Houseplants 101: Choosing the Right Indoor Greenery

From low-maintenance ficus trees to fickle ferns, check out these designer-approved houseplants and our tips for keeping them lush and lovely.

©Rustic White Photography

©Rustic White Photography

©Rustic White Photography

©Rustic White Photography

©Rustic White Photography

©Rustic White Photography

©Rustic White Photography


Bromeliads come in a variety of colors and sizes. They're known for their thick leaves and red flowering spikes, a feature that only comes once in its lifetime. Proper watering is key to the growth and well-being of bromeliads. When watered too much, the plant can suffer from root rot; however, when not watered enough, they can quickly dry out. Bromeliads thrive best in sunny rooms with indirect sunlight.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

Open up the pages of any home decor magazine and you're certain to find designer homes filled with fiddle leaf fig trees. These natural beauties are loved by designers for their sculptural qualities and their ability to grow more than eight feet tall. These trees thrive in areas with plenty of indirect sunlight and temperatures above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The best way to tell if a fiddle leaf tree needs water is to stick your finger into the soil. If the top of layer of soil is dry, but the lower layers are moist, that means it's in great shape.


A beautiful way to dress up small surfaces around your home is with groupings of young succulents. They come in a variety of species and cost approximately $2 per plant. For succulents to thrive, they must be placed in rooms with direct sunlight and watered generously in the summer -- but allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. During the winter, you can water every other month.


Tropical plants, especially philodendrons, are popular with designers due to the shape and large scale of their leaves. In order for philodendrons to flourish, they should live in spaces which receive indirect sunlight and offer plenty of shade. In order to ensure proper growth, keep their soil moist at all times and make sure the room's temperature remains above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Maidenhair Fern

Maidenhair ferns are known for their flowing, feminine style. But unlike most ferns, the maidenhair is a bit more fickle and requires special care. These particular ferns require a shady environment with no direct sunlight or bright light, otherwise its leaves will quickly start to discolor. Since maidenhair ferns love humidity, place them on top of a watering tray to regulate the dampness of their environment, and be sure to spray frequently.

Lemon Button Fern

Lemon button ferns, also known as a southern sword ferns, are commonly found in shady, wooded areas. These beauties are drought tolerant, easy to care for and thrive in shady rooms. Just make sure their soil never completely dries out.

Peat Moss

Once houseplants are placed into their planters, camouflage the soil and fertilizer with a decorative top layer of Spanish or peat moss. The moss will trap escaping moisture, preventing plants from drying out too quickly. This top-coat isn't a perfect fit for all plants, though, because some plants prefer a more arid environment.

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