Whether it’s for your home, a commercial property, an office, or a restaurant, indoor plants offer a ton of benefits. But how do you pick the best indoor plants for your space?
From your living room to your company office or your favorite restaurant, indoor plants have a significant impact on the way that place makes you feel, both physically and mentally.
That’s because indoor plants have been shown to:
- Boost moods, productivity, and creativity
- Reduce stress, fatigue, sore throats, and colds
- Clean and purify indoor air by absorbing toxins, increasing humidity, and producing oxygen
- Add a touch of life to a sterile space, provide additional privacy, or even reduce noise levels by absorbing sound waves
- Offer therapeutic properties
Like their outdoor counterparts, indoor plants require specific conditions to ensure they survive and thrive.
Here are 10 of the best indoor plants for every space and how you can keep them healthy and happy.
1. ZZ Plant (Zamioculca Zmiifolia)
Originating in drought-prone Africa, the ZZ plant has become extremely popular because it’s attractive and tolerates neglect, making it one of the best indoor plants available.
Growing to between two and three feet in height and width, it offers a waxy, smooth-looking leaf that reflects sunlight and brightens rooms, all while purifying the air, according to a study from NASA.
This plant thrives in medium to low indirect light but can tolerate bright indirect light if needed. But do keep in mind that it’s not well-suited for intense, direct sun. If you’re curious about exactly how to measure light for plants, check out this resource from Greenery Unlimited.
The ZZ plant also doesn't require much watering — only once every three or four weeks — and does well in standard room temperatures of between 65°F and 75°F.
One thing to keep in mind: the ZZ plant can be toxic, so make sure to keep it clear of children and pets, and wash your hands after handling it.
Want to see the ZZ plant in action? Check out our indoor planter project with the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland.
ZZ Plant in Modern Elite Aluminum Planters at National Cancer Institute
Also known as the Golden Pothos, Money Plant, or Devil’s Ivy, this evergreen plant originated in Southeast Asia.
It can be identified by its thick, waxy, heart-shaped leaves that often boast splashes of yellow.
If you’re looking for one of the best indoor plants for easy care, this is arguably the one. While it likes bright, indirect light, it can thrive in areas that don’t get a lot of sunlight or have only fluorescent lighting. As far as temperature goes, it does best in hardiness zones 10 through 12 (40 °F to 55 °F).
Pothos in PurePots Fiberglass Planter at Private Residence
Often referred to as Dumb Cane, this versatile plant is known as one of the best indoor plants because it can handle a significant amount of neglect and mistreatment (not that you’d ever subject it to it, of course).
Dumb Cane requires very little light to survive. You won’t want to put it in the dark, but it can get by in an area with light shade. You’ll definitely want to keep it away from direct sunlight during the middle of the day and early afternoon when the sun is hottest.
You can water it well and then leave it alone for a while. You should also try to keep it in warmer areas — generally between 60°F and 80 °F but never lower than 50°F.
But a word to the wise: be careful, even being in an area with a cold draft can cause the leaves to turn yellow and drop.
4. Snake Plant
Another plant that has proven to be an effective air purifier by NASA’s survey, the Snake Plant (also known as Sansevieria), can survive in some pretty unsuitable growing conditions.
With its sword-like foliage, it’s a bit different than many other plants in that it takes in carbon dioxide during the day and releases fresh oxygen at night, whereas most plants do the opposite. This means it can provide your home, office, or restaurant with a breath of fresh air during the evenings.
To keep this plant alive, put it in indirect sunlight and don’t water it too often, especially during the winter. In fact, it’s better to let it dry out a bit between waterings.
Snake Plant in Modern Elite Aluminum Planters at Laurel Park Raceway
5. Maidenhair Fern
Unlike some of the other tougher plants we’ve listed here, the Maidenhair Fern is a bit more finicky — but it’s still on our list of the best indoor plants because it’s incredibly easy on the eyes.
Here are a few key tips to keep in mind when caring for it:
- Direct sunlight will lead to scorching, but too little light will cause poor growth and yellowing fronds, so try to place it somewhere that gets indirect morning or afternoon sun, such as a northern window
- Do your best to avoid placing it in drafty areas
- A temperature of about 70°F is ideal, and temperatures below 60°F should be avoided
- Dry air is a no-go for this plant, so keep it in the most humid location possible, and consider giving it a regular misting
- The soil needs to be kept constantly moist, but not soggy
If you can keep up with their maintenance, the Maidenhair Fern will reward you with a beautiful addition to your home.
Northern Maidenhair Fern
6. Staghorn Fern
There are no two ways about it. Staghorn Fern is one of the best indoor plants out there because it’s beautiful and unbelievably versatile. You can do everything from sitting it on a table to mount it on a board or hang it on a wall.
This once-rare plant, which is unusual in that it’s both an air plant and a fern despite looking almost nothing like a fern, has now thankfully become much easier to acquire. And best of all, it’s pretty easy to care for.
The Staghorn Fern thrives in every light condition from partial share to bright, indirect light. It needs a temperature range between 60° F to 80° F and requires cautious watering.
And more good news for parents and pet owners: unlike some of the other plants on this list, the Staghorn Fern is completely non-toxic.
7. English Ivy
It’s no wonder Ivy plants were sacred to ancient Greeks and Romans. It can be stunningly beautiful, producing a multitude of heart-shaped leaves that range in color from dark to light green.
That’s why it adds a perfect touch to any indoor space. But be careful because English Ivy grows aggressively.
Luckily, it still makes our list of the best indoor plants because it can be grown and controlled in almost any container or even cascading from hanging baskets.
Ivy does well in medium light and doesn't like to be overwatered. Make sure you wait until the top inch of soil has dried out before watering it (pro tip: when raising English Ivy as a houseplant, it’s safer to keep it a little too dry than a little too wet).
For optimal growth, you’ll also want to find the most humid area possible for your English Ivy to live. And try to find a place that stays between 50°F to 70°F since they prefer cool areas.
8. Heart-Leaf Philodendron
There are few plants easier to grow than the Heart-Leaf Philodendron. And it makes a beautiful addition to any indoor space.
As its name implies, it produces heart-shaped glossy leaves, which are typically between two and four inches long. Its stems can grow up to four feet high.
Try to keep yours in an area with moderate lighting. You’ll also want to keep your soil lightly moist throughout the fall and allow the soil's surface to dry out between waterings in the winter.
Heart-Leaf Philodendrons are tolerant of dry air but prefer humidity — somewhere around 40% relative humidity — and an average temperature of between 65°F to 75°F.
You might also want to consider pinching (or trimming) this plant down as close to the node as possible from time to time. Doing so will help it to branch out, keeping the plant bushy and full.
Heart Leaf Philodendron
9. Prayer Plant
The Prayer Plant (also known as Maranta leuconeura) is incredibly beautiful and extremely exotic looking. Getting its formal name after Bartolomeo Maranta, an Italian physician and botanist of the sixteenth century, it gets its more common name from the fact that its leaves stay flat during the day and then fold up like praying hands at night.
Growing to about 12 inches tall at maturity, the Prayer Plant likes bright, indirect sunlight and prefers warm, moist conditions. Make sure to water this plant frequently, never allowing the potting soil to dry out.
One great thing about this plant is that it loves standard household temperatures of between 60°F to 80°F, which means you don’t have to worry about cranking your thermostat to keep it happy and healthy.
Prayer Plant in PurePots Square Fiberglass Planter at Private Residence
Not only does the Monstera plant look unique, it’s also got one of the most outlandish nicknames on this list: the Swiss Cheese Plant. But the name is fitting, given the fact that this tropical shrub features natural leaf-holes.
The Swiss Cheese Plant is extremely easy to care for. It thrives in everything from bright to medium indirect light (but make sure to keep it out of intense direct sunlight), making it a perfect indoor plant.
It’s extremely low-maintenance, only needing to be watered every week or two. It also thrives in normal room humidity and room temperature (between 65°F-85°F) but doesn’t mind increased humidity if possible. You should also be sure to never place the Swiss Cheese Plant in temperatures below 60°F.
Whether it’s for a residence, an office, or a restaurant, you can bring all the benefits offered by plant life into your space with one of these ten best indoor plants. And most importantly, you can keep them thriving in a dynamic array of environments and maintain them with minimal upkeep.
If you’d like to learn about the ideal planters for indoor plants, contact us to speak with one of our experts today.