If you’re looking for a colorful, blooming option that’s also pet-friendly, then African Violet (Saintpaulia ionantha) is a great option. These low-growing, small plants can bloom several times a year and come in a dazzling variety of colors and leaf shapes. Similar to orchids, African violets have a reputation for being difficult to grow, but with proper care, these slow-growing houseplants can become one of your best centerpieces. They prefer to grow in well-draining, but consistently moist soil in partial sunlight (bright, indirect light).
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata), commonly known as a Sword Fern is a popular fern species native to tropical areas around the globe. When grown indoors, Boston Ferns are added as accents to spaces giving them a classic 70’s look.
They grow sword-shaped, blue-green foliage sprouting tiny leaflets and growing erect arching only as fronds grow larger. These ferns are also slow growers, so you’ll want to invest into a large fern if you’re looking to fill a large space.
Bromeliads are exciting choices due to their variety of bold colors and tropical appearance. They are low-maintenance plants that add texture and character to a living space. Although most don’t know this, air plants and pineapple plants belong to the bromeliad family! Bromeliads are prized for their thick, glossy foliage stemming from a central rosette.
As bromeliads mature, they produce flowers with a gorgeous variety of dramatic colors from pink, red, to yellow. They prefer consistently moist soil and bright indirect light to thrive.
Money Tree (Pachira aquatica) is grown for it’s unique look and good fortune meaning in feng shui. They are typically sold with braided trunks and produce glossy, evergreen, hand shaped leaves. They can also be grown as bonsais and are generally low maintenance, adapting to most light, soil, and water conditions. They prefer to grow in bright indirect sunlight and need consistently moist soil.
Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata, Nolina recurvata) is not a true palm, although it looks like one. Ponytail palm is actually a succulent meaning its drought tolerant unlike other types of palms like Cat Palm or Parlor palm. Ponytail palm thrives best in full sun and has low watering needs.
If you’d like to add a tropical feel to your space while maintaining a pet-safe environment, then look no further than the Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens). Native to Madagascar, Areca Palms grow in tall, clumping palms reminiscent of bamboo.
When grown outdoors, they can be used as privacy screens while when grown indoors, they make for a great option for well-lit to moderately lit corners or to line hallways or create separators in large spaces.
They are grown best in well-draining soil and thrive in moderate to bright indirect light. These palms are low maintenance and won’t require much trimming or pruning, although you may want to remove a dying frond every once in a while.
Bird’s Nest Fern
Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) is an easy-care fern growing a series of spoon-shaped, green fronds that arise from a natural rosette. These ferns can grow up to 5 feet long making mature birds nest ferns a great option to fill space and corners. However, keep in mind that this variety is slow growing.
They prefer to grow in moderate sunlight to shade making them a great low-light option. Grow them in loamy, well-draining soil in a pot with drainage holes. If you live in USDA zones 11-12, you can grow them outdoors on your patio year-round.
Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) is a great alternative to the Areca Palm for adding a tropical feel to your room. This indoor palm grows in attractive clumps with lightly textured trunks. Their fronds are a popular choice in flower arrangements and wreaths because their leaves can survive for over a month after being cut from the plant.
They are, however, slow growers taking a couple of years to reach their full maturity of anywhere between 3-6 feet tall indoors. They prefer to grow in bright, indirect light in well-draining soil.
Polka Dot Plant
Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) is a beautiful foliage houseplant with variegated leaves that make it stand out from most other plants. Popular varieties of this plant feature green leave with mottled pink or white spots. Like other plants on this list, Polka dot plants are easy to grow and have a moderate growth rate.
They are compact plants even at maturity making them solid options for shelves, office tables, hanging baskets, terrariums, or coffee tables. They thrive best in moderate sun exposure when planted in well-drained soil.
Chinese Money Plant
Chinese Money Plant (Pilea peperomioides) is one of the most popular houseplants and is commonly referred to as friendship plant or UFO plant. Pileas are grown for their unique foliage. UFO plant produces coin-shaped foliage off of a main, woody-looking stem. They prefer to grow in bright, indirect light and in well-draining soil. Make sure to plant them in containers with drainage holes.
Rattlesnake plant (Goeppertia insignis) is also primarily grown for its distinct foliage. As the plant grows, its leaves create a wavy pattern along the edges with variegated shades of greens. They also have eye-catching under foliage with shades of deep purple-red. These plants are compact at maturity growing up to 1.5-2 feet tall. Rattlesnake plants can be finicky because they require consistently moist soil. These plants prefer to grow in moderate sunlight but can tolerate some shade.
Staghorn Ferns are a great option for pet owners and they add a unique look due to their deer or elk-like appearance. Since Staghorn Ferns are epiphytic, they can be grown atop of mediums such as wood blocks making them unique interior design decorations.
They can be difficult to grow because they require frequent watering, especially during the summer months. They prefer to grow in indirect sunlight, but can also tolerate partial shade.