Bringing the interest of houseplants indoors is a great way of adding some living features to your décor. You can shake up your interior decoration with these unusual houseplants that will add some fun texture and colour to your space.
1. Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’
First up is a succulent sub-shrub that is native to South Africa and Mozambique. The intriguing structure makes it look like a tiny tree with tubular shaped leaves. Not only do you get the fascinating foliage, but small star-shaped pink or white flowers can bloom in winter for a bit of festive magic.
Grow these in a bright and airy space with cactus compost. They will thrive when watered sparingly with a fortnightly feed with an all-purpose feed too. Although, this plant is toxic to cats and dogs, so keep it away from prying paws.
2. Platycerium bifurcatum (staghorn fern)
This is a magnificent plant that is sure to make a statement. Unsurprisingly, it gets its common name from its branching fronds that resemble stag horns. These plants are epiphytes so they don’t need soil to grow, meaning they can be attached to wooden boards or placed in a hanging basket with a small amount of compost.
Place in a bright spot that’s out of direct sunlight, where it is humid. When container growing, the organic matter can be dunked into water when it has dried out. In the warmer seasons, mist the circular leaves at the bottom of the plant several times a week.
3. Rhipsalis baccifera (mistletoe cactus)
The shaggy foliage of this plant will cascade wonderfully over the side of a container or hanging in a basket. Even though this plant is grown for its fun foliage, when mature it can produce mistletoe-like berries. It’s a low maintenance pick that will bring plenty of texture to your indoor living spaces.
As it is cactus, it doesn’t like being overwatered. Therefore, watering when the top of the compost is dry will be sufficient to keep the soil moist but not wet. A bright spot with indirect light is best, so it can be the perfect pick for your home or office.
4. Oxalis triangularis papilionacea (purple-leaf false shamrock)
The dark, dramatic colour of the purple-leaf false shamrock will contrast beautifully with your other green houseplants. Not only does this plant have a beautiful appearance but it also has a photonastic response so its leaves open in the day and close at night – when they stop doing this, you’ll know it’s the dormancy period.
Keep in a bright spot, out of direct sunlight and let the compost try out before watering because overwatering can lead to the bulb rotting. This low maintenance pick can even be stopped watering completely during dormant season.
5. Aechmea ‘Blue Rain’
This bromeliad will be a striking addition to your décor and it’s easy to care for too. The flower spike with pink, purple and red shades is long lasting and contrasts well with the rich, green, glossy leaves. As with other bromeliads, they are monocarpic, meaning they flower once and then the flowering rosette dies.
However, this plant can reflower if the centre is left to dry out before putting it in a plastic bag with an apple in. This works because the apple emits ethylene gas which stimulates further growth.
A bright position out of direct sunlight is ideal, because too much sunlight can discolour the leaves. This plant will take its water through the centre, so ensure it is always topped up with water, preferably rainwater or distilled water.
To give the plant the humidity it needs, it’s beneficial to stand the plant on a tray of pebbles and water, so when the water evaporates it creates a humid microclimate.
6. Sedum morganianum (donkey’s tail) ‘Burrito’
This stunning succulent adds a really fun texture with its plump leaves that are grey-green in colour. It grows well in hanging baskets where the foliage can cascade down over the side of the pot.
Although this plant is popular for its bubble-like leaves, they can flower indoors if temperatures fall in winter (not lower than 13˚C). The flowers are star-shaped pink or red, giving the plant a splash of colour.
A space with plenty of light in a sunny room, but again out of direct sunlight is where this will grow well. As it is a succulent, it’s best to let the soil dry out before watering well. It is even tolerant of a bit of neglect and will cope better with underwatering than overwatering. Pot up with cactus compost.
7. Beaucarnea recurvata (ponytail palm)
Next is a distinctive looking plant that has a thick brown stem that is swollen at the base as this is where water is stored. On top of the stem, curly green leaves flow with a graceful and elegant texture that will act as a soft but statement piece in your space.
Even though the plant is not toxic to people, cats or dogs, it’s ideal to keep cats clear of this plant as the trunk can look like a scratching post.
These slow growers will grow best in a bright space out of direct sunlight. Their ability to store water makes them great for easy going gardeners wanting a low maintenance houseplant, however they still need watering, so water the plant at least a few times a month to keep the compost moist.
8. Strelitzia reginae (bird of paradise)
Great for conservatories, this colourful plant with its tropical appearance will add an exotic feel to your interior. This majestic plant has gorgeous palm-like foliage and architectural flowers that will add some drama to your décor. The flowers are long-lasting and can be continuous from spring to autumn.
For the best results, keep this plant in a spot with bright but indirect sunlight, because too much sunlight can damage the flowers. Water to keep the soil moist during spring and summer but in winter, reduce watering to allow the soil to almost dry out before watering.
Preferring an average level of humidity, in winter it may be beneficial to mist the leaves of the plant to imitate rain.
9. Pilea peperomioides (Chinese money plant)
This modern looking houseplant is a cool and contemporary addition to a living space. They are great for beginners too as they are so easy to care for. The pad-like leaves look like they are floating, as they bob around. Another name for them is the pass-it-along plant.
This is because they are an easy plant to propagate, so you can share and spread the love by potting up cuttings.
A sunny spot is best, because insufficient light will make the leaves curl rather than staying in their distinctive flat coin shape. Water regularly, leaving the soil to dry out slightly before watering again. They are rapid growers, so they do need an occasional feed with a standard houseplant fertiliser around once a month.
10. Euphorbia milii (crown of thorns)
Lastly is a pretty plant with colourful bracts that look like small flowers. These bracts stick around all year with sufficient light, so you’ll have colour all year round. As its common name suggests, the plant has sharp thorns, so it’s ideal to wear gloves when handling.
They are sun-lovers, and more sun will lead to more intense flowering for a longer period of time. Also, growing as a succulent, the leaves and stems are fleshy, so they don’t require lots of watering. Water when the top inch of compost is dry.
Adding these houseplants to your home will add some interest and colour with their unusual foliage and flowers. So, bring some living décor into your home with these top plant picks.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
Leave A Comment