Fall is the ideal time to bring the outdoors in. A pop of natural color, shape, and texture can become a focal point of a room or can add a subtle, decorative touch. Even with shorter days and less sunlight, indoor house plants can thrive with the right placement and care.
Bri Roberts, owner of Marigold Flowers on Daniel Island, suggested begonias as an option for bringing a pop of seasonal hues indoors. She said, “Begonias are my go-to indoor plants lately! They’re easy-care, and thrive in low to mid-light.”
Roberts said that there are some varieties that offer a “wow” factor: “The polka-dot begonia (begonia maculata) lives up to its name with a quirky display of spots on each leaf! And the painted leaf begonia (begonia rex) is beautiful, with blended shades ranging from reds and burgundies to violet and fuchsia.”
She warned that plants in the begonia family should be kept away from curious pets, because ingestion of the plant or flower can cause adverse health effects in dogs.
Christopher Burtt, who serves as Clemson University’s area horticulture agent for Berkeley and Charleston counties, provided several suggestions for plants that are easily maintained indoors. First, he recommended the snake plant (sansevieria trifasciata). Abide-A-While, a nursery in Mount Pleasant, described the snake plant as
“one of the most carefree houseplants you can grow” and noted that it’s perfect for beginners because it only needs to be watered once a month and can tolerate low light. The plants, with dramatic foliage, bring interest to a tabletop or corner of a room.
Burtt said the croton (codiaeum variegatum) is another good option for the season. “Often used as an outdoor plant during the spring and summer, the colorful leaves are perfect for fall and do well indoors with plenty of light,” he noted.
The mammy croton, available at Abide-A-While, has corkscrew-like leaves in traditional fall colors. They are evergreen and can be planted indoors or out.
The next houseplant on Burtt’s go-to list is the pothos, which comes in a variety of colors. Delana Keller-Bugnacki, plant buyer at Hidden Ponds Nursery in Awendaw, said the pothos has low light and watering needs; it’s perfect for the novice horticulturist. The plant is a trailing vine with pointed, heart shaped leaves; it’s inexpensive and can even thrive in an office space under fluorescent lights.
Anthurium comes in a variety of colors and blooms almost all year, according to Burtt. Deep shades of red and soft cream blooms make it an ideal choice during the autumn months. Rubber trees, with darker colored leaves, are easy to grow and blend with fall décor. Birds of paradise pack a punch with beautiful tropical flowers that bloom in the fall.
Keller-Bugnacki added, “We have a great selection of houseplants; some are very easy care that require low-like and low watering needs such as zz plants, aglaonema and monstera. We also have many houseplants that take a little more attention but can be very rewarding and beautiful, like the ficus lyrata (fiddle leaf fig), peperomia, hoya and birds nest ferns.”
Abide-A-While has an extensive collection of air plants (tillandsia) that can be creatively hung on a piece of driftwood as a statement piece, placed in clear globes, or mixed and matched in an arrangement. According to the company, “Though these plants are commonly called air plants, they do need water to live. They naturally live in places with high humidity but in our air-conditioned, low-humidity homes they need to be soaked regularly.”
Place air plants in bright light and soak in tepid water for 10 minutes, once a week, then drain so no water is sitting in the middle of the plant.
If intense color and a dramatic play on patterns is the goal, a bromeliad is a fun choice. The hearty, tropical houseplant grows upright, can vary in size, and tolerate a wide range of temperatures and lighting. Whimsical stripes, spikes, neon-like blooms, and foliage that can be fleshy or thick, is reminiscent of a wild plant from a Dr. Seuss book. The bromeliad is a fascinating, show-stopper houseplant, available at Abide-A-While. Visit abideawhile.com for more plant varieties.