Tradescantia fluminensis can be found growing in the wild in the region that stretches from South Eastern and Southern Brazil through to North Argentina, where the plants grow primarily in the wet tropical biome. Common names for Tradescantia fluminensis ‘Viridis’ include Spiderwort and Inch Plant, but there are many other common names. These plants have sweet mid to dark green coloured foliage, whilst the undersides of the leaves are paler in colour and display a slightly silvery tint.
Tradescantia (Continental Group) ‘White Giant’ is a hybrid Tradescantia cultivar with variegated leaves that are striped with attractive fresh-green and white colours. Tradescantia ‘White Giant’ produces white flowers in summertime; the blooms are pretty short-lived.
When I was a child, I passionately and intensely despised variegated plants. Over the years, I’ve learnt to love some variegated houseplants; however, I don’t love all of them!
Cyanotis somaliensis ‘Kitten Ears’ is from Northern Somalia where it grows in the desert biome and dry shrub-land biomes. These plants have a bushy, trailing habit and long, lance-shaped leaves that have a fine covering of long hairs that look very attractive, especially when viewed by certain angles in the sunlight.
This plant makes a superb houseplant for a light and bright room.
I am such a fan of Tradescantia sillamontana, I adore this Tradescantia’s woolly foliage! If I was designing a house for a houseplant flower fairy, the blankets on the fairies’ beds would be made from cosy Tradescantia sillamontana leaves and where these thick leaves have a lovely curve and depth to them – they would make the perfect cot for a flower fairy baby.
Goeppertia orbifolia is a tender plant that produces very handsome, striped leaves with alternate markings in shades of silver and green. These striking plants thrive in a warm and humid environment and make wonderful houseplants in areas that enjoy bright but soft, filtered light. Avoid growing Goeppertia orbifolia in areas with harsh lighting and afternoon sunshine, which tends to be more intense.
In the wild, Heptapleurum arboricola can be found growing in Hainan, Taiwan. In the UK, Heptapleurum arboricola is grown indoors as a popular houseplant; here Heptapleurum arboricola is commonly known as the Umbrella Plant or by the synonym, Schefflera arboricola.
This is a hardier and more resilient houseplant than most. When my heating didn’t work for a week during a period of very cold weather in January 2023, my Heptapleurum arboricola was entirely unaffected and lived to tell the tale, unlike many of my other houseplants!
Peperomia argyraea can be found growing in the wild in the wet tropical biome of South East and North East Brazil. This handsome plant is a popular houseplant that’s much admired for its attractive silvery-green coloured, ovate leaves with their distinctive dark-green veining. The plant’s characteristic leaf shape with their rounded, striped markings causes each leaf to bear an obvious resemblance to a watermelon, giving Peperomia argyraea its common name of Watermelon Peperomia.
Goeppertia rufibarba is a perennial that can be found in the wild growing in the wet tropical biome of North East Brazil. Plants have handsome rippled leaves that emerge as pale lime green in colour and become a darker shade of green with a hint of blue tone, fairly quickly as they age and mature. This is a tender plant that makes a superb houseplant for warm rooms that are blessed with bright but indirect sunlight.
Tradescantia zebrina ‘Burgundy’ is a charming, naturally trailing, sprawling plant with silver and burgundy striped leaves. Leaf colour will vary on individual plants according to the light levels and different growing conditions the plants experience. Plants grown in areas that enjoy brighter sunlight, which are only watered when their growing media has begun to dry out will display more vibrantly coloured foliage with a more vivid purple colouring than plants grown in poorer quality sunlight.
Platycerium bifurcatum is also know as the Staghorn Fern; this is a stunning evergreen fern that naturally grows as an epiphyte – establishing itself on the trunks and branches of trees in its native environment in the treetops and rainforests of Java, Polynesia, Australia, and Asia. This is a slow-growing, long-lived fern that will enhance your home when grown as a houseplant.
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana ‘Perfect White’ is a double-flowered form of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana with fully-double, snow-white coloured flowers. The blooms are beautifully complimented by this plant’s gorgeous dark-green coloured, scallop-edged foliage. Kalanchoe blossfeldiana ‘Perfect White’ is a houseplant that’s available to buy online or from garden centres, nurseries, or supermarkets. In addition to this double-flowered, white form of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana that’s part of my houseplant collection, look out for Kalanchoe blossfeldiana forms with yellow, red, and pink flowers.
I bought this young Asplenium from a garden centre. The fern was in an area dedicated to terrarium plants with the pot simply labelled as ‘fern mix’. I am uncertain what species or cultivar this fern is – I just know it’s an Asplenium.
As this fern grows and matures it is very likely to outgrow its terrarium, but that’s OK with me – I can enjoy this fern now and move it to a larger enclosure, or grow this fern as a houseplant at a later date.
Asplenium nidus ‘Campio’ is a gorgeous fern that produces wide, feather-shaped fronds in a delightful shade of fresh green. I’ve got two of these ferns, both have a rather bushy and upright habit, which I really like; their vertical poise is also useful as it makes it easier for me to accommodate Asplenium nidus ‘Campio’ alongside the other plants on my shelf.
Pilea hitchcockii is a handsome little plant with attractive pointed leaves in intriguing shades of deep grey and chocolate-maroon, with tints of silver. There’s a real depth to Pilea hitchcockii’s leaf colour; the combination of complimentary colour tones and such delicate and pretty serration along the leaf margins is exquisite. I adore Pilea hitchcockii leaves!
This is a small, clump forming plant that thrives in bright but indirect light.
This is Peperomia caperata ‘Red Luna’. A peperomia with warm orange-red tinted leaves with raised veining and wrinkles that give the leaves another dimension and added interest. There are a wide range of Peperomias plants available. Peperomia caperata ‘Red Luna’ is an adaptable plant that can be grown inside a terrarium or bottle garden or cultivated in the traditional way, as a houseplant grown in a container.
Let me introduce you to Peperomia caperata ‘Schumi Red’. This peperomia’s leaves are an attractive rich maroon colour with deep grooves and wrinkles that give the leaves added depth and texture.
There are so many types of Peperomia available. Peperomia caperata ‘Schumi Red’ is an adaptable plant that can be grown inside a terrarium or bottle garden, but this Peperomia can also be grown in the traditional way, as a potted houseplant.
There are various forms of Peperomia caperata plants available to purchase in garden centres and online. Plants have handsome, fleshy leaves with deep set veins and their characteristic wrinkled foliage which adds welcome interest and texture to the home. Leaf colours vary from silver, grey, glaucous blue and green tones, as well as green, red, orange, and variegated forms.
I’ve grown many forms of Peperomia caperata inside my terrariums and bottle gardens, where they usually adapt well and form much loved, long-term residents inside my enclosures.
Peperomia caperata ‘Frost’ is an interesting plant with handsome silver and grey coloured foliage; as you can see from the photograph above, my plant has occasional soft blush coloured tints on it’s leaves and stems. This plant has unusual colouring, making it a superb choice of plant to use as a contrast against other plants and to add a new style or colour to your home.
If you’re a fan of autumnal colours or you’re looking to introduce warmer colour tones to your home, why not invest in a Peperomia caperata ‘Quito’ plant? Peperomia caperata ‘Quito’ leaves display an orangery-red glow and with their deeply grooved leaves they also add a really interesting texture to a terrarium or bottle garden. With its unusual colouring and intriguing wrinkled leaves, these plants create a lovely contrast when they’re grown next to other terrarium plants and houseplants.
Monstera deliciosa ‘Thai Constellation’ is a form of Monstera deliciosa ‘Variegata’ with splashes of ivory coloured variegation over fresh green leaves. The intensity of the variegation varies both from leaf to leaf and plant to plant, but the foliage usually features thin markings in a pleasing shade of soft white. Let me reassure you, this is not a gaudy looking plant, it’s perhaps a little more demure than you might expect for a variegated houseplant and is certainly not as attention grabbing as some variegated houseplants can be.