Our urban surrounding is filled with man-made objects which creates a dull and dreary environment. A hint of greenery can surely enliven our homes as well as offices. Obviously, we are delighted to see some greenery in the countryside which welcomes us when we step out. Most of us cannot afford to have spacious landscaped garden around our house. At most we can have a few pots of flowering and vegetable plants in our kitchen garden. However, these plants require adequate amount of sunlight, water and fresh air. For those who feel a hint of greenery can be added to our interiors, there are some sensible options. Indoor plants or house plants can be kept in confined interiors with little sunlight and minimal maintenance. Here is a list of indoor plants which not only beautify our interiors, but also purify the air by sucking out CO2 and other indoor pollutants.
Common Name: Devil’s Ivy / Money plant / Golden Pothos
Scientific name: Epipremnum aureum, Native: South Africa, Plant Care: Minimal Care Speciality: Attractively leafy hardy plant
Description: This is a popular houseplant with evergreen leaves which are alternate and heart-shaped. This leafy climber grows to 2-20 m height, with stems up to 4 cm diameter, which climbs by hooking its aerial roots onto tree branches. Numerous cultivars of this plant have been selected with white, yellow, or light green variegation. It is also efficient in removing indoor pollutants such as CO2, formaldehyde, xylene and benzene. Since it requires medium indirect light, it can be kept indoors for long. Although it tolerates bright sunlight, lengthy spells of direct sun will scorch
Common Name: Spider Plant
Scientific Name: Chlorophytum comosum, Native: South Africa, Plant Care: Regular care, Speciality: Indoor air pollution reducer
Description: Spider plant is well known for its ability to reduce indoor air pollution. The plant has long narrow leaves that are 20–40 cm long and 1-2 cm broad, growing from a central rosette. They produce branched stolons with small white flowers and baby plantlets. At the leaf node, these plants will produce adventitious roots down into the soil. It is an especially popular houseplant with beginners, as it is easy to propagate and is tolerant of neglect. The most widely grown variety is the ‘Variegatum’, with one or two broad yellowish-white bands running along the length of each leaf.
Common Name: Jade Plant / Friendship Tree
Scientific Name: Crassula ovata, Native: South Africa, Plant Care: Zero maintenance, Speciality: Indoor bonsai
Description: Jade plant is popular known as ‘indoor bonsai’ due to its minimal growth and low maintenance. It is a succulent plant with thick branches and smooth, rounded, fleshy leaves that grow in opposing pairs along the branches. Leaves are a jade green in colour; some varieties may develop a red tinge on the edges of leaves when exposed to direct sunlight. Under the right conditions, they may produce small white or pink star like flowers in early spring. They require a normal watering when the soil is dry in the summer, and very little watering in winter and rainy season.
Common Name: Peace Lily / White Anthurium
Scientific Name: Spathiphyllum, Native: South-eastern Asia, Plant Care: Minimal care, Speciality: Bright white flowers
Description: Peace Lilies are evergreen flowering perennial plants with large leaves 12-65 cm long and 3-25 cm broad. The flowers are produced in a spadix, surrounded by a 10-30 cm long, white, yellowish, or greenish spathe. The plant does not need excessive light or water to survive. It lives best in shade and needs little sunlight to thrive. Often it is placed in an angled window where sun will slightly be guided towards it and at night it will live off the daily intake. It can be watered once in a week.
Common Name: Syngonium / Arrowhead Vine
Scientific Name: Syngonium podophyllum, Native: South America, Plant Care: Zero maintenance, Speciality: Bright white flowers
Description: Syngonium is a rapid-growing tropical climber. Interestingly, the plant’s leaf structure changes as it grows, going from a simple arrow shape to a deeply lobed or divided mature leaf. Many varieties have variegated leaves to one degree or another and there are nearly 30 species of Syngonium vines. Breeders have created different plants with striking variegation along leaf veins. They are the easiest to grow, requiring minimal water and sunlight.
Common Name: Caladium / Elephant’s ear / Angel wings
Scientific Name: Caladium bicolor, Native: South America, Plant Care: Proper care, Speciality: Colorful leaves
Description: With large, brilliantly-colored, heart-shaped leaves, Caladiums add form and texture to bright-shade gardens. Many named varieties come in bold color combinations of red, rose, pink, green, silver and white, often with dark veins in the leaves. A tropical native, it likes plenty of water, heat and high humidity. Excellent in pots and well grown as house plants year-round. Need to protect from strong winds.
Common Name: Pinwheel, Lotus Cactus
Scientific Name: Aeonium arboreum, Native: North Africa, Plant Care: Minimal care, Speciality: Zero maintenance
Description: These plants may be stem-less or shrub-like, but are rapid growing, small to medium-sized succulents that form rosettes of waxy leaves. They tend to form rosettes of leaves at the end of the leafless stem which takes on the appearance of a branch. From the center of the rosettes arise a stem with clusters of flowers that may be golden yellow, pale yellow. After flowering, the rosette, and in some varieties the whole plant dies. They are good for window gardens, though some prefer shade.
Common name: Powdery Dudleya
Scientific name: Dudleya farinosa, Native: California, Plant Care: Minimal care, Speciality: Zero maintenance
Description: Dudleya is commonly found on rocky cliffs and coastal hillsides. This succulent plant is variable in appearance from drab to spectacular. It grows from a branching caudex and forms a basal rosette of wide, pointed, spade-shaped leaves, each up to about 6 centimeters across. The leaves are generally pale green but they often have edges or tips of bright colors, particularly bright reds. The plant erects a tall stem which is pale green with pink or red tinting, atop which it bears a branching inflorescence with many pale to bright yellow flowers.