11 Beautiful Plants to Brighten Up Your Home

fireplace surrounded by indoor plants and trees

Monica Wang Photography

If there’s one indoor plant that has dominated interiors for the last several years, it’s the humble fiddle-leaf fig. This fashionable ficus has graced magazine covers and high-end spreads for good reason: It's sculptural without being too bushy, and equally hardy and pretty with its large, violin-shaped leaves. What houseplant could possibly compete with that? Well, quite a few actually.

With the help of plant expert Cara Anderson, founder of Plant Roost Design, we rounded up the next crop of stylish specimens making their way to an interior near you. "What a seriously incredible way to decorate your space," says Anderson. "Not only do [plants] have all kinds of health benefits but they bring such life into any space." All of these plants thrive indoors; in fact, many of them actually enjoy being positioned in a moody, low-light corner.

Meet the Expert

Cara Anderson is an interior designer and founder of Plant Roost Design in Winnipeg, Canada. She has her B.A. in environmental design and spent many years tending thousands of plants in a commercial greenhouse before starting her own plant-focused business.

So, if you're ready to add literal and figurative life to your aesthetic, add one (or all) of these 11 plant babies to your wish list to brighten up your home.

Best Indoor Plants to Brighten Up Your Home
MyDomaine / Grace Kim
01 of 11

Rubber Plant

Tall rubber tree next to a standing mirror in a boho bedroom

Sara Toufali

  • Botanical Name: Ficus elastica
  • Sun Exposure: Low to bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Fast-draining, all-purpose potting mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0

The rubber plant is a fairly easy evergreen that was a popular indoor plant during the ’70s, and it’s making a big comeback. The stunning burgundy color and other variegations add a pretty pop to any room, but it’s the large, leathery, glossy leaves that have people clamoring for this handsome houseplant. And the best part is the rubber plant actually likes to be pot-bound. Just set it and (mostly) forget it.

Rubber plant in basket pot on a wood stool
PlantVine Ficus Elastica ‘Burgundy’ $50
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02 of 11

Snake Plant

Three snake plants in a modern boho dining room.

COTTAGE + SEA

  • Botanical Name: Sansevieria trifasciata
  • Sun Exposure: Low to moderate, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Well-draining cactus or succulent mix
  • Soil pH: 4.5 to 7.0

Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, the low-maintenance sansevieria is a great indoor plant for homeowners lacking a green thumb. "These guys are about as easy and forgiving as it gets," says Anderson. If you forget about it, don’t stress; these plants can go for a month without water. Just make sure your snake plant is in a pot with good drainage, or you'll risk root rot. Its firm, super-straight leaves come in a variety of colors and shapes and make for a great, bold look that is well-complemented by a designer planter. "The long, thin height of their leaves look fabulous on furniture and tucked away into corners," suggests Anderson.

snake plant in white pot
The Sill Snake Plant Laurentii $57
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03 of 11

Bird of Paradise

Bird of paradise and ponytail palm next to a peacock chair in a boho living room

Tracey Hairston

  • Botanical Name: Strelitzia reginae
  • Sun Exposure: Low to bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Well-draining potting mix
  • Soil pH: 5.5 to 7.5

The bird-of-paradise species is commonly mistaken for the banana plant, thanks to its large leaves and enormous height. This beauty can grow to more than 6 feet in height, and its banana-like leaves can reach 28 inches in length. Its oversized evergreen leaves are one of the reasons it has become such a popular houseplant, and they usually unfold one at a time in a crisscross pattern that resembles a fan shape at the crown. Its most magnificent feature, though, is its bird-like flower of orange and blue you'll be rewarded with if you give it enough bright light.

large bird of paradise plant in a black grower's pot
Lively Root Giant Bird of Paradise $114
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04 of 11

Parlor Palm Tree

Small indoor palm on a tabletop in a minimal, modern kitchen.

Coco Lapine Design

  • Botanical Name: Chamaedorea elegans
  • Sun Exposure: Low to bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Well-drained cactus, palm, or potting mix
  • Soil pH: 5.1 to 7.5

Palms are incredibly atmospheric; as soon as they’re in the room, you immediately feel a tropical, luxurious vibe. They work particularly well in larger rooms with tall ceilings but can spruce up a spacious apartment, too. Palms work well indoors because they tolerate shade and are slow-growing, so they won’t outgrow their space too quickly.

Parlor palm in scalloped pot
The Sill Parlor Palm $60
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05 of 11

Monstera Deliciosa

Monstera plant in a modern dining room

Cathie Hong Interiors

  • Botanical Name: Monstera deliciosa
  • Sun Exposure: Low to bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Well-drained potting mix
  • Soil pH: 5.5 to 7.0

Perhaps one of the trendiest on this list is the monstera. It features a beautiful split-leaf shape and glossy green color. When young, the monstera leaf is intact, but its leaves begin to split as it ages and become like Swiss cheese, hence its common nickname, Swiss-cheese plant. "Okay, I will warn you now—this plant will really turn into a monster!" says Anderson. Monsteras need a lot of space—they like to be the hero of a room, not tucked away in a corner where no one can see, so give yours the love it needs. "They will shoot out aerial roots all over the place that are simply part of the nature of the plant, so let them be," advises Anderson. Consider adding base support, such as a small trellis or a pole, to keep it upright as it grows.

Monstera Deliciosa in black pot
Pretty in Green Monstera Deliciosa $55
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06 of 11

Alocasia

Styled shelf with philodendron, pothos, and alocasia

Modern House Vibes

  • Botanical Name: Alocasia amazonica
  • Sun Exposure: Medium to bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Moist, well-draining potting soil
  • Soil pH: 5.5 to 6.5

The sharp heart-shaped leaves of this stunning alocasia will make you smile every time you look at it. It's a medium-light plant, so you will want to position it in a bright area of the house with mostly indirect light. It may require a little more care than a low-light plant, but it has a lot of love to give. Keep the soil consistently moist and consider placing your alocasia in a high-humidity area like your bathroom, or spritz it regularly and keep the pot on a tray of pebbles filled with water, so it can soak up all that evaporated moisture.

Alocasia Polly in a white pot
Plants.com Elephants Ear (Alocasia Polly) $50
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07 of 11

Philodendron

Trailing philodendron on a styled boho bookshelf

Modern House Vibes

There is so much to love about this glossy green plant. Its striking leaf shape is a beautiful addition to any interior, but the best part about the stylish species is that it actually thrives in low light. It’s also drought-friendly, preferring to be on the dry side. There are literally hundreds of species, but the split-leaf philodendron seems to be a popular choice thanks to its striking, large-scale leaves.

Make the most of your trailing philodendron by suspending it in a hanging planter or placing it on a high shelf to showcase its vine-y tendrils.

Split-leaf philodendron in grower's pot
PlantVine Split-leaf Philodendron $43
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08 of 11

Pothos

Pothos in hanging baskets in a boho bedroom.

Sara Toufali​

  • Botanical Name: Epipremnum aureum
  • Sun Exposure: Low to bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: All-purpose potting soil
  • Soil pH: 6.1 to 6.5

If you look up “houseplants you can’t kill,” pothos will always be on the list. Anderson agrees: "This is by far, in my opinion, the easiest plant you can get." And boy does it grow. The tropical vine’s trail can reach up to 10 feet indoors, and even longer in its natural environment. What makes it so simple to grow? "The Pothos can tolerate anything—forgetting to water it, not getting enough light, accidentally ripping off half of its stem...you name it," continues Anderson. Plus, it can actually purify the air you breathe each day. 

Queen marble pothos in black pot
The Sill Marble Queen Pothos $57
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09 of 11

ZZ Plant

zz plant on stool next to a boho styled bookshelf

Modern House Vibes

  • Botanical Name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia
  • Sun Exposure: Low to bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: All-purpose potting soil
  • Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.0

ZZs are a classic low-light plant and are some of the easiest to care for, too. They'll thrive in almost any lighting and handle drought like a champ. The shiny, deep green leaves pop with any decor style and tolerate just about any condition, making them a great choice for beginners. Bonus: they help improve air quality by filtering out toxins. Keep in mind, though, that they're toxic when ingested, so keep out of reach of pets and kids.

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia ZZ plant
Greenery Unlimited 10" Zamioculcas Zamifolia $90
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10 of 11

Bird's Nest Fern

birds nest fern and snake plant in a global, boho bedroom

Tracey Hairston

  • Botanical Name: Asplenium nidus
  • Sun Exposure: Medium to bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Well-draining potting soil
  • Soil pH: 5.0 to 5.5

The frilly leafed bird's nest fern is another perfectly easy houseplant to add to (or kick off) your collection to brighten up any space. You've even got some control over the look of this fern—the more light you give it, the more crinkled its leaves will look. Like most ferns, this guy needs high humidity and constant moisture, so don't let the soil dry out and keep those leaves hydrated with frequent misting. Because of the bright green, arching leaves, bird's nest ferns look great in hanging planters, too.

bird's nest fern in a scalloped black pot
The Sill Bird's Nest Fern $46
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11 of 11

Weeping Fig

weeping fig in a belly basket on a wood floor

Anikona / Getty Images

  • Botanical Name: Ficus benjamina
  • Sun Exposure: Low to bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Rich, fast-draining potting mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0 to 6.5

Though the weeping fig is a relative to the popular fiddle-leaf fig, you'll find it to be much easier going than its fickle cousin. You can find these plants in many sizes and variegations, which makes them very adaptable. It will tolerate most light situations, though it's happiest in bright, indirect light. Like most ficus, the benjamina loves humidity and moisture, so keep the soil evenly moist (but not soggy) and leaves dust-free for best absorption. Keep in mind that Ficus benjamina is toxic to pets and humans if ingested.

ficus
Brighter Blooms Ficus Benjamina Tree $90
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Article Sources
MyDomaine uses only high-quality, trusted sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Deng L, Deng Q. The Basic Roles of Indoor Plants in Human Health and Comfort. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018;25(36):36087-36101. doi:10.1007/s11356-018-3554-1.

  2. Wei X, Lyu S, Yu Y, et al. Phylloremediation of Air Pollutants: Exploiting the Potential of Plant Leaves and Leaf-Associated MicrobesFront Plant Sci. 2017;8:1318. doi:10.3389/fpls.2017.01318

  3. ZZ Plant. University of Florida: Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences. July 7, 2020

  4. Bertero A, Fossati P, Caloni F. Indoor Companion Animal Poisoning by Plants in EuropeFront Vet Sci. 2020;7:487. doi:10.3389/fvets.2020.00487

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