13 Best Plants for Brightening Up Your Living Room
Have you ever walked into a room and felt an immediate sense of warmth and vibrancy, but couldn’t quite put your finger on why? The secret might just be in the greenery! A lifeless living room can easily be transformed into a serene sanctuary with the right choice of plants.
In this article, we will delve into the world of houseplants that not only thrive in living room conditions but also elevate its aesthetic appeal. Expect a curated list of plants that promise to bring your living space to life, coupled with care tips to ensure they flourish. Dive in and discover the power of green to redefine your living space!
1. Monstera Deliciosa
Position: Place it near a window where it can receive indirect sunlight. It can handle some shade but thrives best with dappled sunlight.
Growth: Monstera is a fast grower, especially in its prime growing seasons of spring and summer. Mature plants can reach several feet in height, depending on the available space.
Complementing with Furniture: With its distinctive split leaves, the Monstera becomes a focal point. Position it next to a neutral-colored sofa or against a white wall for a pop of greenery. Its tropical vibe goes well with wooden or rattan furniture.
Maintenance and Care: Water once the top 1-2 inches of soil feels dry, typically once a week. Reduce watering in the colder months. It appreciates a well-draining potting mix. As for light, bright to medium indirect light is ideal. Direct sunlight can scorch its leaves.
Other Aspects: Monstera’s leaves tend to grow towards the light, so rotate the pot regularly for even growth. If it grows too large, consider staking or using a support to help the plant maintain its shape. Pruning older leaves or aerial roots helps to manage its size. Remember, this plant can be toxic if ingested, so keep it away from pets and children.
2. Fiddle Leaf Fig
Position: Choose a bright spot in your living room, preferably close to a window that receives consistent light. Avoid places with drafts or rapid temperature fluctuations.
Growth: Fiddle Leaf Figs can grow tall, with mature indoor plants reaching up to 10 feet or more. However, their growth rate is moderate, and their height can be controlled with occasional pruning.
Complementing with Furniture: Given its statement-making large, glossy leaves, it pairs beautifully with minimalist, modern furniture. Place it against a muted color backdrop or next to sleek furnishings to let its grandeur shine.
Maintenance and Care: These plants thrive in bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can burn the leaves. Water when the top inch of the soil feels dry. Ensure adequate drainage to prevent root rot. A well-draining soil mix is ideal.
Other Aspects: Fiddle Leaf Figs are known to be a bit finicky. They don’t like being moved often and can drop leaves if exposed to draft, low light, or inconsistent watering. Dust the leaves occasionally to ensure they can photosynthesize efficiently. Like the Monstera, the Fiddle Leaf Fig can be toxic if ingested, so it’s wise to keep it away from pets and children.
3. Snake Plant
Position: One of the most versatile plants in terms of placement. It can tolerate low light conditions, making it perfect for spaces away from windows or in dimmer corners. However, it also thrives in brighter spots.
Growth: Snake plants grow vertically, with some varieties reaching up to 4 feet. They have a moderate growth rate and can expand outward with new shoots at the base.
Complementing with Furniture: Its upright growth pattern and architectural leaves lend a modern touch. It complements both contemporary and traditional furnishings. Pair with metallic accents or geometric-patterned rugs for a sleek look.
Maintenance and Care: Water sparingly. The snake plant is drought-tolerant and prefers to dry out between waterings. Overwatering is its nemesis and can lead to root rot. Bright, indirect light is ideal, but as mentioned, it’s forgiving of lower light conditions.
Other Aspects: An added benefit of the snake plant is its ability to purify indoor air. It’s one of the few plants that convert CO2 into oxygen during the night, making it an excellent choice for bedrooms as well. Furthermore, its hardy nature makes it a favorite for beginners. However, it’s worth noting that snake plants can be toxic if ingested, so they should be positioned out of reach of pets and young children.
4. ZZ Plant
Position: ZZ Plants are adaptable and can be placed in a variety of locations, from low-light corners to spots with bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid direct sun, which can scorch its leaves.
Growth: The ZZ Plant has a moderate growth rate, usually reaching a height of 2-3 feet indoors. Its dense, dark green leaves grow on stems that can become thick and woody with age.
Complementing with Furniture: Its glossy leaves and upward growth add elegance to any space. The ZZ Plant pairs well with both contemporary and rustic furniture. Its shine contrasts beautifully with matte finishes or softer textiles.
Maintenance and Care: This plant is drought-tolerant, so it’s better to under-water than over-water. Let the soil dry out between waterings. As for light, it’s tolerant of a range but prefers bright, indirect light.
Other Aspects: The ZZ Plant is notorious for its resilience. It can thrive in challenging indoor conditions, making it perfect for those who might not have the greenest thumb. Its rhizomes store water, so occasional neglect won’t harm it. However, all parts of the ZZ Plant are toxic when ingested, so it’s important to keep it away from pets and children.
Position: Pothos is flexible with its light needs. While it enjoys bright, indirect light, it’s also tolerant of low light conditions. Hang or position it near a window, or let it cascade from a bookshelf or high ledge.
Growth: Pothos is a trailing plant with vines that can stretch up to 10 feet or longer indoors. Its growth rate is quite vigorous, especially in favorable conditions.
Complementing with Furniture: Given its cascading nature, Pothos adds a soft touch to sharp-edged furniture. Drape its vines over shelves, or place it on top of a tall cabinet. Its green and yellow variegated leaves can break the monotony of monochrome spaces.
Maintenance and Care: Water when the top inch of soil is dry. Pothos isn’t too fussy about its watering schedule, but it doesn’t like sitting in water. Ensure the pot has proper drainage. As for light, it’s adaptable but thrives in medium to bright indirect light.
Other Aspects: One of the easiest houseplants to care for, Pothos is also known for its air-purifying qualities. It can help remove indoor pollutants like formaldehyde. However, it’s essential to note that Pothos is toxic when ingested, so keeping it out of reach from pets and children is advised. If you wish for a bushier look, pinch back the growing tips occasionally.
6. Spider Plant
Position: The Spider Plant prefers bright, indirect light, so placing it near a window but shielded from direct sunlight is ideal. It’s also well-suited for hanging baskets given its arching leaves and baby plantlets.
Growth: With slender, arching leaves, mature Spider Plants can span 2-3 feet. Their distinctive feature is the “baby” spiderettes that dangle from the mother plant, giving it a unique appearance.
Complementing with Furniture: Its playful, cascading growth makes it a lively addition to any room. Hang it above a reading nook, or place it atop a stand where its spiderettes can cascade freely. It pairs well with bohemian or casual decor styles.
Maintenance and Care: Water moderately, allowing the topsoil to dry out between waterings. Spider Plants prefer well-draining soil and pots. They can tolerate some degree of neglect, making them beginner-friendly. Bright, indirect light is ideal, but they can also survive in semi-shaded spots.
Other Aspects: Spider Plants are renowned for their air-purifying properties, especially in removing pollutants like formaldehyde and xylene. They’re non-toxic and safe around pets and children, making them a popular choice for family homes. If the tips of its leaves turn brown, it might be due to fluoride in tap water; using distilled or rainwater can help.
7. Rubber Plant
Position: The Rubber Plant prefers bright, indirect sunlight. A spot near a window with sheer curtains or a bit farther away from direct sunlight is optimal. They’re robust and can adapt to less light but may lose some of their vibrant colors.
Growth: This plant can become quite tall indoors, reaching heights of 6-10 feet. Its broad, shiny leaves can grow up to 12 inches long.
Complementing with Furniture: With its dark green, glossy leaves, the Rubber Plant offers a touch of sophistication. It works well in modern, minimalist settings or rooms with wooden furniture, providing a contrasting green backdrop.
Maintenance and Care: Water the Rubber Plant when the top inch of soil feels dry, usually once a week in the growing season and less often in winter. Ensure good drainage to avoid root rot. Bright, indirect light helps maintain its vibrant foliage.
Other Aspects: Rubber Plants can help improve indoor air quality by removing pollutants. To keep its leaves shiny and unobstructed from dust, it’s good to wipe them down occasionally with a damp cloth. It’s mildly toxic if ingested, so it’s recommended to place it away from pets and children. If the plant becomes too tall, you can prune the top to control its height and promote more branching.
8. Peace Lily
Position: The Peace Lily appreciates bright, indirect light, but it’s also one of the few plants that can thrive in low-light conditions. Avoid direct sunlight, which can scorch its leaves. A spot away from windows or in a well-lit corner works well.
Growth: Generally, Peace Lilies stay compact, growing to a height of 1-4 feet, depending on the variety. They produce white, hood-like flowers which can appear at any time of the year, especially if they’re well-tended.
Complementing with Furniture: The elegant white blooms and lush green foliage make Peace Lilies a classic choice for any decor style. They’re particularly effective in softening spaces with metallic or glass furnishings. The plant’s graceful appearance complements both contemporary and traditional interiors.
Maintenance and Care: Water consistently, keeping the soil slightly moist but not soggy. It’s a good sign if the plant droops a bit when it’s thirsty. Bright, indirect light is preferred, though it’s forgiving of lower light. Ensure good drainage and consider a pot with a saucer to catch any excess water.
Other Aspects: Renowned for its air-purifying abilities, the Peace Lily can filter out several toxins from the air. While beautiful, it’s essential to note that all parts of the plant are toxic if ingested, making it vital to position away from curious pets and children. Brown leaf tips can indicate over-watering, while yellow leaves might suggest too much light.
9. Boston Fern
Position: Boston Ferns thrive in indirect, filtered light. North-facing windows or spots with dappled light are ideal. They’re also popular choices for hanging baskets due to their cascading fronds.
Growth: A mature Boston Fern can reach a diameter of 2-3 feet, with delicate, arching fronds that can extend 2-3 feet long, creating a voluminous appearance.
Complementing with Furniture: Its feathery fronds add texture and a touch of wilderness to spaces. Boston Ferns look great against bare walls, or hanging in corners, where their fronds can drape gracefully. Their vintage charm pairs well with antique or rustic furniture.
Maintenance and Care: This fern loves consistent moisture but dislikes waterlogged soil. Water regularly, ensuring the pot provides good drainage. Bright, indirect light is best. They also appreciate higher humidity, so consider misting the plant or placing it on a tray with watered pebbles.
Other Aspects: Boston Ferns are known for their air-purifying qualities and can help to add humidity to dry indoor air. They’re non-toxic, making them safe for homes with pets and children. To maintain a lush appearance, regularly trim away any yellow or brown fronds.
Position: Philodendrons are versatile in terms of light requirements. They prefer bright, indirect light but can also tolerate medium to low light conditions. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight, as this can scorch their leaves. They can be placed on shelves, hung, or even trained to climb depending on the variety.
Growth: Their growth varies depending on the specific type. Some philodendrons, like the vining Heartleaf, can trail or climb several feet, while others, like the Split-Leaf or Hope, can grow more upright and bushy.
Complementing with Furniture: Their lush greenery can soften spaces and add a touch of the tropics. Vining types can be draped over shelves or used in hanging planters, while larger varieties serve as floor plants, complementing taller furniture pieces.
Maintenance and Care: Water when the top inch or so of the soil feels dry. They don’t like to be overly wet, so ensure their pots have proper drainage. While they’re adaptable to various light levels, brighter indirect light will encourage more robust growth.
Other Aspects: Philodendrons are excellent at purifying indoor air, helping to remove formaldehyde. They’re relatively easy to care for, making them suitable for both novice and experienced plant enthusiasts. However, it’s essential to know that philodendrons are toxic if ingested, so they should be kept out of reach of pets and children. Regular pruning can help maintain a desired shape and promote fuller growth.
11. Jade Plant
Position: Jade Plants prefer bright light, so a spot near a south or west-facing window where they can receive a good amount of indirect sunlight is ideal. They can tolerate direct sunlight but ensure it’s not too harsh, especially during peak hours.
Growth: Known as the “money plant” in some cultures, Jades can grow to become large, bushy plants reaching up to 3-4 feet indoors. With time, their stems become thick and woody, resembling miniature tree trunks.
Complementing with Furniture: With its succulent, glossy, green leaves and tree-like growth pattern, Jade Plants add a touch of nature’s grandeur to indoor spaces. They work well on desks, tabletops, or as standalone specimens in rooms with wooden or rustic themes.
Maintenance and Care: Being a succulent, Jade Plants store water in their leaves, so they don’t require frequent watering. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings to prevent root rot. They thrive in bright light and can handle some direct sun, but be wary of too much direct sunlight, which can cause leaf scorching.
Other Aspects: Jade Plants are believed to bring good luck and prosperity, making them popular gifts. They’re relatively low maintenance and can live for many years with proper care. They are mildly toxic if ingested, so keeping them away from pets and children is advisable. For a bushier appearance, you can pinch back the growing tips.
Position: Calatheas thrive in bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can fade the plant’s vibrant colors. They are best positioned away from windows with strong sun exposure, such as south or west-facing windows.
Growth: Calatheas typically grow to a height of 1-2 feet, but some species can grow larger. They are recognized for their beautiful, patterned leaves which can display various shades of green, purple, and even pink.
Complementing with Furniture: With their ornate foliage, Calatheas act as natural artwork, drawing attention and adding color to living spaces. They work well on side tables, plant stands, or as a centerpiece on a coffee table, especially in modern or eclectic decor.
Maintenance and Care: Keep the soil consistently moist, but avoid letting the plant sit in water. They thrive in higher humidity, so consider placing them on a tray with moist pebbles, using a humidifier, or misting them occasionally. Bright, indirect light is crucial to maintain their vibrant colors.
Other Aspects: Calatheas are known for their “dancing” leaves — they move up and down with the day-night cycle. This movement is a part of their circadian rhythm. They’re also pet-friendly, as they are non-toxic to cats and dogs. Brown leaf edges can indicate a lack of humidity or inconsistent watering. Regularly wiping the leaves can keep them dust-free and shiny.
13. Aloe Vera
Position: Aloe Vera loves bright light, making it best suited for south or west-facing windows. While it can handle some direct sunlight, prolonged exposure, especially during the hottest parts of the day, can cause the leaves to turn brown or yellow.
Growth: A mature Aloe Vera plant typically stands between 1-2 feet tall, characterized by its thick, fleshy, green leaves that can grow up to 10 inches long. The leaves are filled with a clear gel that has numerous health and skin benefits.
Complementing with Furniture: Its sleek, modern look makes Aloe Vera a perfect fit for contemporary spaces, minimalist designs, or on work desks. Its green hue can provide a pop of color against white or neutral backgrounds.
Maintenance and Care: Aloe Vera is a succulent, which means it stores water in its leaves. It requires infrequent watering; let the soil dry out completely between waterings. Overwatering is a common issue, so ensure its pot has good drainage. Bright light ensures healthy growth, but shield it from intense direct sun.
Other Aspects: Aloe Vera has been used for centuries for its healing properties. The gel inside its leaves can be applied to burns, cuts, and other skin irritations for relief. It’s essential to be cautious, though, as the yellow sap (aloe latex) found just below the skin of the leaf can be an irritant. The plant is also toxic if ingested, so it’s best to keep it away from pets and children.