5 native indoor plants for your apartment

Adding greenery to your home is a great way to liven up your space, so why not go native?

Incorporating plants to your interior is an easy styling tool for any home. Whether it's a tall, potted fern or a selection of hanging succulents, the subtle greenery brings an element of sophistication to any space. As this trend continues to grow, consider the variety of unique, Australian natives that will bring a special addition to your interior. If you're not sure which natives to bring into your home, horticulturist and Northcote Pottery ambassador, Melissa King, shares her top five recommendations.

Umbrella tree

It doesn’t generally make the list of super-cool indoor plants, but you shouldn't overlook the elegant Umbrella tree. It grows wild in the tropical rainforests of Northern Australia, but its beauty and ability to thrive in bright, indirect light also makes it a striking indoor plant. The lush green leaves are divided into leaflets that hang gracefully from a central stem and resemble little parasols, so it brings foliage texture and interest to any space.

Design tip: Plant your Umbrella tree in a plant stand to bring height and drama to a small space.


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Narrow-leaved palm lily

Bring tropical ambience to a city apartment with the Narrow-leaved palm lily. This east coast native has slender, strappy-leaved foliage and pretty pale purple flowers. Indoors, it can reach heights of two to three metres, so give it room to grow and it will become the green centrepiece of your indoor space. The narrow-leaved palm lily is one tough cookie and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance or water, so it’s the perfect choice for people lacking a green thumb! 

Design tip: The Narrow-leaved palm lily’s look is diverse enough to compliment modern décor or more relaxed bohemian style. For extra impact, pot it in the simple, yet striking tripod stand.

Staghorn ferns

These quirky ferns are somewhat alien-looking but also wonderfully ornamental, with layered fronds and antler-like foliage. In the wild, staghorns are epiphytes that grow on trees, so they are nature-made for vertical mounting or growing in a hanging basket. Give them ample room to grow in bright, indirect light and these wild, chaotic plants will create a unique living piece of art. 

Design tip: Create a decorative focal point by hanging your Staghorn fern against a solid coloured wall for extra impact or mount them gallery style on vintage wooden boards. 

Image credit: _wild_home_

Maidenhair fern

As the name suggests, the Maidenhair fern has dainty, fragile-looking foliage that brings a touch of softness to an indoor space. The lacy green leaves are a lovely contrast to the slender black stems, and the plant's tousled elegance makes it the perfect complement to retro or shabby chic interior style. Grow it in a well-lit spot, but not in the path of direct sunlight. Keep in mind that this fern can be a bit finicky about water – it doesn’t like wet feet, and it doesn’t like to dry out, so keep plants evenly moist throughout the year.

Design tip: Plant your Maidenhair fern in a round, deep pot in a macramé hanger for a vintage 70s look.


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Prickly Rasp Fern

Don’t be put off by the common name, the Prickly rasp fern is more friendly than it sounds, with textured fronds and an attractive fountain-like growth habit that brings lush coolness to an indoor space. The new foliage is bright pink-red, creating a stunning contrast to the more mature green fronds. In nature, this fern grows among the rain and eucalyptus forests of Queensland, eastern New South Wales and eastern Victoria.

Design tip: Plant the Prickly rasp fern in a white, round pot to bring airy coolness inside.

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