Seamless indoor-outdoor living has long been one of the best things about Southwest Florida. Take it a step further with these seven great plants that are happy to share your space (and boost your interior design quotient while they’re at it):
Fiddle leaf fig tree
They’re everywhere these days, but the fiddle leaf fig has long been my favorite tree to have in the house. (I have three!) They love bright, indirect sunlight, so place yours near a window, and fertilize it regularly to keep the leaves their signature dark green. They grow fairly quickly in the right conditions—and if you’re patient, you don’t have to shell out the money to buy an adult one. I took a clipping from one of mine, potted it, and now it’s happily growing on its own!
Lemon, lime or orange trees don’t require a grove to grow—they can be just as happy sharing your space. Because they typically live outside, they do require a lot of sunlight (between eight and 12 hours a day), so a porch or lanai may be the best home for them. In general, most lemons and limes ripen in six to nine months, and oranges will be ready to harvest in about a year. Fresh juices and infused waters, here you come!
If you’re the type who prefers a low-maintenance leafy cohabitant, the Fiji palm may be for you. They don’t require frequent watering; all they ask for is a sunny room and some humidity (shouldn’t be a problem here in Southwest Florida!). In drier months, simply spray them with a mist of water to mimic the effect.
These cool plants are an effortless way to add an organic, modern feel to a room. They’re flexible when it comes to lighting, and they prefer to stay dry, so be careful not to overwater. The leaves are variegated and can have either white or yellow edges.
Succulents are accustomed to living in a desert climate, which means one thing for the non-green thumbs out there: They’re nearly impossible to kill. I love the unique silver-sage leaves in particular, but they come in a variety of colors, so they’re fun to mix and match to create tiny gardens that work in any space.
Peace lilies do more than just liven up a space; these friendly plants also work to clean the air in your home. How much light they get determines how they look—those placed in more light tend to produce white flowers reminiscent of a calla lily, while those that grow in low light bloom less and look more like foliage.
Split leaf philodendron
These love indirect sunlight, so choose a spot not directly next to a window and with a higher ceiling, as they can grow quite tall (up to 10 feet)! This is a plant that keeps on giving—you can also clip fronds and place them in vases or jars to add a tropical, organic touch to other rooms of your home, too. Even better, they last much longer than typical cut flowers—up to a couple months—before they start to droop.
If you’re not confident about your gardening abilities, there’s an app for that. Designed to sync with a little device called the Parrot Flower Power, you stick the sensor in the soil of your plant, and it measures the sunlight, temperature, fertilizer and water your plant is receiving. From there, it communicates with an app on your smartphone, which tells you whether it needs more water or fertilizer or if the temp or sunlight levels need adjusting. You can also tell it which type of plant you have so it can make its suggestions accordingly.
My husband gave me one for Christmas for my beloved fiddle fig, and I love it—it makes it easy (and also kind of fun!) to keep your plant happy and healthy.