Evergreen Indoor Plants

Written by ln shapely
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Evergreen Indoor Plants
Evergreen house plants come in a broad range of foliage. (plant image by prinzesa from Fotolia.com)

Evergreen houseplants add a touch of nature indoors. NASA studies have demonstrated that utilising plants indoors contributes to alleviating the sick building syndrome created by tight, energy-efficient homes. There are suitable easy-care plants for every light situation, from low to direct sunshine. Plants need affectionate care, but take much less time than a pet. Fill your home or office with these inexpensive, oxygen-giving beauties.

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Evergreen Defined

According to the Random House Dictionary, an evergreen plant keeps its green foliage throughout the year and sheds its leaves only after new leaves have formed. The majority of common houseplants fit this category.

Lighting for Evergreen Plants

Each plant requires a particular amount of light to thrive. The University of Illinois Extension Service classifies light requirements in layman's terms of low, medium and highlight. Select plants for the home or office by studying the light available before grasping for the most attractive foliage. Low light comes through north-facing windows, at a distance of 3 to 10 feet away from east/west-facing windows, and 15 to 20 feet from south-facing windows. Medium highlight can come from the north, a few feet away from east/west windows, and 3 to 10 feet from south-facing windows. Bright or highlight comes directly in from the east/west window and a few feet from the south-facing ones. Direct sunlight will stream in from the south. Light conditions change with the seasons.

Plants for Low Light

Choose among these commonly found houseplants requiring low lighting: Chinese evergreen, parlour palm, Boston fern, heart leaf philodendron and sansevieria, also known as the snake plant or mother-in-law's tongue. These are slow-growing and very easy to maintain.

Evergreen Indoor Plants
Small ferns adapt to low lighting. (fern image by Lytse from Fotolia.com)

Plants for Medium Light

Medium light plants include anthurium, coralberry, asparagus fern, bird's nest fern, begonia, dieffenbachia, spider plant, grape ivy, Ti plant, sago palm, dumb cane, dracaena, rubber plant, fiddle leaf fig, prayer plant, peperomia, staghorn fern, pleomele, umbrella tree, Hawaiian schefflera, pothos, nephthytis, piggyback plant and the inch plant. Many of these plants require a moist environment. Certain varieties of schefflera will grow to the size of a small tree.

Evergreen Indoor Plants
Begonias will flower several times each year indoors. (begonia plant with pink lovely flowers image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com)

Plants for Highlight

Bright-light seekers include the zebra plant, Norfolk Island pine, ponytail palm, jade plant, false aralia, crown of thorns, ficus, purple passion plant, English ivy, baby tears, peace lily and the wax plant. Though the description is for high or bright light, few plants will tolerate direct sunlight for any length of time. The Norfolk Island pine is a superb small, slow-growing evergreen tree. It can be used as a Christmas tree in small spaces. Ficus are attractive, small trees, but attract pests and require very moist air.

Evergreen Indoor Plants
Ficus are small, but fussy trees. (Ficus Benjamini image by Westa Zikas from Fotolia.com)

Care

Evergreen indoor plants require little care. Water well once or twice a week, keeping soil modestly moist. Inexperienced indoor gardeners tend to overwater, thereby drowning the roots and killing the plant consequentially. Let the water drain through, then remove excess water from the dish below after 15 minutes. Fertilise with a commercial houseplant food at least once a year. Cut off dead and dying leaves and give the pot a one-quarter turn every few months to maintain symmetry. If leaf tips start to turn brown, be alert to a regular watering schedule and mist the plant with water daily. Many houseplants come from tropical climates and thrive on moist air.

Obtaining Plants

Evergreen indoor plants are sold online, at florists, local nurseries, home improvement stores, farmers' markets and large general merchandise stores. Look for a healthy, unblemished plant tagged with its light, water and food needs. It is also important to note how large the plant will grow. The majority of plants listed above are slow-growing and will stay small enough to keep indoors for years to come. Friends also share plant offspring.

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