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Bringing the Outdoors In: The Beauty and Benefits of Indoor Plants

I am a huge believer in the power of plants in our interiors, both aesthetically and health-wise (I wrote a blog post about Biophilia here). Today I am speaking with Bill Phillips of Green Thumbs of Texas to get some answers about plants for your home. Let's dive in!

TSL: What are your top 5 interior plant recommendations that are easy to care for?

Bill: The five most popular plants that we use on an interior application are 1. Pothos golden, 2. Jade, 3. Marble queen

4. Sanseveria laurenthia (Snake Plant) and 5. Sanseveria zeylanica (another type of snake plant).

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia (ZZ plant),is also a low maintenance , Great interior plant. Dracaena mass cane  Florida grown is another plant that we use often. Dracaena Lisa , Hawaiian grown is also an excellent interior plant.. we only use about a total of 50 to 60  different plants for interior settings and they are grown for the interior scape industry. The other plants,  will not live as long in an interior setting,  so we typically steer away from those.

TSL: Out of the ones you recommend, do any of them work well in the darker rooms of a home? If not, are there any plants that can still thrive in rooms without a lot of natural light?

Bill: The Sanseveria And the ZZ plants do well in very low light areas.  typically the darker and more  dark green that the plant has on the leaf surface , the lower the light requirements for that particular plant. The more variation that a plant displays in the leaf , (which is the yellow color)  those plants would have higher light requirements. 

TSL: Is there a good basic maintenance routine that you recommend for keeping plants happy and healthy? (How often to water as I know a lot of people over-water? What other maintenance is suggested?)

Bill: We have put most all of our accounts on biweekly service, me personally, I carry a flashlight and water enough to see water come through the bottom of the pot holes into the saucer. With my fingers I will make a gap between the grow pot and the decorative container and look down into the bottom of the saucer , to see if there is water coming through the bottom , once I see water coming through the bottom of that saucer, I will stop pouring water on the plant.  Plants typically like to be dried out between waterings. They do not like to be waterlogged , the roots need oxygen, so therefore, you must allow the soil to dry out, almost completely, and then apply another  drenching of water . 

TSL: Anything else you would like to share with us?

Bill: Regarding watering, one of the most important things to keep in mind,  the closer the plant is near a window,( especially eastern and western window placement)  the more water it will need .The  transpiration of a plant increases with more light and higher temperatures. Consequently,  the transpiration rate lowers  with colder temperatures and lower light. Also, if you can get some of the larger floor plants that are grown in lava rock (out of Hawaii) they are much more forgiving on watering and will not be as temperamental for the beginner. The Hawaiian growing plants are grown in lava rock. Their lava rock is very porous and allows the root system to dry completely allowing for optimum photosynthesis of the plant!! 

Thank you Bill for sharing your expertise!

If you're wondering how to integrate plants into your space, let's set up a personalized interior design consultation to discuss your needs. Please contact me at or view my services online.

Learn more tips in my free Interior Design ebook here 

Always look for the Silver Lining


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