Category Archives: Indoor

26 Feb

Best Fragrant Houseplants for Your Home

Indoor plants, especially fragrant houseplants are ideal when it comes to bringing nature and its goodness to your home. Weather you are looking for plants for your living room, patio, or the sunroom garden, fragrant houseplants freshen up the air and add that distinctive and irresistible natural look to your indoor space. The following are some of the best fragrant houseplants you should consider for your home:


Gardenia is one of the best fragrant houseplant you will find. Their dark green leaves and creamy-white flowers are a sight to behold and easily compliment any décor you may have. Gardenia may not be the easiest indoor plant to care for, but the look and fragrance they offer your living space are all worth the extra effort.


Jasmine fragrant flowers
Jasmine plants produce a particular nighttime scent and belong to a class of winter blooms. Not all of them are sweet smelling, but Jasminum polyanthum is what you will be looking for if the nighttime fragrance is your goal. Just make sure they sit next to a sunny window and are in an area with adequate air circulation.

Scented Geraniums

Scented Geranium
There is a wide variety of Scented Geranium with each having a distinctive scent. They are natives of South Africa and rarely survive the American winters outdoors. Scented Geraniums feature bright green lemon-scented leaves and colorful flowers. You can train them as standards, have them in hanging baskets and put them in cute pots for your living room or kitchen.


Spearmint in Flower & the Insects that came to Feed (48)
Most of us want a plant that is easy to grow and maintain. Spearmint releases a unique minty smell to make any living room feel fabulous. The aroma is almost similar to that of peppermint but has less menthol. Spearmint has a square-shaped stem and spear-like leaves. It is pest-resistant and is rich in vital nutrients, vitamins, and anti-oxidants. You can harvest leaves to spice up your morning tea and evening dessert.


Lavender has a reputation for its sweet fragrance and appealing flowers. It is generally a low maintenance plant that also repels mosquitoes and other bugs. They thrive in dry climatic conditions, and it’s perfectly fine to water them once per month. However, lavender requires a good dose of lighting so placing them on a windowsill is a good idea.

For more information on fragrant houseplants and gardening tips, check out Michelle’s website:

10 Jun

Top Tips for Buying Indoor Plants

When buying indoor plants, make sure that you pick a healthy plant that is great in shape, has no signs of disease or damage, and is ready to be transferred to the intended environment.

When you are buying indoor plants, make sure that you understand their growing conditions and have sufficient space to provide them. Once you have decided what indoor plants you want to buy, make sure you select the best available indoor plants available in the garden center. The following tips for buying indoor plants will help you select the best plant and avoid costly mistakes.

Tips for Buying Indoor Plants

  • Look for healthy foliage and sturdy stem. Avoid plants with drooping leaves or foliage showing signs of discoloration. Do not buy plants with damage or weak stem. Look for firm stem with no signs of damage.

  • If you are buying a seasonal flowering plant, pick the plant with lots of unopened buds. Avoid plants that are end of their flowering cycle.

  • Carefully watch buds, under the leaves, and tips of new stems for insects. Do not buy plants that carry bugs. Also watch for eggs and larva. If you have already brought home an infested plant, immediately isolate it from other plants and treat the affected plant.

  • Make sure that plants roots of the plants are not growing out of the pot. Roots growing out of the pot suggest that the plant has been potted in the same pot for a long time and it would be difficult to transfer it to another pot and that transferring the plant to another pot would put a lot of stress on the plant.

  • Always pick smaller indoor plants. Not only they cost less but also adjust easily in their new environment. You can also prune and train smaller plants to your desired shape. Buying smaller indoor plants also gives you freedom to fit them easily in available space.

  • Check the soil carefully. Make sure that it is not soggy or very dry – clear sign of neglect.

  • Do not place your new plants under direct sunlight. It is advised that new plants should be kept under indirect sunlight for a few days so that they can adjust to their new climate. If you are buying flowering plants, place them in the spot that is best suitable for them so that they are not stressed in the process of acclimatization. Flowering plants, when not provided with the right climate, may shed their flowers and buds immediately.

  • When buying indoor plants, make sure they are handled carefully during the transit. It is advised that they are properly wrapped and provided sufficient support during transfer.
28 May

Lovely Indoor Foliage Plant: Balfour Aralia

Polyscias balfouriana, commonly known as, Balfour Aralia is a beautiful foliage plant known for its attractive leathery foliage. Though a bit hard to find in horticulture marketplace, it makes an excellent indoor plant that does not require much maintenance. Originally from tropical regions of the Pacific, can be grown in bright and slightly humid spot near a sun exposed window where it receives plenty of indirect sunlight in the morning and occasional watering.

The plant is characterized by round, leathery, dark green leaves that look like dinner plates thus giving the plant its common name – the Dinner Plate Aralia. Variegated varieties of Balfour Aralia with gold and cream leaf margins are also available.

In its native climate, it grows up to 12 feet or more but it takes many years to attain that size. When grown indoors, it grows slowly and can be easily pruned and trimmed to keep it in desired shape. In fact, Balfour Aralia makes an excellent subject of bonsai.

Balfour Aralia

Balfour Aralia / Image via

How to Grow Balfour Aralia

Balfour Aralia benefits from a well-drained soil and occasional application of nitrogen-rich fertilizer. The plant is prone to root-rot when over-watered therefore it is advisable to neglect on part of watering. Water generously when the soil is completely dry and then allow the soil to dry before next watering.

Balfour Aralia, Foliage Plant

Balfour Aralia, Foliage Plant / Image via

For healthier growth, make sure that your plant receives at least 2-3 hours of indirect morning light. A good shower to keep the leaves clean is also advisable.

Other popular species of Polyscias include:

Polyscias ‘Fabian’ (Fabian Aralia) grows scalloped dark green leaves on a woody trunk.

Polyscias fruticose (Ming Aralia) grows feathery leaves and makes a nice small tree for growing outdoors.

Alert: The leaves of Balfour Aralia are poisonous for pets.

27 Apr

Top Tips for Keeping Your Indoor Plants Healthy

Keeping your indoor plants healthy and fresh all through the year is not difficult at all. Whether you are growing an exotic orchid, a tropical foliage plant, a miniature succulent or large specimen plant, general rules for keeping your indoor plants healthy and fresh are simple and universal.

Keeping Your Indoor Plants Healthy

Select the Right Spot

Provide your indoor plants with the right spot. Not at all plants have same requirements. Some like prolonged exposure to the sun, some like indirect light. Some indoor plants can thrive in low lights whereas some benefit seasonal outdoor exposure. Make sure that you understand light, moisture and temperature needs of your plants and then provide them with the right indoor spot. Do not change location of indoor plants frequently. Plants that are moved frequently spend most of their energy adjusting to their new spot.

Protect Indoor Plants from Direct Exposures

Most indoor plants do not like direct exposure to harsh sunlight in the summer season. Do not put them on windowsill or near a window with direct sunlight during most part of the day. Avoid placing your indoor plants near radiators, heaters or air conditioners. Extreme and frequent change in environment is not good for indoor plants.

Monitor Temperature and Moisture Level

Use a temperature and moisture gauge to keep a check on indoor temperature and moisture level especially when you are using humidifiers, heaters or dehumidifiers.

STARRICH Portable Mini LCD Digital Thermometer Hygrometer Air Temperature and Humidity Meter Moisture Mete for Household

You can buy a quality device like STARRICH Thermometer, Air Temperature and Humidity meter to keep a check on indoor climate. Most indoor plants do not prefer extremely dry or moist conditions. If you are growing plants that prefer moisture, you can group them together to raise moisture level around them. It is a good practice to group plants with similar moisture and temperature requirements.

Provide Your Indoor Plants with the Right Pot

Repot your indoor plants into larger pots every two year or so. This will ensure that plants get enough room to grow their roots.

Water Your Indoor Plants Carefully

Indoor plants usually require less watering. A good practice is to allow the soil to dry completely before each watering. Water generously before next watering. Make sure that your pots have sufficient drainage at the bottom. This will prevent the soil from bogging and keep the roots properly aerated.

Act in Time

Keep a close eye on your plants and do not procrastinate if you notice something unusual such as pests, falling buds, or withering leaves. Be proactive and solve the problem as early as possible. If a plant infested with pests, immediately separate the affected plants. Natural and organic pesticides are better than chemicals and are safe for children and pets. Some organic insect killers such as EcoSmart Botanical Insect Killer can be purchased online.

 EcoSmart Botanical Insect Killer

Allow Your Indoor Plants to Rest

Allow your indoor plants to rest during the dormant months of winter. During this time, reduce watering and move your indoor plants to a little cooler place. Do not fertilize or repot them during dormant months.

12 Apr

9 Examples of a Beautiful Sunroom Garden

A sunroom also known as a solarium is an extension of a house that provides protection from weather yet allows good exposure to the sun and the landscape outside. Mostly popular in colder climates, a sunroom serves multiple purposes:

  • As a warm place on sunny days, you can use your sunroom as a patio for enjoying breakfasts
  • During freezing months in winter, you can bring plants from your garden inside the sunroom and protect them from frost and freezing
  • You can also use a sunroom as a conservatory to grow plants that cannot be grown outside in your climate
Sunroom or Solarium Garden


With introduction of many durable, cheaper and better materials, it is not expensive to build a solarium or sunroom. Modern materials are cheaper as compared to traditional sunrooms made of glass and aluminum. Sunrooms made with modern materials and techniques also address issues of leakage and climate control. You can easily provide ventilation, control moisture level, and temperature and maintain an ideal climate for growing almost all types of indoor and outdoor plants traditionally grown outside in the garden.

Useful Link: How to Build a Successful Sunroom by Steve Maxwell

Examples of Beautiful and Practical Sunroom Gardens

This design by Dominick Tringali Architects that shows how practical a beautiful a sunroom garden can be. 
A solarium can be a tropical garden too. Photo by CKA PARIS 
Sunroom can be used to grow almost any type of plant in colder climates – Photo by Reliance Design Build
You can even make a zen garden in your solarium – Photo by Flavin Architects
A solarium can be as useful as a living room – Photo by Conservatory Craftsmen
Call it a patio, a living room or an indoor garden – Photo by B. Jane Gardens 
Grow your favorite plants all year round in a solarium garden – Photo by Jonathan Miller Architecture & Design
A lovely solarium garden. Photo by Elsie Interiors 
A solarium can be built to practically utilize unused outdoor space – Photo by Tych & Walker Architects
22 May

Medinilla magnifica, the Philippines Orchid

Medinilla magnifica (Buy seeds online) is a tropical evergreen shrub known for its attractive and unusual flowers. The pendulous flowers grow in clusters surrounded by beautiful pink bracts making it a nice outdoor as well as indoor plant. Broad, shiny green leaves retain ornamental value of the plant when it is not blooming.

Medinilla magnifica

How to Grow Medinilla magnifica

Medinilla magnifica (Buy seeds online) comes from tropical regions of the Philippine where it prefers warm and humid climate. The same conditions should be provided to this lovely bloomer when growing in your garden. As a general rules, grow it in a well-drained and rich soil. You can use any orchid mix to grow your plant. Water it regularly during spring and summer and reduce it to minimum during winter. If you are growing it in colder climates, move your plant indoors where it receives bright sunlight. Mist leaves occasionally.
Philippines Orchid

Flowers appear in spring and last throughout the summer season. Flowers of Medinilla magnifica are small are grow in drooping clusters covered with large pink bracts.

Medinilla magnifica can grow up to 3 or 4 meters however you can contain its growth by keeping it in smaller pots, if required. You can also prune it back after each flowering season. Propagation is usually done from cuttings.

The plant is also known as Pink Lantern, Chandelier Tree or the Philippine Orchid.

25 May

Best Indoor Plants for Air Purification

Indoor plants have multiple roles to play. They purify the air, add color to a dull office, and get you in the mood for work. Back in the 1980’s, decorating offices with houseplants became a trend across North America and Europe. Its goal? To improve the air quality in a room full of people with cost-saving benefits in mind.

Indoor plants are natural air purifiers that can help alleviate the symptoms of migraine, asthma, brain fog, and hay fever caused by an allergic reaction to certain pollutants. To help you get started, read some of the best indoor plants for air purification below:

4 Best Natural Air Cleaners

1. English Ivy

Don’t let its invasiveness fool you, because when installed indoors, English Ivy plants can actually remove traces of formaldehyde in the air. It requires little maintenance and it grows fast vertically, which makes it a good ornament to spacious offices. However, it’s a part-shade and part-sun plant so make sure to this English Ivy still gets a bit of sun exposure.

2. Jade Plant

The best indoor plant for your office desk, Jade plant has an amazing longevity that may as well surpass you in this lifetime. It is a flowering plant with symbolic meanings such as friendship, money, long-life, and good luck, based on feng-shui principles. What’s more, Jade plants can thrive under medium-light conditions and they need not be watered constantly.

Indoor Plant - Jade Plant

3. Peace Lily

Another flowering plant distinctly known for its seashell-like spathes. It is a low-light plant that can remove benzene, formaldehyde, and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that may originally come from cleaning products. However, do note that its poisonous leaves can harm your kids and your pets. It is advisable to place it only in an area that is off-limits to these potential victims.

4. Boston Fern

Popular among household owners, Boston fern has been proven effective in eliminating xylene, formaldehyde, and benzene pollutants circulating indoors. However, growing this type of plant species requires a bit of work like feeding them monthly during the rainy season and weekly during the dry season. Nevertheless, when done correctly, Boston ferns could help you purify the air you breathe significantly.

Being a natural air purifier, potted plants are definitely cheaper than air-conditioning units with air cleaning capability. And this is not a new concept in this day and age. Many people have just not given much attention to it until NASA and some scientific studies confirmed recently that plants can indeed filter out some toxins and pollutants in the air.

05 Mar

How to use Bonsai Plants in Home Interior

Bonsai make excellent ornamental plants – not only because of their unusual size and formation but also because they require less room to fit in to any home interior or outdoor design scheme. Most bonsai are low on maintenance needs. When provided with appropriate spot where it can receive sufficient light, an established bonsai will only require routine hydration and prunning.

Browse these excellent examples of the use of bonsai in home interior.

26 Jan

Top Tips for Arranging Indoor Plants

Indoor plants can dramatically improve aura and ambiance of your home. They add a touch of liveliness and freshness to indoor living. However, selecting and arranging plants in indoor settings can be a bit challenging. Not all indoor plants have similar requirements nor do they grow in the same pattern. Some indoor plants can survive long spells of drought and neglect while some require continuous care. Some indoor plants will look nice in an open living room and some will look good in smaller spaces. Some indoor plants will live happily in dark corners and some will be continuously looking for bright light. Today, I am not talking about selecting the right indoor plants for your home. My focus today is how to arrange indoor plants in your home.

Good arrangement of indoor plants not only uplifts your interior but also affects positively on the health of your indoor plants.

I will start this post with some quick tips on arranging indoor plants.

Arrange large plants in open areas

Large plants like Ficus lyrata and Philodendrons look good when placed in open living areas. When placed in small rooms, they take up too much space and attention of the onlookers. Use small potted plants in smaller spaces like bedrooms or study rooms.

Choose supplementing colors

Arrange colorful plants wisely. Make sure that their colors supplement color scheme of your interior design. Use contrasting colors when you want to make your home look bright and bold.

Create groups of supplementing plants

Some indoor plants have nice foliage, some have attractive forms, some have variegating colors and some of them have interesting textures. Group them together to create a dramatic effect. Plants that look similar often lose their looks when placed in a group.

Create depth with indoor plants

Instead of lining indoor plants, arrange them in a close group with taller plants in the background and smaller ones in the front. Use tables, stands, windowsills or other furniture to create varying heights.

Use accent plants

If you have one large plant, make it centre of attention. Large ficus, yucca, palm can be used as stand-alone accent plants. Provide them with a nice pot and place them in a prominent place.

Add unusual forms in your indoor arrangements

Many succulent and bonsai plants come in unusual shapes and forms. Get benefit of their eccentric and unusual formation and place them strategically in your indoor settings.

With these few tips, I would like to present some nice examples of indoor plant arrangement.

11 Dec

Unique and Unusual Indoor Gardens

Gardens are usually associated with outdoors and most hobbyist believe that indoor gardening is limited to putting a couple of accent plants in living rooms or table tops. However, with creativity and a little planning, it is possible to grow a complete garden indoors.

Today’s post showcases some unique and unusual ideas for beautiful indoor gardens. You will notice that growing indoor gardens does not has to be an expensive project. You do not really need to build a greenhouse or control your indoor climate. In fact, you can plan and design nice indoor gardens within your existing premises.

Browse these unusual and unique indoor gardens and see how you can make a little oasis in your house.

Ideas for Beautiful Indoor Gardens

Indoor Garden
Beautiful Indoor Garden
Patio Garden
Indoor Garden Bed
Indoor Garden
Indoor Zen Garden
Indoor Garden in Barhroom
Indoor Gardens
Patio Gardens
Traditional Indoor Garden