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Five Great Houseplants

If your home looks a little sparse after the holiday decorations are packed away, a statement making houseplant is an easy solution.  Houseplants offer bold foliage, long lasting flowers, and/or space filling height.

So what are your choices for bold plants that are easy to care for and can thrive in environments typical of our homes?  Here are five that fit the bill.

DracaenaDracaena
Dracaena is an excellent houseplant because it requires relatively little care and can take the low light conditions typical of our homes.  Dracaena prefers daytime temperatures of 75 to 80 degrees F and 65 to 70 degrees F during the night. The soil should be kept consistently moist, but not soggy and they only need fertilizer every 6 months. Although dracaena can take low light conditions, they do best when placed in bright but indirect light. Try to avoid placing them in full sun as it will burn the leaves.

White Bird of ParadiseStrelitzia Nicolai (White Bird of Paradise)
This species of Strelitzia has large glossy green foliage and the same bird-like flowers as its cousin S. reginea but in white.  The tall, upright form makes it perfect for filling blank spots where space is limited. Plants don't bloom until they are 4 to 6 years old.  Give your Strelitzia full sunlight and soil should be kept on the dry side. 

CrotonCroton
The croton's multi-colored leaves make it a standout.  For a real statement put several pots in a large decorative container.  To maintain their richly hued foliage, give the plant plenty of bright light.  Soil should be moist but not soggy.  Prune in spring if the plants become leggy.

Stromanth TriocolorStromanthe sanguinea 'Triocolor'
Stromanthe has strappy foliage with green, white and pink variegation.  It's a great plant for brightening up a room with low light.  In spring the plant produces dark pink flowers.  Place in filtered light and keep the soil moist, but not saturated. 

Peace LilySpathiphyllum (Peace Lily)
Full and leafy, the Peace Lily makes short work of filling spots that need a little lift.  Place in bright, but indirect light; allow the soil to dry between watering but don't wait so long the leaves wilt and fertilize every 2 months during the growing season.