Itu House, Brazil by STUDIO DLUX

You don’t need to be a garden expert to keep these houseplants alive. Low maintenance and beginner-friendly, these plants only require a little water from time to time. So go ahead and add some fresh greenery to your home. These beauties will thrive in your home regardless of your skill level.

Jacob Fox

Peperomias are a diverse group of small, easy-care houseplants with waxy and often highly textured leaves. Some of our favorite varieties include ripple peperomia, watermelon peperomia, baby rubber plant, and silverleaf peperomia. Its waxy, colorful foliage adds a splash of color in any room without taking up a lot of space.

Name: Peperomia spp.

Growing Conditions: Low to medium light; 60-75°F; allow the soil surface to dry between waterings

Size: To 1 foot tall and wide

This plant is poisonous if eaten or chewed on by dogs or cats.

The Itu house began to be designed when a small slot in the city that bears the name of the house was found. In a space with few houses nearby, the slot took advantage of a large slope that allowed a complete view of the horizon. After some time, the slot began to turn into a project and the project began to turn into construction. The house was designed to be a summer house that could bring people together to enjoy these good times. It was premised on a quick construction and at the same time economical in terms of materials. In addition, one of the main points of the house was the permeability of the incredible view and the best way to ventilate it, since Itu is usually quite hot and dry.

It all starts on the ground floor of the house, which invites you to enter through an external hall with a large ipê tree on your arrival. Inside the ground floor there is a large open space that includes the living room, dining room and kitchen, forming a sequence designed for day living.

The fluidity of the ground floor helps in the two important factors: on its back, a large set of glass doors allows you to always enjoy the view of the horizon; and also when open, it complements the cross ventilation that passes through the whole house, thanks to the wall of hollow elements of the facade.

The ground floor environment is surrounded by a large balcony whose side gives access to the land’s descent through the garden, reaching the lower floor. This is composed of a barbecue area that serves the outdoor area of the garden and swimming pool. In addition, a large gap below the ground floor was used as the technical area of the house: the water tanks that capture rainwater and the conventional ones are organized in this environment.

Upstairs, the bedrooms and bathrooms are divided into a configuration that also privileges its views. All the environments of the house value simplicity in the materials and furniture to facilitate the living of a house that is not always with guests. The house was designed in a different dynamic than conventional, first it was thought of the many moments that could be lived and after that the best way to translate them into architecture and interiors for your guests.

‘Ellen Danica,’ the variety of grape ivy shown here is also called oakleaf ivy because its leaves are more deeply cut than other types of grape ivy. No matter which variety you choose, the shiny, deep green leaves will add an interesting texture to a room. Its tendrils will easily cling to a trellis or a stake for a vertical display. Even though it’s a vine, grape ivy has more of a mounding habit so it’s a perfect choice for a lush, tidy-looking indoor hanging basket.

Name: Cissus rhombifolia

Growing Conditions: Medium light; 65-80°F; keep evenly moist

Size: To 6 feet as a vine

Dean Schoeppner

Outdoors, a new tree can be a big investment, but easy indoor trees can make affordable yet eye-catching houseplants for beginners. The secret to keeping Norfolk Island pine healthy indoors is to give it bright but indirect light. In low light, the lower branches tend to turn brown and fall off. This plant’s soft texture adds a cozy, woodsy feeling to any room. It is especially cute when decorated for Christmas.

Name: Araucaria heterophylla

Growing Conditions: Bright light; 60-75°F; allow the soil surface to dry between waterings

Size: To 10 feet tall and 5 feet wide

Jacob Fox

This plant’s leaves feature various shades of silver, gray, green, and even pink and red, making Chinese evergreen an excellent choice for brightening up low-light areas of your home. You’ll often see them in a shopping mall or airport plantings because they are so adaptable and durable, yet attractive.

Name: Aglaonema commutatum

Growing Conditions: Low to medium light; 60-75°F; keep evenly moist

Size: To 3 feet tall and wide

All parts of this plant are poisonous and can cause severe irritation of the lips, tongue, and throat if eaten or chewed by pets or children.

Jacob Fox

Several closely related species share the name of dieffenbachia; they’ve all got canelike stems and lush green foliage variegated in white or cream. Its large, green-and-white leaves add a tropical touch to any room of your home. One of the plant’s common names, dumb cane, refers to the effect of the sap if eaten. It can irritate the mouth and throat enough to make it difficult to speak.

Name: Dieffenbachia spp.

Growing Conditions: Low to medium light; 60-80°F; keep evenly moist

Size: To 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide

All parts of this plant are poisonous and can cause severe irritation of the lips, tongue, and throat if eaten or chewed.

Jacob Fox

This easy succulent plant seems almost indestructible. Snake plant tolerates low light and little water while still maintaining their good looks. You can find several different varieties with different leaf shapes and patterns like the ones shown here. Any snake plant adds unbeatable texture and strong vertical lines with its sword-shaped leaves.

Name: Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’

Growing Conditions: Low to bright light; 60-85°F; allow the soil surface to dry between watering

Size: To 4 feet tall and wide

Jacob Fox

A heart-leaf philodendron is just plain adorable with its glossy, heart-shape foliage and draping vines. Plus, it adapts well to low-light spots and doesn’t mind if you forget to water it a time or two. Its trailing stems look especially pretty draping down from a shelf or hanging basket.

Name: Philodendron hederaceum oxycardium

Growing Conditions: Low to bright light; 60-80°F; allow the soil surface to dry between waterings

Size: Trailing or climbing to 8 feet or more

All parts of this plant are poisonous and can cause severe irritation of the lips, tongue, and throat if eaten or chewed.

Denny Schrock

One of the most easily recognized houseplants, spider plants have been gracing our homes for decades and it’s easy to see why. These undemanding beauties send out straplike, arching leaves that give it a jaunty, spidery look. Once the plants get big enough, they start producing baby plants on the ends of long stems that are a cinch to root in pots of their own. Some have plain green leaves while other varieties are variegated with cream or white stripes.

Name: Chlorophytum comosum ‘Vittatum’

Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light; 60-75°F; keep the soil evenly moist

Size: To 1 foot tall and 2 feet wide

Jason Donnelly

Sometimes called eternity plant because it lasts so long, ZZ plant will even grow in low light and can go weeks without water. The fun nickname aside, you’ll love this plant for its gently arching stems lined on either side with deep green, smooth leaves. The thick stems and leaves are so sturdy that you might even think they’re plastic. Look for a variety called ‘Raven’ that has almost black leaves, sure to add a moody atmosphere to any room.

Name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia

Growing Conditions: Low to bright light; 60-75°F; allow the soil to dry between waterings

Size: 2-3 feet tall and wide

This plant is poisonous if eaten or chewed.

Jacob Fox

Arrowhead vine gets its name from the triangular shape of its green leaves. You can find varieties with variegated leaves or even bronzy-green with pink tones. Young plants form a mound about a foot high, but stems begin to vine as they mature, so you can grow them upright if you give them support or let them trail in a hanging basket. The interesting shape of the leaves and trailing stems give any room a tropical feel.

Name: Syngonium podophyllum (though you might see it sold as Nepthytis)

Growing Conditions: Low to medium light; 60-75°F; keep evenly moist

Size: To 3 feet tall and wide

All parts of this plant can cause irritation of the lips, tongue, and throat if eaten or chewed.

Kindra Clineff

Wax plant is a species of hoya that has trailing, slender stems lined with small, waxy green leaves. It also will bloom occasionally, producing small clusters of fragrant pink flowers. Golden wax plant (pictured) adds creamy variegation to the plant’s appeal. It’s one of the most powerfully fragrant indoor blooming plants you can grow, plus it needs very little water.

Name: Hoya carnosa

Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light; 55-75°F; allow the soil surface to dry between waterings

Size: Can climb or trail to 4 feet or more

Marty Baldwin

A classic houseplant, the rubber tree gets its name from the sticky, milky sap it exudes from cuts. It can eventually grow into a large tree, but you can easily keep it shorter by pruning back long stems, causing it to branch into a multi-stemmed shrub. Its large, dark green, shiny leaves always make a statement, especially on a good-size plant, and you can find variegated varieties that add interesting leaf patterns to the mix.

Name: Ficus elastica

Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light; 60-80°F; allow the soil surface to dry between waterings

Size: To 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide

The milky white sap may cause irritation to people with sensitive skin.

Marty Baldwin

This houseplant really lives up to its name: Cast-iron plant seems to take just about anything you can dish out. It can withstand neglect and tolerate low light, low humidity, and a wide range of temperatures. Look for a plant that’s large enough for the space you want it to fill, because this easy-care houseplant grows slowly. You can also find some varieties that have white or yellow variegation on their leaves.

Name: Aspidistra elatior

Growing Conditions: Low light; 45-85°F; keep evenly moist during active growth, barely moist in fall and winter

Size: To 2 feet tall and wide

Jacob Fox

The wide, straplike, arching leaves of the corn plant resemble the leaves of its namesake, corn. Yet, this houseplant belongs to the diverse dracaena family of tropical plants. Some corn plants have plain green leaves, but some varieties like ‘Warneckii’ offer white, cream, gold, or chartreuse stripes on their foliage. They tolerate low light, but produce better color in medium to bright light. It makes a substantial floor plant with its glossy foliage and upright stems.

Name: Dracaena deremensis

Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light; 65-75°F; allow the soil surface to dry between waterings

Size: To 10 feet tall and 3 feet wide

This plant is poisonous if eaten or chewed on by dogs.

Jacob Fox

English ivy has leathery leaves and vigorous vining stems that have made it popular as an outdoor groundcover, but unfortunately it has become invasive in some regions. It can be an easy-care houseplant, too, and you’ll be better able to keep it contained that way. It does best in bright but indirect light, though it will do fine in low light as well. It works well wherever you need a draping plant or it easily can be encouraged to climb a support if you want a more upright look.

Name: Hedera helix

Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light; 55-70°F; keep evenly moist

Size: Climbs or trails to 6 feet or more

All parts of this plant are poisonous if eaten or chewed.

Marty Baldwin

If remembering to watering is a struggle, jade plant may be just what you need. This slow grower can survive for weeks and even months without water because it stores what it needs in its fleshy stems and leaves. So if you can keep a cactus alive, you can grow a jade plant. As it grows, the thick stems branch like a small shrub or tree, which adds fun contrast when grown alongside other succulents with squat shapes.

Name: Crassula ovata

Growing Conditions: Bright light; 65-75°F, 55°F in winter; keep moderately dry

Size: To 6 feet tall and 3 feet tall

Jacob Fox

Despite its common name, ponytail palm is a succulent rather than a true palm. This easy houseplant has graceful, arching leaves and a thick trunk that give it a striking, treelike appearance. Because the trunk actually stores moisture, ponytail palm can survive for long periods without watering (perfect for forgetful plant parents).

Name: Beaucarnea recurvata

Growing Conditions: Bright light; 65-75°F, 50-55°F in winter; allow the soil to dry between waterings

Size: To 10 feet tall and 4 feet wide

Dean Schoeppner

Also called umbrella tree, this easy-to-grow houseplant has glossy foliage with leaflets that radiate out from a central point, just like an umbrella’s ribs. A close relative, dwarf schefflera (Schefflera arboricola) has smaller, thicker leaflets and shorter stems. Look for variegated varieties for even more interesting leaves.

Name: Schefflera actinophylla

Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light; 60-75°F; keep the soil evenly moist

Size: To 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide

Denny Schrock

Calathea or prayer plant will draw attention no matter where you place it, thanks to its boldly striped leaves. There are plenty of varieties to choose from, some with rose, white, or yellow leaves. Each one also has a unique leaf pattern of colorful spots or blotches. This easy houseplant seems to light up even the dimmest corner with its patterned foliage.

Name: Calathea concinna

Growing Conditions: Low light; water every two to seven days; 65-75°F; avoid direct sunlight.

Size: 6-24 inches tall

Mike Jensen

The longtime darling of interior designers, weeping fig produces tons of shiny green, teardrop-shape leaves on slender branches. You can find braided forms, too, featuring three or more of these small trees woven together to form one spectacular trunk. Unlike the fiddle leaf fig, this indoor tree isn’t fussy about water and humidity.

Name: Ficus benjamina

Growing Conditions: Bright indirect light; allow the soil to dry out between waterings; 60-75°F; keep away from cold drafts

Size: 4-15 feet tall indoors

Plants might drop leaves if moved to a different location, but will recover with time.

Dean Schoeppner

One look at columnea’s bright orange blooms, and you’ll know why its common name is goldfish plant. You’ll usually start to see flowers appearing in the spring and summer, but even when it’s not in bloom, this plant’s glossy, dark green foliage is beautiful all on its own. This easy houseplant for beginners has trailing branches that work well in hanging baskets.

Name: Columnea gloriosa

Growing Conditions: Bright, indirect light; allow the soil to dry out between waterings; 60-75°F.

Size: 18-24 inches long; pinch occasionally to keep the plant compact

Jacob Fox

This low-maintenance houseplant is commonly called devil’s ivy or pothos. It can be a godsend for those who struggle to keep houseplants alive. It’s not fussy about how much light it gets, but yes, it does need some. And if you forget to water it for a while, it will quickly rebound when you do give it a drink. There are plain green ones as well as variegated varieties. Devil’s ivy looks lovely trailing out of a hanging basket, climbing up a pole or other structure, or just being left to meander over a tabletop or mantel.

Name: Epipremnum aureum

Growing Conditions: Low to bright light; 60-75°F; keep the soil moderately dry

Size: Trailing plant 8 feet long

All parts of this plant are poisonous and can cause severe irritation of the lips, tongue, and throat if eaten or chewed.

Olga Volodina/Getty Images

There aren’t many houseplants, let alone succulent ones, that can top kalanchoe’s floral show. You may have encountered it before in grocery stores, laden with bright red, pink, yellow, or orange flowers. Kalanchoe usually blooms in winter and early spring for several weeks. Other than an occasional soaking with water, you won’t have to do much else for this succulent to enjoy its colorful show.

Name: Kalanchoe

Growing Conditions: Bright indirect light; allow the soil to dry out between waterings; 60-75°F

Size: 1 foot tall

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