Indoor plants have become popular again as homeowners and office workers include green life as part of their interior décor.

The interest in greenery indoors is part fashion and part science. New and vibrant containers – pots, hanging baskets, vertical gardens and terrariums – have given indoor plants new life as decorator items, while research has uncovered that indoor plants have health and wellbeing benefits.

Plants and the potting mixes they grow in can filter harmful contaminants from the air. There is also research from around the world to show that greenery indoors or to look out on can help improve wellbeing, lower stress and even improve patient recovery times in hospitals.


Indoor plants are known to have wellbeing benefits.


Creating the Best Indoor Environment

All the good vibes from indoor plants can only pay dividends if the plants are growing well. No plant can grow well in an indoor environment that’s too dark. The ideal room is brightly lit for most of the day, with a northerly aspect or a skylight.

To check light levels, hold your hand over a piece of white paper. If light levels are high enough for indoor plants, your hand should cast a dark shadow on the paper. Remember that light levels diminish as you move away from the window.

Grow lights (lights that provide ultraviolet rays) can supplement the available light. Alternatively, swap or replace plants regularly so they spend most of their time in a well-lit position and are only used in low light areas as temporary decoration. Rest plants on the balcony or porch, in a greenhouse or under a shaded tree out of direct sun.

There are a few plant varieties that are better adapted than others to growing in low light conditions. Click here for suggestions.


The bath is a great place to thoroughly water plants and allow them to drain; while regularly misting plants will keep up the humidity.


Ongoing Care

Indoor plants should be watered when they are dry but not allowed to stand in water. Ideally allow pots to drain completely after watering (for example on a sink or in a bathroom) and then return them to their position in the house. If necessary dust or wash the leaves. Dust clogs the leaves' ‘breathing’ pores, making it harder for the plant to grow.

Keep indoor plants out of draughts including air-conditioning and away from direct heat such as central heating ducts or even hot sunlight that may shine through a window.

Most indoor plants also prefer high humidity. Dry or burnt-looking leaves can be an indication of exposure to overly dry air, draughts or sunburn. If your indoor air is dry, extra humidity can be created by lightly misting foliage or by standing the pot on pebbles in a saucer of water (this prevents the potting mix from becoming waterlogged). Learn more about creating humidity here.

Repot your indoor plants from time to time using a potting mix formulated for indoor use - Flower Power recommends Supersoil Professional Indoor, Balcony and Hanging Basket Mix. If you'd like to learn more about repotting plants, click here. Most premium indoor potting mixes contain controlled-release fertiliser, but you should also use a liquid feed on your indoor plants during the growing season (spring to autumn) - for more info on feeding your indoor plants, check out this article.

Indoor plants aren't immune from pests, either. Check foliage and stems for signs of pests, which can include scale, mealybug or fungus gnat. If pests are a concern, remove the plant from the house and treat mealy bug with with Natrasoap, scale with eco-oil and fungus gnats with eco-neem. Learn more about indoor plant pest elimination here.


Left: Orchid, African violet, fiddle leaf fig and cyclamen; right: syngonium, philodendron, elkhorn fern, calathea, button fern and ctenanthe.


Indoor Favourites

Anything flowering gives indoors a boost and there are plenty of choices through autumn and winter. Top choices include African violets, anthurium, cyclamen, poinsettia, chrysanthemum, orchids, zygocactus and kalanchoe. View these as providing a temporary display indoors.

For long-term indoor greenery it’s hard to beat Zanzibar Gem, an almost indestructible indoor plant with thick green leaves. This plant thrives on neglect and has low water needs.

Also easy to grow, striking and tolerant of life indoors are aspidistra (cast iron plant), dracaena, dieffenbachia, philodendrons, mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria), spathiphyllum and many palms.

Click to browse Sydney's largest range of indoor plants!