by Ken Lain, The Mountain Gardener, Watters Garden Center
These are the most popular and easy plants grown indoors for a healthful environment.
Croton — There are many different varieties of Croton; all have broad leaves dipped in exotic patterns. The most popular is Petra, which has shades of yellow, red and green. Crotons thrive in low light areas but display more color when placed in brighter rooms. Water weekly or as the soil becomes dry.
ZZ plant — With its tall succulent stems and architecturally bold structure, this plant is a favorite for homes with modern decors. Nearly indestructible, place ZZ in medium-to-high light and water only when soil is bone dry.
Money plant — Many people believe this plant is lucky and a symbol of wealth. Standing upright with green leaves above the trunk, it adds drama to any room. Simple to maintain, it grows in any light condition and can be dry between waterings.
Peace lily — This is undoubtedly the most common houseplant. It’s easy to care for and produces beautiful white blooms year-round. It grows well in the dark rooms of your house; requires consistent moisture.
Maidenhair fern — This delicate little fern, with soft, small green leaves on black stalks, likes high humidity; it is well placed in bathroom and kitchen environments. Increase the humidity around a maidenhair fern by placing it on a tray of pebbles and maintaining water in the tray.
Variegated creeping fig — This vining plant has puckered, heart-shaped green and white leaves, lending itself to hanging baskets or training as a topiary. Place it in a bright spot, keeping the soil evenly moist.
Golden pothos — Place this vining plant on a table, shelf or a hanging basket and let the vines grow and trail. If preferable, add a pole to grow up. Grow it in low-to-medium light; allow the soil to dry between waterings.
Calathea — This indoor plant has large, patterned leaves in shades of deep green and purple. A mid-sized upright plant, it can be placed on a tabletop or used as a floor plant. It prefers a bright spot, but the leaves are sensitive to direct sunlight from a Southern exposure. Allow the soil to dry slightly.
English ivy — This trailing plant is pretty when trained into a topiary or cascade from a tabletop or hanging basket. Grow in a high-light area, keeping the soil evenly moist.