There are several broad categories of houseplants that become easy to identify after you learn a few basics. You could study botany for years and not be able to identify every one of the different species but you can learn to identify the plants by the family they belong to.
The Philodendronsâ€”there are over 500 different kinds of philodendron plants. Most of the philodendrons make great houseplants because they are so hearty. They can go a long time between watering, and they love to be root bound. This means that if you aren’t that keen on doing a lot of repotting and watering, the philodendron might be the right kind of plant for you. To identify the philodendron you should know that most of them are climbing plants with big, rich green leaves. The leaves come in various shapes but one of the most common shapes is the heart shaped leaf, the other shape is palm shaped. No matter what size or shape the leaf is, the venation of all philodendron is pinnate, meaning that the leaves have one large vein running down the center and smaller veins branching out from that large vein.
The Fernsâ€”ferns are beautiful and delicate looking plants that feature complex leaves. This means that the leaves are actually made up of smaller leaves that branch off from the main stem. New leaves begin as a tightly spiraled “fiddle head” and as the plant grows, the fiddleheads uncurl. Ferns probably have the most easy to identify leaves of all houseplants due to their complex structure. If you are looking at a plant that has a distinctly “feathery” look to it, you are probably looking at a fern. Although ferns look delicate, some of the varieties are easy to care for indoors. For example, the maiden-hair fern, which features black stems, does well in a moist environment such as a bathroom. Boston ferns are the full and lush plant that you often see hanging in baskets. These plants are also fairly hardy and easy to grow.
The Spider Plantsâ€”Spider plants might be the most common of all houseplants and probably because of the combination of being easy to grow and constantly reproducing. Spider plants have long narrow leaves that are dark green on the outside and light green to white in the centers. There are some varieties of spider plants that reverse the color scheme with the lighter color on the outside and the dark green in the center.
The plants grow long shoots from which little plants or baby plants grow. By simply cutting off one of these little plants and putting the stem in water, the plant will begin to flourish on its own. One interesting feature about spider plants is that the more root bound they are, the more babies they produce.
Rubber plantsâ€”The rubber plants, also known as the ficus or rubber tree plants, are one of the oldest plants used as a houseplant. The reason that the plant is called a rubber plant is because when the leaves or the stem is damaged, the goo that bleeds out can be used to make rubber. The rubber plants are fairly easy to identify. Most feature a single stalk or stem that is coarsely textured. From the stem grows large, dark green leaves that have a leathery appearance and feel somewhat rubbery to the touch. The leaves alternate, with only one leaf growing out of each node on the stem; leaves also feature pinnate venation with one main vein running the length of the leaf and smaller veins branching out from the main vein. These plants are easy to grow in a variety of conditions.