Plants

Looking for tropical plants that will do well in your indoor space year-round? There are too many options to count! On this page, we showcase some of the most common houseplants that we recommend for residents living in Toronto and Southern Ontario. If you’re curious about what will work in your space, we’ve listed some fun facts, care instructions, and whether or not they’re pet- friendly. Browse through our gallery and discover something for your home.

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    • ZZ Plant: Zamioculcas zamiifolia

    Image by Lauren Kolyn

    Originates: Eastern Africa

    Not pet-safe

    The ZZ plant thrives on neglect. It will do well in any lighting except direct sun. It is probably the houseplant that will tolerate the lowest light of them all. And it is said that if you water it more than you pay your rent it is too much.

    The glossy green leaves grow like a ladder up the thick stems. And the roots form potato-like tubers that store water. When it is time to repot you can put the whole plant in a larger pot or split it to make multiple plants.

    Be on the look out for other varieties of ZZ plant. The ZZ Zenzi is a dwarf variety. The ZZ raven has black leaves. And there is also a variegated ZZ plant that has yellow and green leaves.

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    • Monstera Deliciosa

    Originates: Southern Mexico to Central America

    Not pet-safe

    These beauties will really add a tropical vibe to any space. Their glossy leaves get classic splits and holes (fenestrations) and can reach diameters of over 2 feet! Standard green varieties are available in any plant store, but rarer varieties that have white or yellow variegation will be harder to find and will have a steep price tag.

    In the wild, Monsteras are epiphytic vines that grow up trees. With this in mind, consider adding a moss pole or trellis to your planter for it to climb. This will not only encourage it to mature and develop more leaf fenestrations, but will also hem in its large wingspan. Put it in bright-indirect light and water it when the top 2" of soil are dry.

    Monsteras propagate easily by stem cuttings. Put into water and move to soil when you see 2" of roots.

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    • Peperomia

    Originates: Central and South America

    Pet-safe

    Peperomias come in all shapes and sizes but can easily be identified by their cord-like flower spike. They grow on the forest floor and only receive filtered sunlight. As such do best in bright-indirect light to medium-low light. They prefer to dry out between waterings. A tip to make sure you never overwater it is to gently squeeze the sides of the leaves before watering. If the leaves are still stiff, don't water it yet.

    Peperomias can be propagated by splitting the plant or by leaf propagation. Stick a healthy leaf into damp soil and soon a little plant will emerge from the edge of it.

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    • Snake Plant: Formerly Sansevieria But Recently Reclassified As Dracaena

    Image by Lauren Kolyn

    Originates: Western Africa

    Not pet-safe.

    Reliable and low-maintenance, it is the ideal starter plant. It will thrive in medium to low light settings and only needs water once a month. This means they can go in a corner where other plants would not be able to survive.

    Snake plants come in a variety of colours from yellows, mint greens, coppers, greys, to a green so dark it's almost black! Some grow to chest-height while other dwarf varieties that stay very compact.

    Snake plants form colonies by sending up new plants from their tuberous roots. The growth of these roots can force pots to warp or even split. When this happens you can either pot up the whole shebang into a larger pot, or split the plant into several plants.

    You will find snake plants in the NASA Clean Air Study as they can help to clean indoor air. They release oxygen at nighttime and so make a great bedroom plant.

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    • Fiddle Leaf Fig: Ficus Lyrata

    Originates: western Africa

    Not pet-safe

    This beautiful tree will surely make a statement in your home. However sometimes that statement will be that your house is too dry. These trees have been the darling of houseplant trends in recent years despite their fussy behavior. They are quick to drop leaves in protest if their demands are not being met. But it can be a very rewarding plant if you can tick off all its boxes.

    They need bright-indirect light and water when the top 2" of soil are dry. They love humidity so keep it away from heat vents, AC returns, and cold drafts which strip away humidity. Wipe off the large leaves with a damp soft cloth to keep them glossy.

    From time to time you will need to prune them to control their shape and size. The cuttings can be water-propagated and transferred to soil when they have 2" of roots.

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    • Golden Pothos: Epiprenum Aureum

    Image by  @verdeshots

    Originates: The Society Islands of French Polynesia but now naturalized across every tropical environment. Considered to be an invasive species.

    Not pet-safe

    Could there be a more recognizable houseplant than the golden pothos? This vining beauty has been a staple for decades. Its yellow and green variegated leaves look beautiful trailing down from a hanging pot or trained up a trellis.

    Pothos are indestructible and will grow in any lighting except direct sun. Water it when the top 2" of water are dry to the touch.

    Propagates easily by stem cuttings. When your plant gets too long just give it a haircut and stick the clippings into some water. Pot into soil when you see 2" of roots.

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    • Calathea (Recently Reclassified As Goeppertia)

    Image by @mesplantes

    Originates: in Central and South America

    These gorgeous plants are part of the Marantaceae family which includes prayer plants. They get their name from their habit of putting their leaves directly upright at night like hands in prayer.

    There are dozens of different types of calatheas available in cultivation and they all take the same care. They need high humidity and soil that stays evenly moist like a wrung-out sponge. They prefer distilled water or rain water as the minerals in tap water can give them crispy tips. If you use tap water, be sure to leave it out for a few days first.

    Calatheas form colonies by sending new plants up from their roots. You can propagate them by splitting when repotting.

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    • Spider Plant: Chlorophytum Comosum

    Image by Lauren Kolyn

    Originates: tropical and southern Africa

    Pet-safe

    A classic houseplant! With its long green and white striped ribbon leaves and many baby plantlets at the end of long stems (stolons) and delicate white flowers It has been a hanging basket favourite for decades.

    Featured in The NASA Clean Air Study as a plant that can reduce indoor air pollution.

    They thrive in bright-indirect to medium-low lighting. Water them when the top 2" of soil are dry to the touch.

    Easy to propagate by placing the babies in water. Pot into soil when you see 2" of roots.

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