Unknown to many, living plants do double duty. Not only are they beautiful indoors, they have air purifying capabilities. This, in turn, helps us to maintain good health if we keep some indoor plants at home.
Before you rush out to the nearest nursery, there are a few criteria to keep in mind. Indoor plants should be shade-tolerant, meaning it doesn’t need much sunlight for the leaves to maintain a healthy green sheen. The plants should also be preferably non-flowering plants because those that do flower needs the sunlight. A good indoor plant must be able to survive in restricted spaces as well. And just for us busy bees, I made sure the plants listed don’t need much watering.
Shade-tolerant plants can be divided into small shrubs and trees. In this post today, we would be focusing on trees. When we think of trees, we think of huge woody trees with roots jutting out from the ground. Have no fear because the trees in this article today grow according to the size of the pots! You’ll also realize you have seen all these plants before. In fact, you might even own one already.
1. Ficus lyrata
My favourite of the lot and it stands to reason. Also known as the fiddle-leaf fig, it gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. The plant does not need much watering to maintain its broad leaves. It is also commonly used as decorations at new housing launches to give off the clean and classy look.
I doubled mine as a Christmas tree by stringing lights around it!
2. Ficus elastica
Its other name is the rubber fig or the Indian rubber tree. Ficus elastica has shiny and close to oily-looking leaves. There are two varieties: one has a greener leaf while the other has a darker colour that is close to maroon or brown. It does, however, shed a little but very minor.
3. Ficus benjamina
Ficus benjamina is also known as the weeping fig and commonly sold as the ficus. The plant does better in sunlight but tolerates shaded areas too. It has small leaves and can be trimmed into shapely objects by pruning. However, it produces some leaf droppings. It’s probably why it’s called a weeping fig. It also helps to remove formaldehyde from the air.
4. Ponytail palm tree
For the horticulturist in you, it’s the beaucarnea recurvata. Although it’s called a tree, it’s not one and it’s not a palm either. It’s closer to the Agave family and is a succulent plant. Other names include bottle palm tree and elephant foot tree. It stores water in its bulbous trunk, meaning there’s not much watering to be done!
There are a variety of philodendrons to choose from but one feature remains the same: their broad and sometimes imposing leaves. It is also commonly mistaken as the pothos or money plant due to the size and shape of the leaves. To help differentiate the two, pothos leaves have streaks of yellow unlike the leaves of Philodendrons.
What’s amazing about philodendrons are the different types of leaves available. There are two varieties of philodendrons: the climbing or vining type and the non-climbers. To keep the Climbers indoors, stick a peat stick into the pot to guide the roots.
The Climbers include:
- Sweetheart plant (commonly mistaken as the money plant)
- P. red emerald (with red stem)
- P. elegans
- Elephant’s ear
The Non-Climbers are:
- Tree philodendron
- Lacy tree philodendron (p. selloum)
- Bird’s nest philodendron (p. wendlandii)
For help with choosing smaller plants for the house, read 6 Flamboyant Shrubs To Get For Yourself.
The other posts in the Plant series: