Love houseplants but don’t have the space for them? An indoor living wall lets you pack heaps of houseplants into your home and makes looking after them easy. If the injection of lush indoor greenery wasn’t enough, spending time around houseplants is proven to calm, uplift and restore us—they raise wellbeing while at the same time lowering stress and anxiety.
But with so much space to fill and so many houseplants to choose from, it can be daunting to know where to start. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our top 10 houseplants for your indoor living wall. Many of the plants marked with 🍃 have excellent air-purifying qualities and are able to improve air quality by filtering toxins from the air.
About: Peace lilies have it all. They’re adaptable, low-maintenance and great at oxygenating rooms. In fact they are able to clean the air more effectively than many air purifiers—that’s why they’re on NASA’s list of “Top Ten Household Air Cleaning Plants”. Find out why plants like this are essential for our indoor spaces.
Did you know? Peace lilies get their name from their white ‘flowers’, which rise above the lance-shaped leaves and resemble white flags of surrender. The white ‘hood’ that most people think of as the flower is called a spathe—a type of modified leaf that surrounds the flower’s spike.
To consider: Their absolute favourite spot is one that offers light and shade throughout the day. Avoid direct sunlight to prevent leaf damage.
About: A very popular houseplant often grown in hanging baskets, this species of evergreen fern forms clumps of narrow, ladder-like fronds and, despite its name, is native to tropical regions around the world. What makes the Boston fern stand out, other than its height, is the gracefully arching fronds—most other species have erect fronds. This mutation was supposedly discovered in a shipment of ferns to Boston from Philadelphia in 1894, hence the name.
Design ideas: Boston ferns add interesting shape and look gorgeous in their own right, but they can also be used to create a vibrant green backdrop for brighter, showier leaved plants to really help tie a living wall display together.
To consider: Like a lot of ferns, the Boston fern is used to living in partial shade, so is ideal for rooms without much light or even the bathroom—the humidity and steam will remind them of their swamp-dwelling ancestors!
About: Another houseplant that made NASA’s list of “Top Ten Household Air Cleaning Plants” is the easy-to-care-for ‘Silver Queen’. Aside from improving air quality by filtering toxins from the surrounding environment, ‘Silver Queen’ has silver, spear-shaped leaves splashed with dark green, which makes it a great choice for adding subtle colour and shape to any indoor living wall display. This gives you the option of using it either as a feature or ‘spotlight’ plant or displaying it with a complimentary mix of other Chinese evergreens.
Why you’ll love it: ‘Silver Queen’ is generally disease free and requires no pruning—it’s the lowest of low maintenance houseplants!
About: If you’re looking for a houseplant to give some added height and depth to your indoor living wall display, then the parlour palm is the houseplant for you. The bright green leaves stand on slender, arching stems and each leaf is pinnate, meaning they have feather-like leaflets spreading out from both sides of the stem. If you’re able to offer your parlour palm sufficient light, you will be rewarded once it reaches maturity with small yellow flowers from spring to autumn.
Why you’ll love it: The parlour palm makes for a low-maintenance roommate—it demands little light, water, temperature and humidity—but quietly offers great air-purifying qualities.
Design ideas: Much like the Boston fern, the parlour palm can be used to create a vibrant green backdrop and to add height and volume to your display.
About: This tufted evergreen fern is distinctive in appearance with its elegant, slender black stems and fans of feather-light fronds. The fronds have the ability to shed water without becoming wet—hence its genus name (Adiantum)—and benefit from regular misting. Originally from tropical regions, particularly on rock walls around waterfalls, maidenhair ferns are therefore well-suited to the humidity of bathrooms and kitchens.
To consider: The maidenhair fern is a tad high-maintenance. In order to keep yours happy, situate your living wall display in a humid location (or mist regularly) that offers bright but not harsh sunlight. Remove any damaged fronds to encourage growth and maintain the plant’s general health.
About: The prayer plant has some of the most striking foliage in the plant kingdom: hot pink veins shooting across oval green leaves. But don’t be fooled by the fancy foliage. The prayer plant’s no-fuss personality makes it a great choice for first-time plant parents and suspected plant-killers alike. It’s also an evergreen, so you can enjoy the gorgeous foliage throughout the year.
Why you’ll love it: Here are three reasons: 1) it’s easy to look after 2) it gives your indoor living wall display a touch of the Brazilian tropical forests and 3) it loves life in the trough, growing wide and low from its position.
Fun Fact: The plant is named after its leaves, which lie flat during the day and fold upwards at night, as if in prayer for vespers (evening prayer).
About: A relative of the prayer plant, calatheas come from the tropical Americas and are a popular houseplant thanks to their striking foliage—the leaves are often highly decorative and intricately patterned, in various shades of green, while the undersides are often purple. These broad leaves mean they thrive in indoor spaces with low light—the reason the leaves are broad is to absorb as much light as they can get. If you were to find these out in nature, it would be in the jungle at the base of a tree.
Fun Fact: In the wild, the young leaves and bracts of calatheas can retain pools of water (otherwise known as phytotelmata) that provide habitat for many invertebrates.
About: If you’re looking to add some colour to your living wall display, then the bold, bonfire blaze of Anthurium Red is a great choice. Anthurium plants will look beautiful for a long time (we’re talking many years) in bright, indirect light and warm temperatures. It helps to keep them away from draughts, windowsills flooded in sunlight and spots close to hot radiators.
Why you’ll love them: They are very easy to look after, need little attention and look great in groups. New ‘flowers’ are produced throughout the year. This usually happens in cycles of a few months of flowering, followed by a few without, then back to a few with flowering. (Fun Fact: the waxy heart-shaped ‘flowers’ are called spates and the yellow spikes are called spandex.)
Red not your colour? Anthuriums come in a variety of colours, including white, orange, green, black, yellow, brown, blue, pink and purple.
About: Also known as tradescantia, the silver inch plant is a trailing evergreen houseplant with distinctive zebra-patterned foliage—green and silver banded leaves with purple undersides. A native of Mexico and Central America, the silver inch plant is easy to care for, fast-growing and thrives in medium to bright lighting conditions. While it will consider humidity as a bonus, it will tolerate normal conditions.
Design options: The silver inch plant is a versatile houseplant that offers multiple design options. You can keep it well pruned, like a dense rosette, or allow the leaves to trail out and over the sides of the PlantBox for a more wild, overgrown look.
About: The sharp variegated green and arrowhead shape of the leaves have made the arrowhead plant a popular choice of houseplant. It is a brightly coloured, bushy climber but can also be pruned back for a more condensed appearance. Direct sunlight may scorch the leaves, so bright, indirect sunlight and some shade is what this South American native will love best.
To Consider: The arrowhead plant is poisonous to humans, cats and dogs. Ensure it is kept out of reach of children and pets.
Fun Fact: Give your arrowhead plant plenty of bright indirect light to encourage it to stay bright. If given too much shade, the leaves will fade.
We understand that traditional planting isn’t always practical. That’s where PlantBox comes in: The stackable, eco-friendly vertical garden that packs large amounts of plants into the smallest of spaces. PlantBox makes caring for your vertical garden easy—go weeks between watering and know exactly when and how much to top up—and helps plants to thrive, whether indoors or outdoors.
A RHS Chelsea Sustainable Garden Product of the Year 2021 Finalist, PlantBox is made from 100% recycled materials and is designed to best fit your home. 1% of PlantBox sales is pledged to 1% For The Planet, a global organisation that supports non-profits who are tackling our most pressing environmental issues. Join the growing revolution for a greener future! Find out more.