Interior Plants (Indoor Plants)

Course CodeBHT315
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Know and Grow Indoor Plants (House Plants)

  • What are the best indoor plants?
  • How to culture and use them?
  • Understand the nature and scope on interior plantscaping industry
  • How do you lay the foundation for a career with indoor plants? 

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Plant Naming and pronunciation
    • Review of indoor plant families
    • Resources
  2. Indoor Plant Culture - Part A
    • Understanding interior environments
    • Plants for different light conditions
    • Problems with indoor plants
    • Potting Media
    • Potting up
    • Container selection
    • Managing plant nutrition
    • Pruning indoor plants
    • Propagation and caring for young indoor plants
  3. Indoor Plant Culture - Part B
    • Acclimatizing indoor plants
    • Helping plants survive neglect
    • Managing plant health indoors
  4. Foliage Plants
    • Growing palms inside
    • Review of palm genera
    • Selecting and Growing Ferns inside
    • Review of other foliage plant genera
  5. Flowering Plants
    • Orchids
    • African violets
    • Poinsettia
    • Other genera grown for flowers indoors.
  6. Other Indoor Plants
    • Herbs
    • Vines and Climbers
  7. Making The Best Use Of Indoor Plants
    • Deciding where to place an indoor plant
    • Managing colour
    • Using mirrors
    • Plants in baskets
    • Hydroponics indoors
    • Miniature gardens
  8. The Interior Plantscaping Industry
    • Interior Plantscaping Business
    • Growing in Greenhouses
    • Environmental control


  • Distinguish between different types of indoor plants
  • Describe the cultural methods used for growing various indoor plants
  • Evaluate a range of plants not commonly grown indoors for their suitability for interior plantscaping.
  • Select appropriate plants for different interior plantscaping situations.
  • Develop innovative ways of presenting plants for indoor situations.
  • Explain the interior plantscaping industry, including its nature and scope.

What Can You Grow Indoors?

The first thing to remember about indoor plants is that they aren't really indoor plants (plants do not grow indoors in nature!) Indoor plants are simply plants which we have found to be adaptable to an indoor environment.

Usually an inside environment will differ from an outside one in the following ways:

  • It has lower light intensities
  • It is warmer in winter and cooler in summer
  • In some rooms (e.g. kitchen, bathroom, laundry), humidity can get high
  • The balance of gases in the air is different:  (particularly damaging with gas heaters or air conditioning).

While many indoor plants originate in tropical areas, this by no means the case for all.  The natural environment for tropical plants is usually wet, humid and hot.  If those plants are placed in an indoor environment which is cooler and less humid then wetness must also be reduced. 

Over-watering is a common problem with tropical indoor plants being grown in temperate regions.
The best rule is:  use a freely draining soil, water thoroughly once and then do not water again until the soil is absolutely bone dry.  In some situations this might mean watering once very three months, in other situations once a day.  The rate of watering is influenced by factors such as temperature, soil type, humidity and cannot be put down to a regular timetable.  For example you cannot just assume that once a week watering is right for every plant in all conditions.

Usually temperate climate plants which are used indoors are hardier (when grown in temperate climate houses).  Some are best to alternate between an indoor and outdoor position such as Cyclamen spp., ferns, Asparagus spp. (asparagus fern).  Never take the plant from one environment straight to an environment which is in extreme contrast though; the move could be too much of a shock (eg. it is better to move your ferns outside in summer and place them in a protected spot under a big tree: the change will then be minor).  Avoid placing indoor plants in draughty positions or near to a gas heater or air conditioning vent.  Temperatures should not drop below 5ºCelsius for the less hardy indoor plants (even overnight).  Place the more exotic, tropical plants in a more humid room such as a bathroom.  Low light intensity areas should be avoided for most indoor plants.

Indoor plants which adapt to low light:
Aglaonema  spp., Brassaia actinophylla syn. Schefflera actinophylla,  (umbrella tree), Aspidistra elatior, Bromeliads, Fatshedera lizei, ferns, ivy, kentia palm, Maranta leuconeura, Monstera deliciosa, Philodendron spp., Pothos spp. syn. Scindapsus spp., Sansevieria spp.

Indoor plants which require bright light:
Begonia spp. (flowering types), Cacti, Caladium hortulanum hybrids, Coleus blumei, Codiaeum variegatum pictum (Croton), Cyclamen persicum, Geogenanthus undatus, Saintpaulia hybrids (African violet), succulents

Plants which must be moved outside occasionally, depending on which country you are living in:
Aucuba japonica, Azalea hybrids, Bamboo, Chlorophytum comosum, Fatshedera lizei, Ivy, Zebrina pendula, Monstera deliciosa, Ficus spp., Philodendron scandens, Adiantum spp. (Maidenhair Ferns), Maranta leuconeura, Crassula spp., bromeliads, ferns (in general).

Indoor plants which grow well with no heat in winter if inside in a temperate or warm climate:Aspidistra elatior, Billbergia spp., Cissus spp., Chlorophytum comosum, Fatshedera lizei, Ivy, Zebrina pendula, Monstera deliciosa, Ficus spp., Philodendron scandens, Maranta leuconeura, Crassula argentea (jade plant), most ferns, Asparagus spp. (asparagus ferns)

Indoor plants for a dry atmosphere:

Aechmea spp., Bromeliads, Clivia miniata, Chlorophytum comosum, Calathea spp., Pilea spp., Ceropegia woodii, cacti and succulents.

Who Will Benefit From This Course?

This is a course equally applicable to the:

  • Professional interior plantscapers
  • Home owners
  • Interior decorators
  • Nurserymen
  • Horticulturist
  • Gardeners
  • Passionate indoor plant collector
  • Anyone setting up indoor plant business and more





Click box below on left hand side -follow instructions.





More from ACS