What are your favorite foliage house plants? Here is our list from our experienced team at House Plants Experts. These are indoor plants grown primarily for their great-looking and interesting leaves, rather than flowers.
Foliage House Plants: Aluminum Plant – Pilea Cadierei
The aluminum plant is an easy-to-grow species native to China and Vietnam. It’s a bush-type plant that grows up to 12 inches tall and displays glossy green and silver oval-shaped leaves. Place the pilea cadierei in a brightly lit spot with sunlight to encourage it to thrive and grow well. Pruning each spring promotes new growth and spread.
Foliage House Plants: Cast Iron Plant – Aspidistra Elatior
Cast iron is its name for one reason only; it’s cast iron in strength when adapting to low light and neglect. The only way to really upset this plant is by over-watering or re-potting too often. There are two varieties with plain green and variegated (cream-colored stripes) linear-shaped leaves. The elatior can grow up to nearly 1 meter tall, once it’s fully matured.
Chinese Evergreen – Aglaonema
An array of hybrid plants from the aglaonema genus cultivated over the years because of their increase in popularity. The Chinese evergreen grows up to 3ft tall and displays oval-shaped leaves that grow 30cm in length. A good supply of varieties offers growers different leaf color variations. Variegated does not tolerate low light as well as the plain green variety.
Foliage House Plants: Croton “Variegated” – Codiaeum Variegatum
Croton plants (Codiaeum Variegatum) can be quite demanding for the average grower, so a beginner plant they’re not. This species enjoys its bright light, high humidity levels, and moist soil which drains well. The leaves on the most popular variety are leathery types which are green with prominent yellow veins that turn a reddish-purple color. Because these plants need bright light and space, they’re often grown in conservatories or greenhouses.
Foliage House Plants: Dumb Cane – Dieffenbachia Amoena
The dumb cane is an easy-to-grow plant that survives well on primary care conditions that should be provided. Due to its easygoing nature, it’s become a trendy ornamental foliage house plant. Once the plant matures it can reach up to 6ft in height, although 3 – 4ft is more common. Like many other foliage house plants, they produce flowers in their natural habitat, but rarely indoors.
European Fan Palm – Chamaerops Humilis
The European fan palm is an easy-to-please palm tree that grows up to a manageable size of 4ft tall, indoors. This is the only palm native to Europe, so it grows very well in temperate regions. The fronds stretch out and display similar to how a Spanish hand fan and the trunk becomes thick and furry. This is one of the easiest palm-type trees to grow indoors although it does not grow very tall.
Golden Pothos – Epipremnum Aureum
The pothos is a climbing-type vine that has aerial roots. Because these grow up to six feet tall and only have thin stems they need support if a grower wants them to grow upwards in height rather than hanging. The standard method growers use to support the golden pothos is using a moss stick. In Britain, the Epipremnum Aureum is known as the devil’s ivy.
Kentia Palm – Howea Forsteriana
The kentia is said to be a vulnerable species native to Lord Howe Island in Australia. The is a feather-type palm that grows up to 10ft tall indoors and displays elegant broad fronds. This palm is top-rated in Britain and is easy to grow; when applying the basic care conditions correctly. The kentia is faster growing than some of the other palm plants.
Lucky Bamboo – Dracaena Braunii
The lucky bamboo is from the popular ornamental indoor plant genus “dracaena” and can be grown in water or soil. Indoors these grow up to approximately 2 -3 ft tall and display small oval leaves and cane-like stalks. These are grown mostly in homes and offices for decorative purposes and are trained in different braided styles. They’re easy to grow and care for.
Madagascar Dragon Tree – Dracaena Marginata
Plants don’t get much easier to grow than the dracaena marginata – and they fight back to total health easily after periods of neglect. They will grow up to 6ft, although this takes a number of years; they’re slow growers. Maintaining the correct conditions for the dragon tree will enable the leaves to stay attractive.
Panda Plant – Kalanchoe Tomentosa
The panda plant (botanical name: kalanchoe tomentosa) is a relatively easy succulent plant to care for and maintain – grown for its attractive furry leaves. The panda plant is a succulent type of species that grows thick leaves for water storage purposes, which means watering less often for the grower. These velvety leaves are greenish-gray in color.
Swiss Cheese Plant – Monstera Deliciosa
The Swiss cheese plant is an exciting foliage plant to grow and reaches well over 6 ft tall when grown indoors. Although it does flower (and produces edible fruit) the main attraction is the glossy green leaves that grow fairly tall. Do be warned this is a tropical plant that likes fairly warm conditions with humidity levels higher than many other house plants.
Braided Money Tree – Pachira Aquatica
Most commonly known as the braided money tree when grown indoors. This species is s tree type of plant that supposedly offers feng shui enthusiasts good fortune. The trunks are braided and the tree can grow up to 10ft tall or can be grown as a bonsai. Plenty of bright light and the right amount of watering (not too much) are the two main components to keep this tree healthy.
The Calathea Zebrina displays large patterned ovate leaves on tall stalks. These leaves are light green with dark green stripes which is why it’s been given the common name of Zebra Plant. It’s not really a beginner plant or need an expert grower, however, it does need a grower to pay attention to its temperature and high humidity needs. The striking foliage makes it well worth the grower’s effort.
Wandering Jew – Tradescantia
The common name Wandering Jew is given to various plant varieties from the Tradescantia genus. These are trailing types suitable for growing indoors in containers and hanging baskets. They do bloom small flowers which are non-showy, but they’re primarily grown indoors for their foliage. An interesting feature of the F. zebrina is the purplish leaf undersides and the purple young leaves which turn green.
Watermelon Peperomia – Peperomia Argyle
A low-growing plant that grows up to a maximum of 12 inches tall. Although the Watermelon peperomia is small its leaves are large displaying striking green and silver stripes. Even those new to growing indoors find this plant easy to grow, although attention must be paid to watering. Peperomia are popular plants.
Rose Painted Calathea – Calathea Roseopicta
Another Calatheae species displays striking foliage. The ovate leaves display pinkish-colored stripes on a green background. This Calathea does not grow as tall as the Zebra, however, it does share the same undemanding care needs. Although this plant flowers during the summer the main attraction is the leaves.
Bird’s Nest Fern – Asplenium Nidus
A relatively easy fern plant to grow and maintain indoors that displays two-foot-long fronds when the plant has matured. The epiphytic plant growing in tropical countries has adapted well to our cooler climates and is planted within the soil. Out of all ferns, this is often the favorite for many people growing indoors.
Mother Of Thousands – B. Daigremontianum
Mother of Thousands is a succulent plant that produces many small plantlets at the edge of the leaves. This is where it gets its common name from. This species has numerous names including Devils Backbone, Mexican Hat, and others.
Heartleaf – Philodendron Scandens
This Philodendron is a climbing plant that displays glossy heart-shaped leaves and that is where it gets its common names of Heartleaf philodendron and Sweetheart plant from. Looks superb grown on a moss stick.
Arrowhead Plant – Syngonium Podophyllum
The Arrowhead head is a very similar species to the Philodendron and is part of the same family of plants. These have to be well-pruned to avoid too much growth. The leaves have various growth patterns depending on their maturity.
Green Velvet – Alocasia Micholitziana
The Green Velvet Alocasia displays striking arrow-shaped leaves with deep white-colored veins. Quite tricky to grow indoors well, so your green thumb may be required for this plant. Another member of the Alocasia Amazonica is more popular than this species.
Frequently Asked Questions
Each plant is different and will have different care requirements, but the basics are making sure it’s well-watered and getting enough sunlight.
Not only are houseplants a brilliant way to brighten up your home or office, but there are plenty of scientific benefits to persuade you. They boost your mood, and reduce stress, some of them are air purifying and they’re known to increase creativity!
Depending on how well you care for them, indoor plants usually live from two to five years.
Will my houseplant attract pests?
This depends on the type of plant you get. Some are more prone to pests than others, but the main pests to look out for are spider mites and mealybugs. Make sure you look after the leaves of your houseplants to prevent pests from arriving. If you already have pests, wipe the leaves of your plants with a little rubbing alcohol.
Why are the leaves on my plant turning yellow?
Yellowing is a sign of water issues – frustratingly, it can either signal underwatering or overwatering, but the distinction should be pretty obvious just by looking at the rest of the plant. If the yellow leaves are accompanied by root rot or waterlogging, you’re overwatering your plant. Whereas if the ends of the leaves are beginning to brown and the topsoil is dry, your plant needs more water!
If you’re looking for a way to brighten up your home or office space, these indoor foliage plants are the way to do it!
Some are easy to care for, requiring next to no effort and coping well with neglect, whereas others need a little bit more support to make sure they’re as healthy as possible. Either way, there’s plenty to choose from – you’re bound to find something that suits your space.
All of these plants come in different shapes and sizes, and some of them are really unique looking, so you’re spoilt for choice. Take a look at some of these plants in more detail and find one that suits your space and your schedule.
We understand that not everyone has the time to care for a houseplant, which is why easy-going plants like Cast Iron, the Madagascar Dragon Tree, the Panda Plant, or the Aluminium Plant are great choices! The Croton, the Arrowhead, and the Green Velvet plants will be a bit more demanding, but their gorgeous aesthetic is worth it, so if you do have a little more time to play with them, we highly recommend these!
If you’re looking for something that will really stand out, this selection of foliage houseplants has a few striking statement pieces on offer. The Rose Painted Calathea, the Watermelon Peperomia, The Dumb Cane and the Chinese Evergreen are all fantastic choices that are guaranteed to wow your guests.
This guide to foliage houseplants has everything you need to know to choose the right houseplant! Simply click on the ‘Read More’ links to learn about the plants that grab your attention!
Elyssa Goins is an experienced house plant hobbyist who maintains over a hundred plants. She is a gardener, beekeeper, and a proud mother of four. She is a member of the American Horticultural Society, has a published study in the National Social Science Association, and loves to talk about her love of plants. For the past twenty years, she’s been all about growing and caring for various fruits, veggies, herbs, livestock, kids, and houseplants. Managing a big garden to feed four growing kids and raising dairy goats has taught her so much about being an excellent plant parent and now is her time to share with you.