The Best House Plants 2020 for Indian homes

Plants are the hottest decor trend, and more people are opting to be plant parents. We spent a lot of time to put this post together, and if we can say so, it’s been very thoughtfully put together. Here are fresh new plant suggestions for those of you tired of the same old. We spoke to (actually picked his brains) a plant expert Mr. Sabrish Narayan (Green Art), and here we are, with his choice of Indoor Plants, that comes from years of experience.

Tropical house plants in white pots on the table, peperomia, pothos, fettonia, asplenium and ivy
Indoor plants add a lot of charm to the decor of a home!

He also has some beautiful thoughts on plant care and gardening, and we will be interviewing him soon, but that’s for another post! And we love what he has given us, because these plants are carefully chosen based on ease of maintenance, as well as for their stunning looks. And best of all they are true blue green indoor plants. But first, let’s answer a very important question.

What are indoor plants?

It’s funny how so-called experts pass off sun guzzlers as indoor plants. It’s funny how instagrammers bring in sun guzzlers for their indoor pictures and make us ooh and aah at the huge leaf size and greenery! The traveler’s palm for instance is so often placed in decor shoots with no window in sight. Please remember it is brought in as a decor prop and will not survive in an area that has no natural light or good ventilation. Just saying!

Stylish wooden shelves with green plants and black watering can. Cactus, calathea, peperomia, dumbcane, dracaena, ivy, palm, sansevieria in pots on shelf. BEST indoor plants 2020 with decorating ideas

All plants need sunlight…indoor or outdoor – it’s just that indoor plants require less light compared to outdoor plants. Indoor plants are those that need filtered sunlight and good indoor ventilation to survive indoors.

Sabrish Narayan
Landscape designer, Green Art

Indoor or outdoor, we have to remember that all plants need sunlight. It’s just that indoor plants require less light compared to outdoor plants. Indoor plants are those that need filtered sunlight and good indoor ventilation to survive indoors. Placing them in far corners where there is zero sunlight for a picture is one thing. But if you keep them there forever, they are sure to die on you.

Indoor plants need filtered sunlight and good indoor ventilation to survive indoors
This image looks gorgeous, but the plant on the far left is surely there just for the shoot. With no filtered sunlight or ventilation in that corner, is it impossible for it to grow so well there, and look this good! The Fiddle Leaf Fig on the other hand is in an ideal position, right next to a window!

To elaborate further, your indoor plants

  • should not be kept in an AC environment
  • Need good ventilation and sunlight, so indoor means you still need to have access to good air passage and filtered sunrays.
  • should not be watered everyday (yayy!)
  • absolutely must have a day in the sun, or days in the sun according to their leaf density.
  • must have a tray below them and when the tray is full, you need to put it back to the plant. If the tray is empty, water the plant.
  • need the right amount of water. When watering, remember that less water can dry the soil and the plants, and too much water can rot the roots.
A healthy and green indoor plant!

So if you know the above, then you are already half way to becoming a proud plant parent to these plant babies that are our pick of the best 7 indoor plants for your home!

And Mr. Narayan insisted that we got this clear before he was willing to discuss his curated list with us. So that’s what we are doing here too. And it is so important, we realize! So here we go!

Best Hanging Plant: Peperomia or Peperomia Verigated

Peperomia has succulent leaves, hence retain water, and the plant can survive without water for up to 10 days.

Best Tree: Kentia Palm

Kentia Palms grow quickly, and look fabulous with their beautiful sugarcane-like foliage!

Best Succulent: Snake Plant

Aesthetically beautiful and very low maintenance, the Snake Plant is a great indoor plant.

Best Flowering Plant: Costus woodsonii

“We selected this because of its beautiful red flowers, and for the possibility of continous flowers.

Best for Easy Maintenance: ZZ Plant

Beautifully ornate, the zz is sure to add quiet elegance to your home.

Best for Indoor/ Outdoor: Pedilanthus

Pedilanthus look beautiful and they absorb dust!

Let’s get to know these indoor stars better!

Best Hanging Plant: Peperomia or Peperomia Verigated

Peperomia puteolata in small pot on white background

Peperomia are great options for indoor plants. Their beautiful foliage and the fact that they are low maintenance, make them winners in this category!
We did say that it can go up to 10 days without water, But don’t wait that long! You can water the plant every 3 or 4 days. Generally the leaves start drooping and the soil becomes hard when the plant craves water!

There are many varieties of Peperomia. Hang them at different levels, or cluster them on a hanging plant stand for a great visual effect.
Do water your plant from its roots. Since they look great as hanging plants, when you water try to bring them down and water carefully just in case there is a bit of drainage. According to a clean air study by NASA the Peperomia fares very well as an indoor air purifier and has been known to reduce indoor formaldehyde levels by 47%!

Best Tree: Kentia Palm

Sturdy and elegant, and reminiscent of the sugarcane plant, the Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana) is tolerant of a range of temperatures and flourishes indoors with access to filtered sunshine, and very good ventilation. Make sure the soil is moist. Kentia needs to be watered only when the top 1 to 2 inches of the soil is dry. Makes sure the plant is potted professionally, so that the drainage is right. Mist the leaves often.

The key to maintaining a Kentia palm tree is to manage the shoots perfectly. You could pot two or more plants in a single pot – to ensure a varying level of palm leaves, for a beautiful tropical foliage look. And be kind, and only bring this palm home if you have adequate ceiling height – as these plants are known to grow really tall!

The Kentia can really reduce VOC levels in homes and it is safe for pets, so go ahead and bring your own indoor Kentia palm tree home! If you are looking for indoor tree-like plants, the Kentia Palm is a star choice.

Best Succulent: Snake Plant

Snake plants or Sansevieria are evergreen perennials can grow really tall, so they are ideal for spaces with tall ceilings, provided you transplant them to bigger plants as they grow! They are cheekily referred to as Mother -in-law’s Tongue too!

Snake plants are hardy plants and won’t die on you very quickly, so it is definitely low maintenance, and can survive weeks of neglect. However, we request you not to test this, because all plants require daily love and care. Even if you don’t water them, make sure you give them daily attention!

Did you know? Snake plants can produce really beautiful flowers when kept outdoors. However they have earned such a big name as ideal indoor plants and therefore few people know that they flower!

Snake Plants are not sunlight or water guzzlers and they rarely suffer from insect infestations. Add the fact that they purify the air by absorbing deadly household toxins such as formaldehyde, and they are in a houseplant category.

Best Flowering Plant: Costus Woodsonii

Pic credit Mr. Sabrish Narayan

Well, the costus woodsonii is an indoor plant provided it is placed near a sunny window or balcony. Or you could move it inside every day after exposing it to a few hours of sunlight.
Worth the trouble, because this plant is a perennial when it comes to its continuous flowering – its a lovely cycle where the old shoots dry up, and new shoots are ready and flower almost simultaneously.

And the flowers! Not ordinary, no siree! Nestled amid gorgeous foliage, the bright red flowers are show stoppers! Popularly known as torch ginger because of the red cone like flowers! In an ideal pot, they can grow up to 3 feet tall they will be the highlight of your indoor spaces!

A bit of advice on the care of this plant – Besides the requirement of filtered sunlight daily, you need to buy a plant that has a minimum of 2- 3 stalks, to ensure continuous flowers. Once a stalk flowers, and the petals dry off, leave it intact 4 inches from the soil and cut the stalk above it. It grows out again with new flowers!

Best for Easy Maintenance: ZZ

The zamioculcas zamiifolia or ZZ is so popular these days, but for a reason. It is a low maintenance plant because it thrives in filtered sunlight much better than it does in direct sunlight. It also thrives in filtered sunlight, so it is best to avoid direct sunlight.

Be very careful when it comes to watering. Always water just enough, rather than too much. The top soil should be absolutely dry before you water it again. Over watering can cause the stem and the rhizome (the fat part of the stem just above the soil) to rot. Instead of frequent watering, use a spray can to mist the leaves daily. The ZZ loves this, and it helps maintain the waxy look of the leaves.
When you choose a plant, make sure it is already at least 2 feet tall from the ground, including the potted portion. For the sake of aesthetics, choose a plant with at least 3 stems.

Best for Indoor/Outdoor: Pedilanthus

A close-up of Pedilanthus

This indoor outdoor category refers to plants that can be kept indoors for a few days a week, provided you give them sunshine the remaining days. The Pedilanthus fits into this category, because though a succulent, it is not a pure indoor plant. The sunshine it needs is non-negotiable!

Pedilanthus is a shrub that can grow up to 4 feet in the right conditions. Its distinct zig zag placement of leaves is the reason it is commonly known as The Devil’s Backbone. In ideal conditions it also blooms beautiful slipper-shaped flowers, giving it it’s other common name, Slipper plant.

Pedilanthus loves humidity and day long filtered sun, so if you are in India, just keep it near a sunny window half the week, and transfer it outdoors in a partly shaded area, for the rest of the week!

Pedilanthus look great on their own, or in clusters with other foliage or succulent plants. Have a common theme – either vary the height, or have similar height plants placed next to each other, or cluster them together in similar pots for the best aesthetic effect!

Plant care tips for growing healthy houseplants


PRO TIPS on indoor plant care

happy woman spraying houseplant with water sprayer at home.
Mist your indoor plants, especially the ones with thick leaves. Misting refreshes them and gives a waxy texture
  • Mist your indoor plants often. You will see the difference in the colour and texture of the foliage.
  • All your indoor plants need to be outdoors – some need 1 day of outdoor time, while others need 4 to 5 days minimum ever week. If you are lucky to have an outdoor area for gardening too, buy two of everything you have indoors, and rotate them so that your home need never look bare when a plant is getting its outdoor time!
  • Another reason to cluster is that there are certain areas of your home that are ideal for plants – windows and sunlight facing glass doors for instance.
Clusters of plants look lovely!
houseplants Nephrolepis, peperomia caperata, Soleirolia soleirolii in white flowerpots
  • When you keep them indoors, buy attractive planters in natural material – ceramics, cement, bamboo etc or traditional ones like brass or wood, lend a great deal of style to your indoor greens!

Top Tips for Arranging Indoor Plants

Stylish wooden shelves with green plants and black watering can. Modern hipster room decor. Cactus, calathea, peperomia,dumbcane, dracaena, ivy, palm, sansevieria in pots on shelf.

Cluster, Cluster Cluster

When clustering plants have a common theme running through them …Usually the planters can help you achieve this effortlessly!

  • Cluster your indoor plants rather than keeping them all alone. A clustered arrangement helps plants thrive better. Plants with dark foliage for instance, like the Peperomia. Choose plants that look good together, when you arrange them in a cluster, taking both height and leaf size and shape into consideration.
  • For instance, 3 ZZ and 2 Pedalanthus in a cluster look beautiful together! Clustering in 3’s or clustering in height order, are some ways to make a statement with your indoor beauties!

Trees as Fillers
Indoor trees can easily fill up large, empty spaces. Don’t have a tall tree in your home if you don’t have the space for it. Besides our chosen tree recommendation for 2020 you could also consider Ficus Lyrata for your large tree space.

Play with Colours!
Foliage plants especially the ones with maroon leaves look lovely when clustered together with green and yellow foliage plants.

houseplants Nephrolepis, peperomia caperata, Soleirolia soleirolii in white flowerpots
Houseplants in ceramic ware arranged to make the most of their colours!

A triangle please!
A triangular arrangement where one tall tree or plant sits at a corner and plants are arranged in descending height order around it is a perfecly visual way to incorporate indoor plants into decor. For this you need a free corner close to a window or door where sunlight is guaranteed.

Be different!
use unusual things to hold your plants….old wooden drawers, old briefcases, etc are unusual and unique ways to take your decor to the next level.

Hanging Gardens!
Hang your hanging plants in corners too. It’s out of the way of movement and at the same time looks visually appealing.

An Indian Look!
Dark wooden furniture and plants in brass containers can look very stunning. Try this for a nofail indoor plant arrangement.

Old vintage kitchen scale on wooden gray background. Green plants and copy space for text.
Dark wood, brass and plants!

Work with the colors of your room when you have indoor plants. For instance, add drama with decor elements like artwork, fabric colour etc and add a plant to either fill in a gap between the wall and the painting or use a planter that sets off the room colours perfectly.

A big thank you to Mr. Sabrish Narayan who patiently worked with me to bring you this post. All the information here is authentic and based on his extensive years of experience as a gardening expert. Please get in touch with him on 9844330310 for landscape designing and gardening consultancy.

And, if you wish to save these images to your idea boards, head to our Pinterest board (we have already pinned these up there) and pin away!

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