Indoor Plants

Melbourne has adopted the indoor plant as an essential part of their lifestyle, and this has proved to be a wonderfully satisfying development. Who knew that so many people would get all this joy from having plants in their home? (‘We did!’ sing out the BAAG staff). So welcome to the world of indoor plants. You’ll find lots of fact sheets and information below to assist you in your choice and to help you on your way. Enjoy.

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Anthurium / Flamingo Flower – These come in several colours but the most famous is the pillar box red Anthurium. The spathes are long lasting and glossy, almost plastic looking in their perfection. They add a striking exotic element to your indoor arrangement.

Atherton Palm – A very adaptable, highly attractive Australian palm. It is slow growing and well suited to indoor pot culture.

Bamboo Palm – A lovely, graceful and very useful palm as it prefers naturally shady conditions and consequently is ideal for an indoors situation.

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Boston Fern – Fits naturally in a modern edgy home & equally well with shabby chic or rustic farmhouse. Is as resilient as it is cheerful. A good ‘first plant’ for indoors.

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Bromeliads – They are remarkably versatile, and form one of the most adaptable plant families in the world. They can offer exciting plant forms, colour combinations, infinite variety and challenge.

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Calathea, Peacock Plant, Zebra Plant – Calatheas are absolutely gorgeous desk top plants with beautiful leaves. They generally keep to a nice small size, making them perfect for impact, but not too space consuming.

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Cardboard Palm Plant – Not a palm at all, but from the ancient cycad family, this is a wonderful character filled house plant. Low maintenance, fun and architectural. So slow growing and long lived it can be passed down the generations like a family heirloom.

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Carnivorous Plants – Carnivorous plants have evolved in areas of high rainfall and constantly leached soils. Due to the low nutrient content of these soils, these plants obtain the nutrients they require for growth by trapping and digesting insects.

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Chain of Hearts – Delicate beauty draping over a basket and dripping down in a lovely cascade combined with toughness and the ability to survive most conditions.

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China Doll – Lovely glossy mid-green divided lacy leaves give an airy elegant feel to this houseplant. This plant is not for the novice.

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Ctenanthe – Grown for their striking leaves, different species have different colours, but often they have vivid burgundy/purple undersides and lovely markings on the top side.

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Cyclamen – Cyclamen tend to come in pink, red and purple tones, plus pure white, but within this range there is incredible variety: from pale pink to deep saturated cerise, from soft salmon to brilliant scarlet red, pinky mauve to purple.

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Devil’s Ivy – Easy to grow cheerful houseplant with glossy heart-shaped leaves. If you are a novice, this wash and wear, drip dry plant is a good place to start.

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Dracaena ‘Janet Craig’ – Janet Craig is one of the work horses of the great indoors, lush deep green cascading foliage, and super tolerant of almost everything.

Dwarf Palmetto Palm – One of the dramatic fan palms and perfect in pots due to generally remaining under 1m in height. Extraordinarily tolerant and adds flair and drama to the indoors.

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Echeveria species – The dense clusters of rosettes of Echeveria spp look enchanting when congested and spilling over the edges of a shallow glazed or terracotta pot.

Fan Palm ‘Elegans’ – Dramatic and completely gorgeous, huge almost circular pleated fronds borne on slender stems. A truly spectacular palm.

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Fiddle Leaf Fig – Wonderful large, bold, impact plants. They provide a stunning focal point and give drama and flair to an indoor space.

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Forest Lily – Lush and luxuriant looking but deceptively tough, wonderful for those difficult dry shade to semi shade spots.

Freckle Face – Generally grown as an annual bedding plant, this sweet little plant can also be used to add colour and a touch of whimsy to your indoor collection. Comes in pinks, reds and greens.

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Haworthia – These are a delightful small succulents, undemanding and charming. More than most, succulents really reward the right choice of container.

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Japanese Aralia / Fatsia – A very useful lush indoor plant. Good for creating a background of green, or when big broad leaves are needed as a contrast to the more common strap shaped leaves or fronds of many indoor plants.

Kentia Palm and Curly Kentia Palm – Wonderful (and very forgiving) indoor palms. The Curly Kentia Palm has more arching broad fronds than the regular Kentia.

Lady Palm – A striking deep green palm tree with blunt tips in its broad fronds and a sturdy lush look. Not a fast growing palm, a small one can sit on your coffee table for several years before getting too large and needing to move to a roomier position.

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Maidenhair Fern – Surely one of the most delicate and graceful of ferns. It somehow combines cool and ethereal with lush and gorgeous.

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Miltonia Orchids – These gorgeous orchids are one of the easier orchids to grow in Melbourne and plants double in size each year, so you can achieve a large specimen fairly rapidly.

Mini Majestic Palm – A wonderful alternative to the Dwarf Date Palm if you are looking for a palm with finely divided feathery foliage. Unlike the date palm this is a fairly fast growing slim and elegant palm.

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Monstera, Swiss Cheese Plant – The fruit salad or swiss cheese plant is an incredibly hardy plant with amazingly large swiss cheese like leaves. The roots also have the fun habit of growing up the trunk of the plant.

Mother of Thousands – A delightful little plant which can look lovely in a round squat pot to complement its round leaves, or in a hanging pot where it can be encouraged to cascade.

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Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, Snake Plant, Bowstring Hemp – There are a few different species from the Sanseviera genus that are great indoor plants. The Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’ is banded in yellow, the Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Zeylanica’ has green with silvery grey horizontal stripes, the Sansevieria Hahnii is a short rosette style plants, birds nest type and the Sansevieria ‘Silbersee’ has silver green leaves.

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Norfolk Island Pine – They make very good indoor plants and the juvenile foliage is much softer and featherier than the foliage you associate with them as an outdoor tree. They also double as an indoor Christmas tree!

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Peace Lily – A much loved indoor plant across the world with easy to maintain lush green foliage and crisp pure white spathe ‘flowers’.

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Peperomia – An endearing desk top plant with beautiful leaves. There are many different peperomias, with a wide variety of leaf colours and forms to choose from.

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Phalaenopsis Orchids – These gorgeous orchids, commonly called Moth Orchids, are the perfect orchid for the novice to grow. Showy but elegant, these orchids are easy to grow from year to year once you understand their simple needs and their life cycle.

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Philodendrons – Exuberant shiny large green leaves in wonderful shapes, easy going and tolerant, a happy addition to any home, public space or office.

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Ponytail – A very slow growing indoor plant that can be kept for decades. Incredibly versatile, looks appropriate in arid to tropical landscapes and in edgy modern homes to lush plant-a-holic homes.

Prayer Plant – Slow growing clumping plant with interestingly patterned leaves. They get their common name from their habit of folding up their leaves at night.

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Rubber Plant – A well-deserved favourite. Its lovely glossy leaves in various colours glow inside the house and really – it is almost impossible to kill.

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Silver Lady Fern – An extremely attractive rosette fern with a neat but lush look. It immediately conjures up images of rainforests and waterfalls.

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String of Pearls – There is something so endearing about this cascading succulent. A waterfall of green pearls cascading for several feet from a hanging basket or a tall pot, what is not to love!

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Succulents Indoors – Succulents can be great plants to grow indoors, in the right spot they are hardy and low maintenance plants that come in a vast array of colours and forms.

Sugar Cane Palm – Dramatic slender prominently ringed multiple trunks in pale lime green to yellow tones, topped with long full fronds.

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Umbrella Tree – Lovely shiny green leaves and when grown in a cluster of two or three has a great impact, giving a vibrant healthy lush look.

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Weeping Fig – An incredibly popular plant that is regularly seen as topiaried balls on sticks, full trees, trees with plaited stems, bonsaied, variegated forms, mid green and dark green.

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Zanzibar Gem, ZZ Plant – The attractive dark green shiny waxy leaves on the wand like stems will delight you for years to come.

Zebra Plant – Prized for its striking heavily marked leaves, the dark green contrasting vividly with the white or cream stripes.

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Zygocactus – Highly decorative cactus grown for their fabulous silky flowers in all the shades of the cream, pink, orange, purple and red colour spectrum.

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The Benefits of Indoor Plants – Decorating your home or office with indoor plants not only creates a beautiful environment but comes with health benefits also.

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Common Problems with Indoor Plants (and the solutions) – Most problems which occur with indoor plants are environmental (water, light, temperature etc.), and are simple to remedy. Even problems with insects can be easily resolved if you get onto it early.

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Flushing salts from your Indoors – Over time, soluble salts accumulate in the potting mix of indoor plants. These salts come from fertilisers and chemicals in tap water, and cannot leach out as they would in your garden bed, so need to be periodically flushed out of your pot plant.

Photo by John Tann. Sourced from Wikipedia
Fungal Gnats in your Pot Plants – It is the larval stage of these small flying insects that create the most havoc, but their numbers can build up to such a level that the flying gnat itself creates an unpleasant nuisance in the house.

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Growing Indoor Plants Successfully – The thing to remember is all ‘indoor plants’ evolved to grow outdoors, and we are asking them to adapt to an alien, often airconditioned or heated environment. This can be done very successfully if you understand your plant’s requirements.

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Repotting Cymbidium Orchids – Cymbidium Orchids like to be a bit congested in their pots, but there does come a time when things get a bit tight, and you have to repot your orchid to allow it to thrive again. Be prepared for a delay before it flowers again, it may need a year or two to regrow into its new pot before flower spikes appear.

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Treating Scale on Indoor Plants – Problems with scale on your Indoors? Check this page for tips.