points up. It has no stems.

Flowers

Nature of blooms: This plant rarely flowers. The flowers grow on a stalk that can grow up to 3 feet.

 

Polka Dot Plant [Hypoestes phyllostachya]

The polka is a very pretty yet unusual plant. It has variegated green and pink leaves. The polka dotted plant is native to Madagascar. It grows well in warm temperature and bright but indirect sun.

polka dot plant

Physical attributes

Height: This plant can grow up to 3 ft.

Trailing or upright: It is an upright plant.

Foliage

The color of foliage: The foliage of this houseplant has variegated green and pink leaves.

Flowers

Nature of blooms: This houseplant may bloom small spike flowers.

The color of blooms: These flowers are purple in color.

 

Basil [Ocimum basilicum]

The basil is a much-loved herb that all culinary enthusiasts must grow in their kitchen because it is best when used fresh.

basil

Physical attributes

Height: The basil will grow up to a foot to two feet tall [30-60 cm].

Trailing or upright: It is an upright plant.

Single or multiple stems: The basil usually has several stems.

Foliage

The color of foliage: The foliage is vibrant green.

The appearance of Leaves and stems: The leaves are spoon-shaped and are deeply veined. The stems are green and thin.

Flowers

Nature of blooms: It blooms small spike flowers.

The color of blooms: The flowers are white.

 

Mint [Mentha x]

The mint plant comes in many variants from peppermint, spearmint to pineapple mint and even orange mint. This makes for many delightful flavors.

mint

Physical attributes

Height: The mint can grow up to between one and two feet [30-60 cm].

Trailing or upright: It is an upright plant.

Single or multiple stems: The mint plant usually has several stems instead of a single trunk.

Foliage

The color of foliage: The foliage is green, and some variants have variegated leaves.

The appearance of Leaves and stems: The leaves have serrated edges and are oval in color with deep veins giving it a rough texture.

Flowers

Nature of blooms: Like most herbs, the mint plant produces spikes of flowers but doesn’t produce seeds.

The color of blooms: These blooms are pink in color.

 

Oregano [Origanum]

The oregano is a Mediterranean herb, so it grows wonderfully in the home and with enough sunlight, it will supply you with culinary herbs all year long.

oregano

Physical attributes

Height: The oregano can grow up to between 12 and18 inches (30 and 50 cm).

Trailing or upright: The oregano plant can spill off the edge of your pots and thus is a wonderful plant to grow in a hanging basket. It will grow upright when pruned and used frequently.

Foliage

The color of foliage: The foliage of the oregano plant is green.

The appearance of Leaves: The leaves are spoon-shaped leaves, and are slightly rough to the touch.

Flowers

Nature of blooms: The blooms of this plant are purple in color and are attractive.

 

Parsley [Petroselinum]

The Parsley is a herb rich in vitamins and flavor. It is best to use fresh after cultivating; it will ensure a constant supply of fresh herbs.

parsley

Physical attributes

Height: The parsley will grow up to 8 inches [20 cm] in height.

Trailing or upright: The parsley grows upright.

Foliage

The color of foliage: The foliage of this plant is bright green.

Appearance of Leaves: There are many varieties of the parsley herb. Two varieties are most cultivated and these are the P. crispum and the P. crispum neapolitanum. The P. crispum has curly leaves and as such called the curly-leaf parsley. The P. crispum neapolitanum is called the flat-leaf parsley and it has flat leaves.

Flowers

Nature of blooms: The parsley blooms yellowish green flowers.

 

Rosemary [Rosmarinus officinalis]

The rosemary is a plant of Mediterranean origin and as such thrives in warm temperatures and bright sun. The rosemary is both decorative and edible which distinguishes its house plant identification.

rosemary

Physical attributes

Height: The rosemary can grow up to 18 inches [45 cm].

Trailing or upright: This plant is an upright plant.

Single or multiple stems: A rosemary plant will usually have a single trunk, but they may also have several stems.

Foliage

The color of Foliage: The leaves of the rosemary are green.

The appearance of Leaves and stems: The leaves are called needles and are about an inch to an inch and half long. The stems of the rosemary are woody and are grayish brown.

Flowers

Nature of blooms: The rosemary plant blooms, these flowers grow in clusters at the tips of the branches.

The color of blooms: These flowers are blue, white, purple and pink in color.

 

Creeping Fig [Ficus pumila]

The creeping fig [also known as the climbing fig] is part of the ficus genus which contain such well-loved houseplants as the common fig [Ficus carica], the weeping fig [Ficus benjamina] among others.

creeping fig

Physical attributes

Height: The creeping fig can reach heights of 3 ft. [90 cm].

Trailing or upright: This houseplant is a trailing plant.

Foliage

The color of foliage: Its foliage is lush green.

The appearance of Leaves and stems: The ficus pumila has beautiful heart-shaped leaves, which are about an inch long.

Flowers

Nature of blooms: Although the ficus pumila blooms, the flowers are not visible. It may produce fruits when pollinated by the fig wasp.

 

Hibiscus [Hibiscus rosa sinensis x]

The hibiscus is a popular flowering plant that can be formed in many gardens.

hibiscus plant

Physical attributes

Height: This shrub can grow up to 6 ft. [180 cm] and even taller in such cases.

Trailing or upright: It is an upright plant.

Single or multiple stems: It normally has a single trunk.

Foliage

The color of foliage: It has lush dark green foliage.

The appearance of Leaves and stems: The leaves are ovate in shape, and the stems are narrow and grayish brown.

Flowers

Nature of blooms: The blooms are the main reason this plant is popular. It helps in this house plant identification.

The color of blooms: The blooms come in many colors from pink to white, yellow, peach, orange, and purple.

 

Boston Fern [Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Bostoniensis’]

The Boston fern is known to be an undemanding house plant and looks great in a hanging basket.

boston fern plant

Physical attributes

Height: The house plant’s fronds can grow up a maximum length and height of 3 ft. [180 cm].

Trailing or upright: It is a plant that trails when in a hanging basket.

Foliage

The color of foliage: The foliage of this plant is green.

Appearance of Leaves and stems: The plant’s above soil appearance is made up mostly of fronds. These look like green feathers. This house plant identification is tricky at times.

Flowers

Nature of blooms: The Boston fern doesn’t bloom, but it produces runners.

 

Bird of Paradise [Strelitzia reginae]

The bird of paradise has a flower that looks like a crane’s head thus its name. Native to southern Africa, this plant is easy to care and easy identifying house plant.

bird of paradise plant

Physical attributes

Height: This houseplant can grow up to 6 ft. [180 cm] when allowed.

Trailing or upright: It is an upright plant.

Foliage

The color of foliage: The foliage is glossy dark green.

The appearance of Leaves and stems: Its leaves are broad and green, and have an appearance similar to the banana and plantain plant’s leaves.

Flowers

Nature of blooms: This plant will produce up to 6 flowers in one growing season. It may take up to 3 years before they start blooming, though.

The color of blooms: The blooms are orange and blue in color.

 

Weeping Fig [Ficus benjamina]

The weeping fig is a popular house plant. It is originally from south-eastern Asia.

weeping fig

Physical attributes

Height: The ficus benjamina can grow up to 10 ft. [300 cm] tall although dwarf variants will grow up to 6 ft. [180 cm].

Trailing or upright: This is an upright tree.

Single or multiple trunks: Most ficus benjamina have multiple trunks, although they may also have a single trunk. This is a distinct house plant identification feature of the plant.

Foliage

The color of foliage: The foliage is dark green.

The appearance of Leaves and stems: The leaves are leathery in appearance and touch. They, therefore, have a glossy look and this helps in it’s house plant identification. The leaves are pointed and about 2 to 4 inches in length. The trunk is grayish brown in color.

 

Air Plant [Tillandsia x]

The air plant absorbs nutrients and water through its leaves rather than its roots. This process makes it an epiphyte. It is a pretty and little plant to look.

air plant

Physical attributes

Height: The air plant will grow up to between 6 inches to a foot [15 to 30 cm].

Trailing or upright: It is an upright plant.

Single or multiple stems: It doesn’t have a stem.

Foliage

The color of foliage: The colors of the foliage are green, pink, and sometimes blue [when it blooms].

The appearance of Leaves and stems: Its leaves are narrow and pointed. It doesn’t have stems. It often looks like grass and might be tough for this house plant identification.

Flowers

Nature of blooms: This plant blooms purplish blue flower.

 

Norfolk Island Pine [Araucaria heterophylla]

This evergreen house plant is gorgeous indeed, named after the Norfolk Island in the Oceania continent from where it originates. The Norfolk pine isn’t actually a pine.

norfolk pine

Physical attributes

Height: This tree can grow up to 6 ft. [180 cm].

Trailing or upright: It is an upright tree.

Single or multiple trunks: It has a single trunk.

Foliage

The color of foliage: The foliage is dark green.

The appearance of Foliage and stems: The Norfolk Island pine has long green needles and a brown stem which helps in this house plant identification.

 

Golden Pothos [Epipremnum aureum]

The golden pothos is known as the Devil’s Ivy and is native to the Solomon Islands.

golden pothos

Physical attributes

Height: This plant can grow up to lengths of 8 ft.

Trailing or upright: It is a trailing plant.

Foliage

The color of foliage: The foliage may be all green or may variegate with white or yellow.

The appearance of Leaves and stems: The leaves are heart-shaped, leathery and easy for this house plant identification.

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