Essentials - 5 Indoor Plants for Adding Color and Texture

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“We are made for loving. If we don’t love, we will be like plants without water.” ―Desmond Tutu

The slightest hint of cooler air is infusing our mornings and evenings in Portland, causing us to consider our indoors and with that an expectation to create what we have been enjoying outside all summer. As we have mentioned before, our patios and backyards have become an extension of our homes as well as outdoor rooms. The same level of curation that we've put into our outdoor spaces should be carried back into the interiors. Equipped with advice from friends who are true indoor plant lovers, the local nurseries we love to recommend, and a list of our favorite plants, it is time to embrace fall, stock up on some new houseplants, and come back inside.

#1 Fiddle Leaf Fig - Ficus Lyrata

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A mainstay in our homes and surprisingly fast-growing, figs please us everyday with their towering form. They love watering weekly, and also prefer to have their leaves wiped with wet towels (much more often than we can get to it)—ultimately a very forgiving plant with huge rewards.  

#2 Virginia Blue Leaf Fern - Woodwardia Virginica

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A dusty blue color that does not resonate well in photos, this plant was first seen by us in a design magazine as a recommended alternative to the classic fern. Lovely on its own or bunched with other varieties, the shape of the leaves is softer and rounder than most ferns that we are accustomed to. 

#3 Chinese Money Plant - Pilea Peperomioides

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This plant is easily propagated indoors—if you find that it produces new shoots, you can cut them, soak them in water in an indirect sunlit window, and start new plants. The shape and color of the leaves look beautiful in a simple pot and placed alone, letting it be an independent form to ponder. Water regularly, minimal direct light. A newer, rarer find. 

#4 Prayer Plant - Maranta

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A beautiful plant for low light areas with the added magic of watching them open during the morning and close in the evening, creating a ritual of its own. Easy to grow, tolerant of less water, this is an all around favorite. 

#5 Monsterra - Monsterra Deliciosa

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Why this plant took so long to come into our homes, we wonder. With such a ubiquitous leaf pattern and the ability to cut these leaves and have them shine on their own in a simple glass of water, no wonder people have always coveted them. We walked into one of our favorite local plant stores recently to see one that was nearly five feet tall with a drama that was breathtaking to behold. We recommend having a spot in your home with plenty of room—they can grow quite large—or do not repot often and prune new growth. Indirect sun is best. 

Five of our Favorite Portland Plant Stores

Pistils - 3811 North Mississippi Avenue, Suite 1, Portland, OR 97227

Garden Fever - 3433 NE 24th Ave, Portland, OR 97212

Solabee's - 801 N KILLINGSWORTH ST. PORTLAND, OR 97217

Artemisia - 110 SE 28th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

Colibri - 1454 NE Prescott Street, Portland, Oregon, 9721