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Know your: indoor plants

Plants make indoor spaces beautiful and people happy.

Here are a few easy-care options to start - or enlarge! - your indoor garden.

Find out more

We’re here to help! Find Linda’s video on caring for houseplants here, and remember that Garden Clinic members can call the Helpline with any planty questions 10am - 2pm, seven days a week, 1300 133 100. For styling tips, check our extract from 'Leaf Supply' here.


Plants make indoor spaces beautiful and people happy. Photo -Rattiya Lamrod/


Fiddle-leaf fig

Ficus lyrata

Large fiddle-shaped leaves spring from a single trunk that will grow to reach the ceiling, before branching into a small tree. Too much water causes the leaves will wilt, and too little makes them brown on the edges. Prune branches to thicken the canopy and put prunings in water to grow new roots for new plants or an even denser pot. Needs good light but not direct sun. 3m.

Ficus lyrata. Photo - Pornpawit/

Rubber plant

Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’

The new generation of rubber plants come in colours - dark burgundy, pink and cream or pale green and cream. Variegated plants have higher light requirements and prefer indirect light and a good soak in the shower once a fortnight. 2m

Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’. Photo - Bozhena Melnyk/


Homalomena rubescene

Maggie has vibrant green, heart-shaped leaves on long stems that droop when water is required then perk right up again. I water twice a week, with a saucer beneath to catch the drips. In summer I keep 1cm of water in the saucer. Great in bright or dim light. 60cm.

Homalomena. Photo - Yoebaa/

Polka dot begonia

Begonia maculata ‘Wightii’

Begonias are loved for their leaves, which can be twirled, snailed, swirled, dotted or splotched. ‘Wightii’ has dots painted across the leaves and grows in a cane-stemmed form with angel-winged foliage. It’s hard to find, easy to grow, and simple to propagate from lengths of stem rooted in jars of water. Best in good light. 60cm.

Begonia maculata.


Elegant glossy leaves are great for creating a quick jungle look for the beginner gardener. Hardy and undemanding, they will thrive on neglect. The trailing vines dangle perfectly from a shelf or plant stand, or can be trained horizontally through hooks. Thicken the vine by pinching out the growing tips. 1m.

Philodendron. Photo - Dr.Pixel/

Mother-in-laws tongue

Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Moonlight’

NASA’s clean air study found sansevierias purify the air better than most plants, clearing toxins, and improving air quality. The grey-green sword-shaped leaves of this cultivar are handsome and don’t mind low light and infrequent water. 50cm.


Sanserveria 'Moonlight'. Photo - EQRoy/

About this article

Author: Linda Ross