Use Indoor House Plants to Help Brighten Your Home During the Colder Months

If the dark and dreary days of late fall and winter tend to bring you down, why not brighten your home’s interior with indoor houseplants this year? Once you get one, you’ll find it hard to stop acquiring them. That’s how uplifting indoor plants can be.

Most indoor houseplants are inexpensive and require relatively little maintenance. However, if you prefer a more significant challenge, there are more needy and delicate options, such as orchids.

Here, though, we’ll discuss seven of our favorite indoor houseplants. All are readily available at local garden or home stores. You might even have friends with cuttings to share from their plants.

Indoor Houseplants to Lift Your Spirits

Important Note! The first four houseplants listed are toxic and should be kept away from cats and dogs. The last three plants listed are safe for pets (although the plants themselves might look a bit ragged after their first “pet vs plant” encounter).

Plants to Keep Away From Pets

If you love surrounding yourself with vibrant life, you may have both flora and fauna sharing your home. Just watch out that neither is harmed by the other. Avoid tragedy by keeping poisonous plants on a high shelf or in a room with the door closed. Many houseplants are super simple, but there are some essential rules. This may be the most important: Don’t mix pets and poisonous plants! Now, on to the houseplants.

1. Pothos

Like many other fast-growing plants, hardly anyone ever pays for the pothos. At some workplaces, you’ll find pothos that started as a wee clipping from a coworker’s plant, now growing wildly and taking over a desktop or windowsill. Yes, they do enjoy the sunlight.

As many have experienced, it is possible to over-water the pothos, so be sure to water it only when the soil is mostly dry. You’ll enjoy watching its curled-up leaves gradually unfurl, somewhat like an umbrella. Don’t be impatient, though. It takes a few days. That’s part of the fun!

2. Snake Plant

The snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) is native to tropical climates. These are among the best indoor plants and are sometimes referred to as “pieces of furniture,” being so hardy as to withstand even weeks of neglect or the mistakes of plant newbies. Snake plants are great for beginners.

Snake plants don’t need frequent watering since their thick, waxy, fibrous leaves store lots of moisture. If anything will kill a snake plant, though, it’s cat pee, which alters the soil’s pH. So keep your cats away.

Besides, eating snake plant leaves causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in both cats and dogs. No bueno.

3. Clivia

The clivia (Clivia miniata) is one of the most beautiful indoor flowering plants. While it can take a few years for this plant’s bright orange blossoms to appear, the bloom is truly awe-inspiring and worth the wait. Clivia is fickle, and might not bloom regularly, making it even more special when it happens.

If you see a clivia plant suddenly start looking sickly, check the roots. These plants tend to split into multiples and proliferate, or they can become root-bound just as fast. If this happens, you should either divide the plant or put it in a larger pot.

Be aware that the clivia, especially large amounts of it, can make your pets quite ill, so take the necessary precautions.

4. Polka Dot Plant

With its delicately patterned and brightly colored leaves, the polka dot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) makes a welcome addition to any room of the house. While this plant can grow from seeds, it’s more often propagated by cuttings. Ask around, maybe your friends have some to share!

With a stunning plant like this, there are sure to be many clippings available.

Although the polka dot plant isn’t highly poisonous to pets, it might give them tummy aches if they eat a lot of it. For your pets’ sake and the sake of this lovely plant, try your best to keep them away from each other.

Pet-Safe Plants

You may be surprised at how many of the best indoor plants are also safe for pets—though you don’t exactly want to give any of these to your cat or dog for dinner, either.

But if you want to know how to brighten up your home in a pet-safe way, then check out these and other pet-friendly indoor houseplants.

5. Spider Plant

Who hasn’t owned a spider plant (Chlorophytum) at one time or another? Hardly anyone has to purchase these dangling beauties. Most of the ones we’ve had in our homes began as offshoots or “babies,” grown from someone else’s original plant. Spider plant is among the most common houseplants, and for good reason.

Since spider plants usually hang from a hook on the ceiling, your cats and dogs will gaze longingly at them. But gazing is all they can do, unless, of course, it grows down to the floor.

In that case, it would be wise to trim off some of those baby spider plants and give them away to people you know.

6. African Violet

African violets (Saintpaulia) enjoy low light and moderate temperatures, making them ideal inside plants, as well as easy to care for. A soil-free potting mix and a balanced fertilizer help African violets stay healthy.

An African violet produces beautiful bright purple flowers among its thick and fuzzy leaves. And even though it won’t harm your pets if they ingest it, this is a delicate plant that you should display on a high shelf.

7. Calathea

Another of the indoor flowering plants is the Calathea, also known as prayer plant, zebra plants, and peacock plants. There actually are several different species in the Calathea family, some with intricate patterns of parallel lines on the leaves.

Since plants in the Calathea family come from the tropics, they require warmth and a certain level of humidity to flourish. Given this, it does seem odd that they prefer limited water and indirect light. They are what they are. And they are great as houseplants!

Your Indoor Garden

Indoor houseplants don’t just brighten your home. They also clean the air, release moisture, relieve stress, promote relaxation, and even increase our attention spans. What’s more, the presence of plants can give anyone’s spirits a boost.

If you’re thinking of selling your home but not planning to fully stage it, houseplants are a nice way to liven up your interior for photos and prospective buyers. Houseplants can even be a heartfelt little welcome gift for the buyers of your home. So try one of the hearty plants we’ve discussed here!

If you’re interested in buying or selling real estate in Lansdowne, Potomac Station, Leesburg, and beyond, give us a shout! We’re a seasoned team of Loudoun County real estate agents with offices in Leesburg and we’d love to hear from you.