Living and working spaces benefit from a touch of green. Here are our top five foliage houseplants to add to your area.
Pothos (Devil’s Ivy)
These trailing houseplants might be one of the most versatile plants to have in your home or office. They are also part of the NASA study that looked into plants ability to clean the air.
Pothos plants are great for areas that don’t receive a lot of sunlight and will forgive you if you tend to forget to water once in a while.
Let the soil dry out completely between watering to prevent root damage. If you notice the leaves start to droop, it is time to water thoroughly.
Re-pot once they become root-bound in a container two to three times the size its current one with fresh well-drained potting mix.
You can secure long parts of the plant to hooks around windows or let them trail around your desk for some office envy.
If you prune any parts of the plant, you can place the cuttings in loose soil or try water propagating.
Varieties we love: Marble Queen, Golden, Neon
Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane)
This air purifying tropical plant has a range of variegated foliage colours from white to yellow. The lush foliage has an upright growth habit which is fantastic for brightening up corners or adding structure beside furniture.
Dieffenbachia prefers humid areas, so bathrooms are another option for these plants if there is adequate sunlight. If you notice brown, dry tips, it’s a sign the plant is not receiving enough humidity. Be cautious when touching the plants as they have a skunk smell if you break the foliage. The sap can irritate the skin so wear gloves when cutting or cleaning up this plant.
Avoid letting the soil dry out completely between watering as this plant prefers moist, not soggy, soil. Use distilled water because they have a sensitivity to salt build ups in the soil.
Varieties we love: Sterling, Perfection Compact, Tropic Snow
Aglaonema (Chinese evergreen)
Aglaonema needs to be kept away from windows that receive extended periods of direct sunlight and cold drafts. Remember, the darker the foliage colour, the less sunlight it requires; variegated types need brighter light to stay healthy.
These plants need extra attention in the summer with watering. Otherwise, check the soil weekly to ensure it’s not entirely dried out. Misting regularly will help create a healthy amount of humidity for the plant. Even though they can tolerate lower humidity, they are sensitive to salt accumulations in the soil.
Generally, aglaonema is slow growing and can be repotted every two years with a container twice the size and fresh well-draining potting soil. Another option is to divide the plants and put the other half into another pot.
Varieties we love: Lumina, Ruby Passion, Siam & Pink Dalmatian
These tropical plants have an expansive range of growth habits from compact to trailing. Foliage can be serrated or teardrop shaped. With over 500 varieties to choose from, you are guaranteed to find the perfect one for your living space to test your green thumb.
Philodendrons prefer medium to bright light areas, but avoid direct sunlight because it can burn the leaves. Allow the top two to three inches of soil to dry between each watering. In the summer you can bring these plants outside to add a touch of tropical to an area that is part-shade to full shade.
Varieties we love: Silver Satin, Xanadu, Split Leaf
When you want a tropical plant that thrives in full sun and has a punch of colour, we recommend croton.
The eye-catching foliage is streaked with yellow, orange and red. Talk about an invigorating houseplant!
The intensity of the foliage colour is dependent on sunlight; more intense sunlight will produce more yellow and orange shades where lower light will produce more green and red hues.
They will drop leaves if the soil is too dry or wet for extended periods. Check the plant weekly to ensure it is getting proper water to have success with this tropical.
Consider placing a humidifier near croton as they also appreciate humidity.
Varieties we love: Petra & Mammy