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Foliage Plants -- Bringing Your Garden Indoors

by Sarah Clark, All About Lawns Columnist

Don't limit your enjoyment of nature to your lawn. Bring the beauty of the outdoors into your home with low maintenance foliage garden plants.

Foliage plants look great year round and many of them need very little light to thrive. Here are some of the most popular indoor garden plants and advice on how to care for them.
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Palm Trees and Plants

Palms are most popular in warmer, more humid climates. Known by their long thin branches that sprout verdant fan-shaped leaves, many varieties of palms are large enough to fill a large atrium-style room or poolside garden. A light-filled atrium should provide enough light needed for the light-craving Cataractarum Palm or an Areca Palm. If the room is less sunny, place a Kentia Palm; it can thrive six to ten feet away from direct sunlight.

Gardening Tips for Palms

Palms are generally easy to care for. However, guard against over watering as water that fails to drain through the soil can cause the root to rot. To this end, you'll also need to empty a palm's saucer about an hour after watering to prevent water damage to the plant.


Ferns are probably the most ubiquitous indoor garden plant, possibly because they are easy to care for and are relatively inexpensive. Kimberley Queen Ferns and the Bird's News Fern are often used to brighten a corner while the more dainty Button Fern or Hare's Foot Fern might be situated atop a counter or breakfast table. They are also popular plants to hang from baskets; those that work best may include the Boston Fern, Macho Fern, or the Dallas Fern.

Gardening Tips for Ferns

What makes ferns so easy to care for is their ability to thrive in very little light. Those with sturdy leaf-like fronds will typically be most resilient. Ferns with wispier fronds, however, will likely need some direct light and occasional misting unless you live in a humid environment.

If you think you don't have time to take care of indoor plants, but still want to enjoy all their benefits, talk to your lawn care provider about adding house plant maintenance to your list of services. A cleaning service may also offer house plant care, though you may want to speak to their references to make sure they truly have a green thumb.

About the Author
Sarah Clark is a freelance writer based in the Washington metro area.

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