The inside of a house can always be made more beautiful with house plants; it can also be made more healthful to live in too. Plants, inside or outside, use carbon dioxide and make oxygen; they also clean the air of toxins. The house plant that is best for this is Pothos (Epipremnum pinnatum ‘Aureum’).
Pothos is native to the Solomon Islands and it will grow outdoors in San Diego but it does very well in the house anywhere. It prefers to be under a skylight as it is here but it is very tolerant to darker spaces. If you want more plants just cut off a piece and put it in a glass of water and it will produce roots rapidly.
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum ‘Silver Queen ‘)
This shows how easy it is to propagate the Chinese Evergreen. Just put a stem in a glass of water and wait for about 2 months until the roots grow.
The Boston Fern (Nephrolopes exaltata ‘Bostoniensis’) is the most common indoor fern. It can produce fronds longer than 4’.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) produces small baby “spiders” at the end of long dangling stolons that drape over the pot. This plant can grow outside in mild Bay Area climates.
Mistletoe Fig (Ficus deltoidea diversifolia) This plant is 10 years old in the same pot. It can survive in dim light and grows well even if it is root bound. This plant, like all the other house plants in my house, are watered only once a week. In the winter when the house is cool I water them only every other week. They never get root rot this way.
Wax Flower (Hoya carnosa) is a vine that can grow on a railing or trellis.
If this plant is growing in a room with enough light it will produce beautiful clusters of very fragrant flowers.
Some of the flowers will have a tiny drop of “wax” on some of the flowers. See the top flower in this cluster.
This whole vine is growing from this one pot on the shelf next to the railing. This plant was propagated from one leaf of a friend’s plant over 50 years ago. I have moved it 6 times to different houses over the years.
The last time I moved it was 18 years ago when I moved into my current house. At that time I cut it back severely and then let it grow into the railing during the next 18 years. When it is blooming the whole house is permeated with the fragrance in the evenings but not during the day.
The Jewel Orchid (Ludisia) is growing as a ground cover in a pot with a Kentia Palm. My friend Hugh gave me a rooted cutting and it blooms every year in February and March next to a North facing window.
This is Hugh’s plant in full bloom.
Closeup of the velvety leaves of the Jewel Orchid.
Jewel Orchid flower will last for 2 months.
Benjamin Fig (Ficus benjamina) is a large house plant that can grow into a large tree outside in Southern California. It tends to drop leaves if it is over watered or in too dark of a room. It has milky sap so protect the floor when you are pruning it.
Burgundy Shamrock (Oxalis regnellii var. triangularis) will bloom profusely if it is placed on a sunny windowsill. The more sun it gets the darker the leaves become.