Bright Spots


These plants need a good level of light, but not direct sunlight. The ambient temperature is, therefore, lower than for the plants in my “Sunny Spots” section, and although again they do not generally require high humidity, some may benefit from an occasional misting.

Pineapple (Ananas comosus)

It is possible to buy ornamental pineapples that sometimes bear small fruits, but its cheaper and more fun to try rooting the top of a fresh pineapple purchased from a local grocer or supermarket. Twist off the top and remove the lower leaves. Suspend the bare stem in water and wait for roots to appear before potting in a 50/50 compost and grit mix. Water as required and feed in the summer. Prune only to remove dead leaves.

Click here to get your own Edible Indoor Pineapple Plant!

  • Grow your own delicious fresh pineapples on your windowsill; from the same plants used for commercial pineapple production in South America.

 

Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus)

The bird’s nest fern is a very tolerant plant, making it an ideal beginner’s houseplant. The large flat, glossy leaves are mid-green and have an attractive black midrib and crinkled edges. Pot using a mix of 75/25 multipurpose compost and grit, and water as required. Clean the leaves regularly to keep them clean and shiny. Prune only to cut out dead leaves to the base; brown edges can also be trimmed. New leaves will unfurl from the bottom of the bird’s nest fern.  Plants for Bright Spots

Dwarf Mountain Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)

A staple of home stores and garden centre houseplant sales, the dwarf mountain palm makes an attractive houseplant and is usually available to buy in various sizes. The long, pinnate leaves are borne on slender stems, earning the plant its “elegant” name well. Water regularly in summer, sparingly in winter. Feed monthly in summer. Prune only to remove dead leaves.

Dwarf Fan Palm (Chamaerops humilis)

This palm is fully hardy but also grows well indoors (it can be moved outside for the summer). It is squat rather than elegant, and has fan-shaped leaves on spiny stalks. Older specimens will have a fibrous trunk. Water regularly in summer, sparingly in winter. Feed monthly in summer. Prune only to remove dead leaves.  Dwarf Fan Palm

Click here to get your own Dwarf Fan Palm!

  • Ideal hardy palm for UK patios and smaller gardens, it is very compact growing, weather tolerant and hardy.

 

Natal Lily (Clivia miniata)

Strappy, dark-green leaves are the perfect foil for the bright orange and red tones of the flower spikes on a Clivia. The flowers, borne in spring and summer, are lily-like, and the plant needs a colder spell to produce them, so a conservatory with more seasonal temperature variations is ideal. Water regularly in summer, sparingly in winter. Feed monthly in summer. Prune only to remove dead leaves and flower spikes. Clivia’s bright flowers are offset by its glossy dark leaves. 

 

 

House Plants for Bright Spots

Arabian Coffee (Coffea arabica)

It is unlikely that coffee grown as a houseplant will actually produce any useable beans, but regardless, the plant is attractive with glossy, crinkled leaves and an enjoyable curio. “Grow your own coffee plant” kits and packets of just the seed are available from online suppliers. Alternatively, buy a ready-grown plant. Pinch out the growing tip of young plants to encourage bushy growth. Water regularly in summer, sparingly in winter. Feed monthly in summer. Prune only to remove dead leaves.

Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)

Madagascar dragon tree is widely available either in its basic form, which has green/red leaves or as the “Tricolor” variety, which has cream-edged leaves. Both bear clumps of arching, strappy leaves atop a slender trunk, with plants usually sold with two or three trunks per pot at different heights. Water regularly in summer, sparingly in winter. Feed monthly in summer. Prune only to remove dead leaves. If the room is very dry, an occasional misting will help.  House Plants for Bright Spots

Flat Palm (Howea forsteriana)

One for a larger room, as it can reach sizeable proportions, but its young growth is relatively upright. The broad leaves are divided (i.e. pinnate) and borne on slender stems. Water regularly in summer, sparingly in winter. Feed monthly in summer. Prune only to remove dead leaves.

Four-Leaved Pink Sorrel (Oxalis tetraphylla)

Some Oxalis species are serious garden weeds, but contained as a houseplant they are rather pretty. Their clover-like leaves are sometimes supplemented by red/purple flowers in summer. Water regularly in summer, sparingly in winter. Feed monthly in summer. Prune only to remove dead leaves and flowers.  House Plants for Bright Spots

Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Mother-in-law’s tongue grows as an upright clump of lanceolate, fleshy leaves that are predominantly green but have yellow margins and some yellow patterning. Pot in a 50/50 compost/grit mix (plants can be easily divided if getting too big for the space). Water regularly in summer, sparingly in winter. Feed monthly in summer. Prune only to remove dead leaves. It is named as its leaves are seen to be sharp and persistent, just like a mother-in-law’s tongue!  House Plants for Bright Spo

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii)

The peace lily forms clumps of dark green, ovate leaves and white flowers (spathes). All parts of the plant are extremely toxic. Water regularly in summer, sparingly in winter. Feed monthly in summer. Prune only to remove dead leaves and flowers. It will benefit from an occasional misting.  House Plants for Bright Spots

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae)

Bird of paradise plants are aptly named and make a spectacular houseplant. Bright orange and purple flowers emerge from tall spikes with beak-like buds, set off well by the slightly glaucous paddle-shaped foliage. Water regularly in summer, sparingly in winter. Feed monthly in spring and summer. Prune only to remove dead leaves and flower spikes. Mist occasionally.  House Plants for Bright Spots

Cape Primrose (Streptocarpus)

This plant has a primrose-like flower borne on delicate stems above long, slightly furry, dark-green leaves. Varieties available can include pastel-pink, blue or purple flowers (visit a specialist nursery for the best choice). Best watered from a saucer to avoid rotting leaves, but do not allow to stand wet. Water regularly in summer, sparingly in winter. Feed monthly in summer. Prune only to remove dead leaves and trim flower spikes back to the base.

 

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