The Best Indoor Plants for Florida

Kate Mitchell

December 14, 2023

Indoor plants not only add beauty and a touch of nature to your home, but they also have numerous health benefits. From purifying the air to reducing stress, having indoor plants is a win-win. In this article, we will explore the best indoor plants that are well-suited for Florida's climate, so you can create a lush and vibrant indoor oasis.

Benefits of Indoor Plants

There are several reasons why indoor plants are beneficial for your home. A key benefit is that indoor plants help improve air quality because, like outdoor plants, they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. This can increase the oxygen content of the room.

Indoor plants can also help to regulate humidity levels. In a humid climate such as Florida's, some plants will absorb excess moisture in the air.

Of course, indoor plants can enhance the aesthetic appeal of a space, making it more visually pleasing and inviting. Adding a touch of nature to your indoor environment helps to create a tranquil atmosphere. Studies have even shown that being around plants can have a calming effect, reducing stress and improving your mood! 

Challenges of Indoor Plants

A collection of green plants in terracotta pots on a side table

It's not always easy to keep indoor plants happy and healthy. As with outdoor gardening, Florida's particular climate presents its own challenges. A humid environment can be problematic for indoor plants as it is conducive to the growth of mold or fungus, which can result in unhealthy plants.

Florida's hot summer weather can be a challenge when it comes to choosing suitable indoor plants. Extreme temperature fluctuations - for example, as air conditioning is turned on and off - can damage some plants.

Surprisingly, lack of sunlight can sometimes be an issue for our indoor plants here in the Sunshine State. We tend to use blinds and screens to avoid too much direct sunlight heating up our homes, but this can make it difficult to position indoor plants in a place where they can get enough sun.

The first step to overcoming these challenges is to choose plants that are suitable for the conditions in your location. Ensure proper ventilation and, if necessary, monitor humidity levels to reduce likelihood of mold. When you choose a plant, think carefully about where you will put it. It is possible to supplement with artificial light if your chosen location does not receive enough hours of sunlight.

Popular Houseplants in Florida

Spider Plant

Long, curving green leaves with a white stripe down the middle

Spider plants, or Chlorophytum, are characterized by their long, arching leaves that resemble spider legs. These popular indoor plants are easy to maintain and can tolerate a wide range of conditions.

Known for their air-purifying properties, spider plants have attractive foliage and also produce small white flowers. Mature spider plants produce 'spiderettes': mini plants which can be propagated in a small pot of moist soil or a glass of water to start a new spider plant.

Spider plants need low or indirect sunlight and thrive in slightly humid conditions. They need watering around once a week. If the leaf tips become dry and crispy, your spider plant likely needs more frequent watering; brown tips, on the other hand, point to overwatering.

Peace Lily

A potted plant with dark green leaves and a single white flower on a sunny windowsill

Peace lilies are large plants with lush, shiny leaves. Their white blooms stand up above the foliage like a miniature flag of peace. These delicate white flowers can last over a month. They usually appear in spring; some plants flower again during the fall.

Peace lilies can tolerate a range of light conditions. Plenty of indirect sunlight will encourage more beautiful blooms! Peace lilies also prefer high humidity. You can increase humidity by misting your plant every few days; another option is to place your houseplants in a group, where they can create a suitably humid microclimate.

Occasional lapses in watering will not harm a peace lily; they should be watered when the soil becomes dry. However, chemicals sometimes found in tap water can be harmful to this lovely tropical plant so, if possible, use rainwater or purified water for your watering routine. Peace lily is toxic and should be kept away from pets and small children.

Bamboo Palms

A tall house plant with feathery, frondy green leaves

The bamboo palm, so-called because it resembles bamboo, is a palm in the Aracaceae family. Depending on the variety, this slender, leafy plant can grow from three to eight feet tall. A mini bamboo palm tree, with its dark green, feathery leaves will bring natural beauty to any indoor space.

Its graceful appearance, coupled with ease of care, makes bamboo palm a popular choice as a house plant. Ideally, your bamboo palm needs to be placed in a location with plenty of indirect sunlight, at a temperature of 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Bamboo palm plants enjoy a humid environment; be sure to mist regularly if necessary.

Soil should be kept moist, but avoid overwatering. A watering schedule of one to three times a week should be ideal. If you like, you may prune your bamboo palm from time to time to keep it looking beautiful. This is an ideal plant if you have pets or young children as it is non-toxic.

African Violet

A small potted plant with dark green leaves and purple flowers

If you're looking for a burst of color, African violets, with their fuzzy, dark leaves and beautiful blooms, are an excellent choice. This small houseplant flowers almost all year round. It is named for its typical violet flowers, but these days a range of varieties is available with blossoms ranging from blue to purple to pink to white.

As a native of the tropical rainforests in East Africa, the African violet is used to the warm temperatures typically found indoors. A temperature of 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with plenty of bright but indirect sunlight, creates the ideal conditions for this tropical plant.

Although African violet needs a high level of humidity (around 80% is ideal), experts recommend not misting this beauty, as water standing on the foliage may result in leaf spotting. For the same reason, it's best not to water this plant from above. Humidity can be increased if necessary by grouping plants together or by placing the pot in a tray with water and gravel.

Pothos

A potted plant with large, variegated green and yellow leaves

Pothos, also known as devil's ivy, is a trailing vine with green, heart-shaped leaves. Pothos plants are known for being easy to care for; they can tolerate a wide range of moisture and light conditions. This attractive, fast-growing vine is happiest with a mixture of sun and shade; bright, indirect light suits it best when it is grown as a houseplant.

To avoid root rot, allow soil to dry out completely before watering again. When it starts to droop, water your pothos then. If left too long at this point, leaves may begin to shrivel and will eventually be lost.

If you're growing pothos in Florida, it's important to keep it in its container. Although pothos can thrive in Florida's climate, it is considered an invasive plant and needs to be kept under control. It's also important to note that pothos is toxic to pets and people.

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