Not only do they look beautiful, they add oxygen and clean the air. (http://www.sgaonline.org.au/the-benefits-of-indoor-plants/)
Many plants are extremely easy to grow indoors, given the right light and growing conditions. Whilst succulent species like warm sun filled positions, many that thrive indoors, come from rainforests around the world and grow well below the canopy where light id naturally filtered or shaded by the forest canopy. These conditions can be easily replicated in your home.
My mother had always been a lover of indoor plants, but in my teens I became a dedicated collector and even managed to grow some highly specialist varieties due to two very distinct growing areas in our home. A cool south facing glassed in veranda ideal for maiden-hair ferns, begonias, fatsia japonica and philedendrons. Then there was our warm, north facing sunroom, where we grew our hoya, spathiphylum, maranta, boston ferns and more. I continue to grow many of these plants to this day.
Growing plants indoors gave me an outlet for gardening for the many years I lived in a small, but sun filled, rented apartment, without a garden of my own.
More recently I have had the enormous pleasure of seeing many of my favourite house plants growing in their indigenous habitats in the Amazon Basin of South America, and succulent species in South America and Africa!
Having an indoor plant collection is an excellent way to involve children in gardening, as there will be activiies to involve them with such as repotting, feeding and watering plants, as well as dividing and propagating plants. These extra plants make fabulous and often well appreciated presents for friends and family!
Some personal, easy to grow favourites are included in the following lists.
Easy plants for beginners:
- Spathiphyllum (Peace or Madonna Lily) likes filtered light and will even grow in quite dark conditions
- Aspidistra Elatior (Cast Iron Plant) will grow in places with minimal light.
- Maranta Leuconeura (Prayer Plant), leaves stand upright every evening and lower themselves by day. Filtered light.
- Sansievera (mother in laws tongue) likes a position in full sun.
- Nephrolepis Exalta Bostoniense (Boston Fern). Filtered light.
- Philodendron. Evergreen vines and shrubs. Tough durable and easy to grow. Filtered light.
- Tolmiea Menziesii (Piggy-back Plant), filtered light and cool temperatures
- Cyclamen. Wonderful blooms through winter. Pinch out spent flowers and do not wet the corm. Filtered light. Cool conditions.
- Chlorophytum Comosum (Spider Plant). Good for hanging baskets. Full sun to shade.
- Trandescantia (Wandering Jew, Inch Plant) good for hanging baskets. Pinch out the growth tips to prevent getting leggy. full sun to full shade.
- Hoya (Wax Flower), climbing plant with highly scented waxy flowers like shooting stars. Needs support. Likes filtered light. Mine is 55 years old and still growing strong!
- Ficus Benjamani (Weeping Fig) will grow to a small shrub or tree, likes filtered light.
For excellent information about indoor plant care, try: http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s2585111
or htm http://www.thegardenhelper.com/houseplants.html