We spend more time indoors as the weather cools and the days shorten, and that’s the perfect reason to add a few (more?) houseplants to your living spaces. A plant instantly makes any place feel homier, plus there’s a variety of research pointing to how houseplants make us healthier, from purifying the air of harmful VOCs to reducing stress and improving concentration. Here are five fun choices if you’d like something a little offbeat, beyond good old reliable pothos and ivy.
Alternanthera ‘Christmas Tree’
Showing off tightly grouped leaves and an upright form, it is easy to see how this charming houseplant earned its name. Alternanthera thrives indoors in high light with average or high humidity. Water it when the top inch or so of the potting mix dries to the touch.
Another top pick if you’re looking for texture, dragon’s tongue (Hemigraphis repanda) features dark purple-green almost grassy-looking foliage and a wonderfully resilient nature. It thrives in high, medium, and low light, likes average to high humidity, and prefers to be watered when the top half inch or so of the potting mix dries. Dragon’s tongue’s small size makes it perfect for terrariums.
Earth star (Cryptanthus) almost looks too cool to be real! This no-fuss houseplant features strappy leaves that radiate from the plant’s center, giving it a star-like appearance. The leaves are edged in shades of red and pink, making it a colorful choice to grow all year long. It likes high light and low to average humidity. Water when the top inch or so of the potting mix dries.
Pilea ‘Dark Mystery’ shows off intriguing metallic-looking foliage that’s bronzy on the edges and silvery down the middle. Also a small houseplant, it grows well with dragon’s tongue and alternanthera, in dish gardens or terrariums. Grow it in low, medium, or high light and average to high humidity. Add water when the top half inch or so of the potting mix dries.
Purple Passion Plant
We love this guy because of his unique color and texture! Purple passion plant (Gynura) shows off dark green leaves covered in soft purple hairs that are iridescent, giving it a fantastic look and making it a plant you’ll love to touch. Purple passion plant thrives in bright light, average humidity, and watering when the top inch or so of the potting mix dries. As it matures, it grows something like a vine, making this houseplant an excellent choice for hanging baskets.